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2014/2015  KAN-CBCMU1005U  Socio-Cognitive Science of Branding

English Title
Socio-Cognitive Science of Branding

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Torsten Ringberg - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Marketing
Last updated on 04-07-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course, the student should be able:
  • To engage various cultural and socio-cognitive theoretical frameworks in an effort to identify and explain how shared mindset emerges, influences, and creates a consumer community.
  • To collect basic qualitative data and apply various interview techniques (e.g., focus groups, netnograhy, participant observation, and in-depth interviews).
  • To understand strengths/weaknesses of qualitative methods in eliciting consumers’ symbolic (subconscious) world.
  • To identify how consumer preferences and engagements with brands are influenced by emotional and subconscious drivers.
  • To analyze qualitative data and identify themes and links among these pointing to a shared mindset among consumers.
  • To translate qualitative findings into strategic recommendations for a brand that wants to be engage with a consumer community and/or improve its existing positioning within a brand/tribal community.
Socio-Cognitive Science of Branding:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Group exam, max. 5 students in the group
Groups are formed of 3-5 students.
The oral exam is individual and based on group projects
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Report
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Spring Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
This course focuses on understanding the symbolic meaning of brands and consumer communities. It investigates how consumers create an emotional bond within and between these entities (e.g., consumer communities, brand communities, consumption communities, tribal communities). To identify these emotional bonds the course includes a combination of qualitative theories and methods. The theoretical part includes cultural and socio-cognitive theories which explain consumers’ symbolic worlds based on different conceptual perspectives. The methodological part includes focus group, netnography, participant observation, and in-depth interviews and requires students to use these methods when collecting data during field work. The fieldwork enables students to evaluate the pros/cons of each method first hand. The course requires students to analyze their collected data, identify shared themes, and finally apply relevant cultural and/or socio-cognitive theories to identify and explain the emotional/symbolic  bonds/values within a particular consumer community they chose to observe . Finally, students identify managerial implications of their findings for a potential brand.
Teaching methods
The course is based on lectures, cases, team projects & presentations, and guest lectures. The class sessions include lectures, discussions, cases, articles, presentations, exercises, and industry presentations. The course also includes hands-on projects where students apply a range of different methods to topics of their choice, such as:
• focus groups and/or,
• netnography,
• participant observation,
• one-on-one in-depth interviews.
Expected literature
  • Selected Papers, available in the bookstore, prior to the start of the class.
Bryman, Alan & Bell, (Emma 2011) "Business Research Methods", 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press - Please note: No exact readings from this book will be given in class. You are expected to read the book and be able to draw on the methods for this course as well as the earlier course on Perspectives on Consumer Behaviour.
Last updated on 04-07-2014