Course: adms 4285a brand Management

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ADMS 4285A

Brand Management

S1 2016

Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, ACE 005

Course Outline

(as at May 4, 2016)

1) For students in an Honours program, 72 credits including

  • AK/ADMS 2200 3.00 and

  • AK/ADMS 3220 3.00

2) For other students, a grade of C+ or better in

  • AK/ADMS 2200 3.00 and

  • AK/ADMS 3220 3.00

Course credit exclusion: None.

Students are personally responsible for ensuring that they have completed the required prerequisites as stated in the course outline or in the course calendar. Failure to complete prerequisites will place students at risk of administrative withdrawal from the course. The department will not be responsible for refunds resulting from such withdrawals.

If you have completed ADMS 2200 or ADMS 3220 at an institution other than York, please hand in a copy of the statement of credit transfer from Admissions Office in the second class. If your application for credit transfer is pending, please provide me, in the second class, with a copy of the application, along with copies of the course outline of the course you consider equivalent and the official transcript from the other institution showing that you have completed the course (for Non-BAS/Honours students: with a C+ or better). If you are an exchange student, please hand in your transcripts from your home university showing courses equivalent to the prerequisites listed above.

To ensure fairness and efficiency of group work, no late enrolment will be allowed.

Due to the very compressed time schedule, I strongly advise you to take no more than one S1 course or 2 SU courses in addition to this course.
CIPO, “A Guide to Trade-Marks”, (to be read on your own; everything on this webpage, but not what is on other pages that this page links to).

Some classes of the course also refer to:

Keller, Kevin Lane (2008/2013), Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity, 3rd or 4th edition, Pearson Prentice Hall.

Note: This course presents you with the latest research findings and practical experiences in greater detail than the textbook and covers many topics not covered in Keller's textbook. Keller’s book offers partial coverage of some of the course topics only. If you want to use the textbook as a supplementary source for these topics (they will be fully covered in class), the 3rd and the 4th edition are equally useful. The book will be neither sufficient nor necessary to pass the exams or solve the problems to be dealt with in the group projects. For the exams, you need to know

  • all slides and explanations presented by me in class and

  • all case studies presented and discussed in class. Presentations of guest speakers, if any, and the discussions of such presentations, are also relevant for the exams covering the class of the guest speech.

You will have to take comprehensive notes in class. If you do not do so, you will very likely do poorly on the exams. Every student who misses a class is expected to get him/herself the slides from the course website and comprehensive high-quality notes from a classmate.
To prepare for each class, I recommend that you read the slides to be covered in this class in advance. For other material to be prepared for each class, see under VI. "Organization of the Course".

Assignment Type

% of Grade

Due Date

Group Report


Tuesday, June 7, 11:30 am

Group Presentation


June 16, 2016, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm (can on request by the group also be held on June 14)

Midterm Test


Sat, May 28, 6 to 9 pm, TEL 0010

Final Exam


TBA (in exam period from June 22nd to June 24th 2016)




Students who miss the midterm for medical reasons have to hand in an attending physician's statement covering the day of the midterm and issued, except for extraordinary circumstances, until one day after the midterm. They will have to write a make-up midterm. Students who miss the midterm for reasons other than documented illness or religious observance will receive a grade of 0 on the midterm. Please inform me that you will not be able to write an exam for religious observance reasons at least one week before the exam.

Documented illness and religious observance are, other than under exceptional circumstances, no valid reasons for late-handing in of group work. As in real life, you will have to plan ahead your group work in a way that allows for individual members to be ill or unavailable close to submission date, and include sufficient time in reserve for such cases.

There is a limitation of one calendar week for queries on grading following the return of an assignment or examination. When a request for re-grading is received, the entire assignment or examination will be re-marked. The new grade may be higher, the same, or lower.

For students missing the final, please see under "Deferred Standing Agreements" at the end of the course outline.

Dr. Andreas Strebinger

Office: ATK 140J (416 736 2100 ext 33606)

Meetings with groups or individuals: Anytime after prior appointment by e-mail only.

I also offer skype meetings (skype name: andreas.strebinger). Please ensure that you have a stable and sufficiently powerful internet connection to support a conference call with several group members or screen-sharing and that there is no background noise. Using WIFI in a coffee shop is usually not adequate.

Please send me your request for an appointment at least 2 business days before the day for which you want to make an appointment. For the most popular time slots (1.5 hours to 30 minutes before the class and the time 15 minutes after class) please book well ahead of time.

The breaks during classes as well as the 15 minutes immediately before and after class are suitable exclusively for short administrative questions of individual students on a first-come-first-serve basis. These times are not suitable for substantive feedback to your group work. For questions regarding your group work, please schedule a separate face to face or skype appointment with me by email. Please reserve at least 20 minutes for any appointment regarding your group project.

For more complex administrative questions, please send me an email with the question, your official name (as in the university computer system) and your student number.

For efficient communication, I ask every student to regularly check his/her official YorkU email address. Please make sure that you properly receive all emails sent to this address. Contact should you incur technical issues with your YorkU email address or not receive general broadcasts I send to the class.

I normally reply to e-mails within 2 business days. Due to the very large number of emails I receive during terms, I unfortunately cannot reply to

  • e-mails which do not include basic info about yourself, that is, the course number, your full official name (plus any alias you use), in case of group questions your group name and number, in case of administrative questions your student number.

  • e-mails asking substantive or administrative questions which have been answered by the course outline and other material posted on the course website, previous email broadcasts or in class. Please check these sources and, if you missed a class, ask your peers for their notes.

  • last-minute e-mails sent to me the night or on the weekend before the due date of an assignment. Please plan your assignment work in a way that you know for what questions you need my support well ahead of time and send me your questions at least 2 business days before the time you need the answer.

  • e-mails asking me to change the grade component weights for you, increase a grade on an assignment without an appropriate academic rationale or give you a make-up assignment. Under no circumstances will I ever increase an exam or assignment grade for non-academic reasons or give a make-up assignment. Non-academic reasons include, for example, that you would need a certain grade to stay in the program, for a job application, as well as life problems like a separation, strict parents etc. "Academic reasons" means that you have to provide academic evidence (textbooks, scholarly journals etc.) that your exam answer or assignment work was correct and incorrectly graded as wrong by the instructor. I think make-up assignments are unfair towards those students who did well on the regular assignments.

If your email does not fall in one of the above categories and I did not reply to you after 2 business days, please resend the e-mail, including the header of the first time you sent it such that I can see when you sent it and give it priority ranking.

Marker: Melissa Abraham (

Note: The marker does not grade your group work. Any questions regarding your group work should therefore be directed towards the course director.


The exams will consist of multiple-choice (probably around 2/3 of the points) and short-answer or essay questions (probably around 1/3). As everything discussed in class is relevant for the exams, please get yourself high-quality notes for missed classes for 100% coverage of the course material relevant for the exams. The exams are closed-book closed-notes exams.

The final exam covers only the material not covered by the midterm. That is, in the final you will not be asked any specific questions regarding the material which was relevant for the midterm. You will, however, have to be familiar with the terms and concepts you learned in the first half of the term to the extent they form the basis for concepts covered after the midterm.

Exams will always be scheduled for an official duration of 3 hours. Depending on the number of chapters to be covered and the character of the questions, effective available exam time may be shorter (between 2 hours and 2:45 minutes). I still ask you to reserve the full three hours scheduled, as there may always be issues (e.g., classroom locked, no lights on) which require us to use up the full three hours.

Group projects: Group Report and Presentation

Groups should comprise 5 to 7 members. The recommended group size is 6. All evaluations of group work will take the size of the group into account. Group formation takes place in the second class of the course. It is therefore mandatory to be present in the second class. If you cannot make it to the second class for justified reasons, please notify me at least 3 business days in advance, so that I can assign you to a group in the second class. Students not present in the second class and not notifying me of their absence run the risk of not getting a spot in a group and therefore receiving a grade of zero on the group-work components of the course grade. I will not force groups of 5 or more members, once formed, to accept new members after the second class.

Each group will do a brand audit for a brand selected by the group whose brand strategy is determined by a company or not-for-profit organization headquartered in Canada. This excludes in many cases subsidiaries of companies or organizations from outside of Canada. Please fill in the Group Project Proposal (GPP) Form available on the course website and submit for approval by the time and date specified in the course schedule (see "organization of the course").

Expected methods:

  • thorough secondary research, including

    • books

    • databases of academic and non-academic articles and case studies,

    • general media

    • websites of “your” brand and its competitors and

    • advertising of the brand to be analyzed and its major competitors on online and offline (print, electronic) media;

  • exploratory interviews with consumers (mandatory), and company executives or other experts (if feasible and necessary). The expectation is one qualitative interview per group member. Executive/expert questionnaires have to be sent to the instructor for approval before the interview is conducted. Also, all interviews will have to acquire the informed consent of the interviewee before the start of the interview, using an informed consent template available in time from the course website. All interviewees must be 16 years or older.

Unless explicitly recommended and supervised by the instructor, please do not conduct any quantitative survey like e.g., a Survey Monkey survey!

In the group presentation, each group gives an overview of the complete project (that is, including the topics covered by the group report), but spends most of the presentation time on the new topics not covered by the report. Report and presentation guidelines will be available online in time on the course website.

Group reports have to be handed in as a hard copy at AK282 or, if the due date falls on a day with class or exam, in class and electronically on Moodle. Late handing-in of reports will lower the grade for a report part by 20% of the grade component percentage for the report part per commenced day of late handing in. This means that you don’t get any points for a group report handed in more than a 5 days after due date, even if your report would have scored 100%.

Attendance will be taken at a randomly chose point in time of each class. For each class you are present, you will receive 5/((number of classes except exams and online classes, if any)-1) attendance points, up to a maximum of 5 presence points (=5% of the course grade). That means you have to attend all classes but one (except exams and online classes, if any) to get the full 5% towards the total course grade. If I call your name in class at any time during class and you do not respond, you will lose all attendance points for this class, even if you were presented at the time attendance was taken. If you have to leave early or come late, please notify me in advance (by email, if you come late, or in person at the beginning of the class, if you have to leave early). I will then assign you the proportional amount of attendance points for this class.

Using the cell phone or laptop during the lectures for purposes unrelated to the course, working on unrelated things in any other way, reading books, wearing earplugs or falling asleep during class, even when only temporary, will lead to a full loss of the attendance point for this class.

If you cannot attend a class due to illness or religious observance, please hand in a doctor’s note in the next class or inform me in advance about the religious observance by email, respectively. As a "justified absence", this class will then count just as if you had attended it (that is, you can still miss one other class and get your full 5% attendance towards the overall grade).

Please do not bring any strong-smelling food to class or food which requires noisy munching/crunching. Please turn off your cell phones, laptops and other devices to silent during class time.

In justified cases (e.g., you sprained your ankle and cannot walk, are abroad for academic, urgent family, or medical reasons), I will, with appropriate documentation and on request by email at least two days before the lecture, try to arrange for Skype participation. I cannot guarantee that this will work technically. This is meant to allow you to attend the class, but does not have an impact on your attendance score (as you will get full attendance points for the class anyway, if you hand in appropriate documentation of justified absence).

Peer Evaluation

To ensure that each group performs effectively and can draw on the full effort and skill of all team members, each student will submit a confidential peer evaluation to me ( AND the marker’s email address (see above) pertaining to the contribution of each group member to the group work. The peer evaluation is due within 1 day after the last class. For students who do not submit their peer evaluation in time, a rating of equal contribution of all group members will be assumed. Please do not submit your peer evaluation early (that is, before the group presentation). Peer evaluations, once submitted, cannot be changed or revoked by the student.

Peer Evaluation: 0% contribution = 0% grade on all group-work components

I will adjust grades for group assignments to reflect a lack of contribution, on the basis of these evaluations. As the practical application through the group project is a crucial part of this 4000-level course and is given a correspondingly high weight in the grade breakdown, these adjustments can be severe (up to 40% of the total course grade). In case that a group member did not, according to the rest of his/her group, contribute to the group work at all, this will very likely lead to a failure to pass the course.



To be prepared for (in addition to the slides covered) / handed in in class


Tues, May 10

Overview of the course

Introduction (Keller, Chapter 1, 3e pp. 1-42*, 4e pp. 1-33*)

What is a brand and what can be branded? Why to brand: benefits of brands to customers and companies; new challenges in brand management; the concept of brand equity

Course Outline


Thurs, May 12 (Mandatory Attendance)

Building Customer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) (1) (Keller, 3e Chapter 2, pp. 47-79, 4e Chapter 3, pp. 78-106*)

Brand awareness and brand image as sources of CBBE; types and benefits of brand awareness; building associations in the customers’ minds

Group Formation

Group Work Guidelines ("Choice of Topic" and section A: Report)

Send group project proposal form to

Send the group form to and to the marker's email address (see under "instructor/contact")

both due Monday May 16, 10 am


Tues, May 17

Building Customer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) (2) (Keller, 3e Chapter 2, pp. 47-79, 4e Chapter 3, pp. 78-106*): the CBBE pyramid

Hand-in Hard Copy of Group Form and Group Project Proposal (in class)

Group Work Guidelines Section C (Guidelines for Interviews)


Thurs, May 19

Branding (1) (Keller, Chapter 4, 3e pp. 139-178, 4e pp.113-145*) Brand elements and integrated branding; Criteria for designing brand elements

Template Consumer Interviews, Informed Consent Form and Student Researcher Confirmation Form


Tues, May 24

Branding (2) (Keller, Chapter 4, 3e pp. 139-178, 4e pp.113-145*) Criteria for designing brand elements (contd.); Special challenges in designing brand names and brand iconography; Selecting a brand name and frequent mistakes in branding;

Group Work Guidelines, Section B, Group Presentation

If you want feedback to your consumer questionnaire which you adapted to your brand and product category based on the questionnaire template available on website: send consumer questionnaire draft to by May 24, noon (recommended time to stay on track with your group work). You should start with your interviews no later than May 27, to allow enough time to do them, analyse them and include them into your report.


Thurs, May 26

Positioning (1) (Keller, 3e Chapter 3, pp. 97-117, 4e Chapter 2, pp. 51-65*)

What is positioning? Positioning maps and their psychological foundation; Criteria in choosing points of parity and points of difference; Social Media and trends in brand management & positioning; brand ecosystems

Group Work Guidelines, Section D (Evaluation Criteria)

Sat, May 28, 6 to 9 pm, TEL 0010

Midterm: Relevant: Classes 1 to 5


Tues, May 31

Positioning (2) (Keller, 3e pp.118-126, 4e pp. 63-69)

Types of customer benefits; Means-End Analysis; brand core and brand mantra, internal branding


Thurs, June 2

Building relationships between the brand and the customer (1) (Keller, 3e pp. 79-86, pp. 196-199, pp. 369-370, pp. 386-390; 4e pp. 154-162, 106-110, 305-306, 318-323*)

Types of customer-brand relations; brands as the new religion?


Tuesday, June 7

Building relationships between the brand and the customer (2) (Keller, 3e pp. 79-86, pp. 196-199, pp. 369-370, pp. 386-390; 4e pp. 154-162, 106-110, 305-306, 318-323*): brand personality and self-congruence; experiential marketing and “brand worlds” (time permitting)

Handing in of Group Report electronically on Moodle (turnitin) by Tuesday, June 7, 11:30 am, and in hardcopy at the beginning of the class


Thurs, June 9

Brand Extensions (Keller, Chapter 12, 3e pp. 481-541, 4e 403-419*)

7 ways to extend a brand; advantages and disadvantages of brand extensions: when and how to use them, when not to use them;


Tues, June 14

Brand Controlling: (Keller, 3e pp. 325-339, 374-399, 413-422, 4e pp. 272-277, 310-331, 343-350*): Tracking brands; Measuring Company-Based Brand Equity

(On special request of a group: Group presentation(s))



Thurs, June 16

Group Presentations

Submission of peer evaluation per email to the marker (see above) and within 1 day after group presentation

TBA (in exam period from June 22 to June 24)

Final Exam

relevant: Classes 6 to 12 (except group presentations of other groups) and CIPO’s “A Guide to Trade-Marks” (to be read on your own)

* The pages of Keller’s textbook indicated in the table only partially cover the material relevant for the exams. If you are attending and attentive in class and make comprehensive notes, you will not have to read the pages of Keller's textbook indicated above.

If our classroom is equipped with CAMTASIA, I will attempt to record the lectures and post them on the course website. However, I cannot guarantee that the recording will work or yield sufficient audio and video quality. So please do not rely on the recordings. All recordings are confidential, copyrighted, and not supposed to be passed on to anybody not enrolled in the courses, posted anywhere else, or used for other purposes than for studying for the class. Failure to comply with these restrictions may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

In this course, students learn to successfully position, brand and manage one individual product or product line of a company. Course topics include, e.g.,

  • objects and trends in brand management,

  • brand positioning,

  • internal branding,

  • using brand elements (brand name and logo, typography etc.) to convey this positioning,

  • managing customer experience and their relationship with the brand,

  • brand extensions, and

  • brand controlling.

What this course is not ….

What it is …

… another advertising/communication class

… a course on the theory and practice of branding, brand strategy development, and brand controlling

… mainly about fun or fancy brands

… about (types of) brands which many of you will actually have to deal with in your professional career

… mainly about consumer psychology

… about how to make an in-depth understanding of consumer psychology useful in strategy develop

… all about artistic creativity

… mostly about strategic creativity

… an “I can study everything from the textbook” course

… a course where you have to be present, attentive and take comprehensive notes on what we discuss with the slides

… all about personal opinion and intuition

… based on facts and findings of latest high-quality research

…a ”do everything last minute at the end of the term” course

… a course requiring continuous learning and work on the group project

… an easy class

… a highly demanding (time, effort) and intellectually challenging class

… an “I can do every marketing class without the prerequisites” course

… a course where you will really need to know the fundamentals of STP, PESTLE, SWOT and have had some practice in it. The prerequisites will be checked in the course of the term.


Deferred Standing Agreements: Deferred standing may be granted to students who are unable to write their final examination at the scheduled time or to submit their outstanding course work on the last day of classes. In order to apply for deferred standing, students must complete a Deferred Standing Agreement (DSA) form and submit their request no later than five (5) business days from the date of the exam.  The request must be properly submitted with supporting documentation directly to the main office of the School of Administrative Studies (282 Atkinson), NOT to the Section Director.  These requests will be considered on their merit and decisions will be communicated to the students by the main office. Students with approved DSA will be able to write their deferred examination during the School's deferred examination period.  No further extensions of deferred exams shall be granted.  The format and covered content of the deferred examination may be different from that of the originally scheduled examination. Any request for deferred standing on medical grounds must include an Attending Physician's Statement form; a “Doctor’s Note” will not be accepted. DSA Form: , Attending Physician's Statement form:

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