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2012/2013  KAN-SMC_SM60  Corporate Branding and Communities

English Title
Corporate Branding and Communities

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Karin Tollin - Department of Marketing
Main Category of the Course
  • Marketing
Last updated on 09-07-2012
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the excellent student is expected to be able to:
1. Structure and discuss the central assumptions that are lying behind the notion of corporate branding and communities and why these constructs are central for companies that aim to create a sustainable and strong market position.
2. Describe and explain how theoretical frameworks and the practice of corporate branding has developed over time and what the central ideas, issues, processes and capabilities are and why.
3. Structure, illustrate and explain the entities (roles, links, processes etc.) that constitute a community and how to analyse these entities.
4. Describe and explain the construct of co-creation and how to relate and apply the construct to corporate branding and communities.
5. Relate and apply the literatures frameworks about branding and communities and explain how and why companies can create compelling and strong brand experiences.
Corporate Branding and Communities:
Type of test Written Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration 4 Hours
A 4 hour written open book exam (the internet is not allowed) based on issues and theoretical concepts, frameworks, principles etc. that is presented and discussed in the curriculum of the course.
Course content
During the first part of the course, the core issue dealt with is the corporate branding construct and process. Thus, the defining features and central premises of a corporate brand and of corporate branding are laid out. During this part we also discuss different perspectives on and experiences of corporate branding in various contexts, and how and why thoughts and practices of corporate branding appear to evolve over time. In the second part, social media and explicitly consumers’ communication processes and relationships with and within social media stand at centre. As with the corporate branding construct, we start off with a clarification of the concept. Thereafter follows the issue of what insight about consumers’ and about communities (types, roles within etc.) that is of value in corporate branding processes. In relation to this we also deal with the issue of how to retrieve insights about consumers’ communication processes in the virtual world. During the third and final part of the course the key issue dealt is management implications of the apparent increasing phenomenon of on-line consumer communities and of consumers’ demand for insight and participation in company processes. This issue will be dealt with through examples (cases) dealing with communication situations, problems and experiences within and from the business world.
The course is affiliated to the course ‘Marketing, Creativity and Innovation’.

This course deals with the following essential question: How to build and retain value creating brand relationships with consumers in the open source world? Accordingly, one central theme in the course deals with understanding consumers’ use of social media to experience, exchange and to co-create brand meanings. Thus the following overall question is addressed: What drives, motivates and influence consumers to acquire and to share market insights, consumption and brand related ideas, values and experiences in on-line communities? Another theme deals with social media from the company perspective. We discuss: What is being communicated in online consumer communities about products, brands and about companies, and how to gain insight about the actors, the contents, and the communication processes? What are the different types of consumer communities, and what are the arguments for a company to choose a particular type as a forum for engaging consumers in brand co-creation processes?A second theme deals with the understanding of corporate branding - in light of trends and development in social media, and consumers’ claim for transparency and participation in value creation processes, among other things. Thus, we discuss the following question:  What are the essential issues, considerations, insights and management processes - when the company vision is to become or to sustain as a differentiated and distinguished corporate brand in the open source world?
Accordingly, the course aim to develop the students’ theoretical understanding about corporate branding and about consumer’s social media behaviour.  Additionally, by a continuous interplay between theory and practice, a second aim of the course is to make the student become able to discuss what the decisions, and other management processes are, in order to make a successful use of social media in corporate branding processes. Furthermore, the course aims to make the student capable to discuss what the essential arguments and prerequisites (resources, values etc.) are for companies to be engaged in on-line communication processes with consumers.
Teaching methods
The course consists of lectures, case-works and a 4 hours written exam.
Expected literature
  • Strategic Market Creation – A New Perspective on Marketing and Innovation management, (2008), editors: Karin Tollin and Antonella Caru, Wiley, Chichester.
  • Majken Schultz, Antorini Yun Mi and Csada, Fabian F.. (2005), Corporate Branding – Purpose/People/Process, Copenhagen Business School Press.
  • Mary Jo Hatch and Majken Schultz, (2008), Taking Brand Initiative, 2008, Jossey Bass

A selection of articles in the field of open innovation, networks, communities and corporate branding
  • Antikainen, Maria, M. Mäkipää, M. Ahonen, (2010), Motivating and supporting collaboration in open innovation, European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol.13 (1).
  • Balmer, John M.T., (2008), Identity based views of the corporation: Insights from corporate identity, organisational identity, social identity, visual identity, corporate brand identity and corporate image, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42 (9/10).
  • Baumgarth, Carsten, (2010), “Living the brand”: brand orientation in the business-to-business sector, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 (5).
  • Dobni, Broke C, (2008), Measuring innovation culture in organizations: The development of a generalized innovation culture construct using exploratory factor analysis, European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 11 (4)
  • Elmquist, Maria, Tobias Fredberg, Susanne Ollila, (2009), Exploring the field of open innovation, European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 12 (3).
  • Geersbro, Jens and Thomas Ritter, (2010), External performance barriers in business networks: uncertainty, ambiguity, and conflict, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing,Vol: 25 (3).
  • Horppu, Marianne, Olli Kuivalainen, Anssi Tarkiainen, Hanna-Kaisa Ellonen (2008),Online satisfaction, trust and loyalty, and the impact of the offline parent brand, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol: 17 (6)
  • Ojasalo, Jukka, (2008), Management of innovation networks: a case study of different approaches,(2008), European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol: 11 (1).
  • Sicilia, Maria, and Mariola Palazón,(2008), Brand communities on the internet: A case study of Coca-Cola's Spanish virtual community. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol 13 (3).
  • Quinton, Sarah and Sally Harridge-March, (2010), Relationships in online communities: the potential for marketers, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol: 4 (1).
Last updated on 09-07-2012