Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module BUSS40615: Stakeholder Brand Management

Department: Business School (Business) [Queen's Campus, Stockton]

BUSS40615: Stakeholder Brand Management

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to N5K309


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To enable students to understand the key principles of brand management from socio-cultural, psychological and anthropological perspectives, rather than relying on just the cognitive approach to branding.
  • To provide invaluable insights into, and a critical engagement with, the brand management subject. Students will go beyond the functional and naming aspects of branding to develop critical thinking. This will be based on an engagement with brands which considers how brands are formed through the development of their cultural meaning alongside managerial branding strategies. We will consider the ways brands transform consumer experience, build brand identity, and develop brand equity from both a financial and a consumer perspective.
  • To provide students with an understanding of how brand management works in practice, taking into account the context (domestic or international), culture, market characteristics and trends.


  • Part 1: The socio-cultural meaning of brands
  • A semiotic act of naming a product– from products to brands
  • Semiotics and the symbolic meaning of brands
  • Brands as symbolic resources for self and social identities
  • The principles of cultural branding
  • Part 2: Brand equity
  • Brand equity from financial and consumer perspectives
  • Stakeholders and brand equity
  • Part 3: Managing brands
  • Brand strategies
  • Brands and advertising
  • Global brands

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • have an understanding of key branding concepts, strategies and current issues in brand management from socio-cultural, psychological and anthropological perspectives
  • have an understanding that when a product-commodity becomes a brand, its use value is imbued with symbolic value that consumers deploy in constructing and maintaining their identities
  • have a critical understanding of the social psychology of brands, the symbolic and cultural meaning of brands and the relationship between brands and emotions
  • have an advanced knowledge and understanding of the brand equity concept from both financial and consumer perspectives
  • have an advanced knowledge and understanding of different approaches to brand strategies and an ability to critically evaluate the main choices that brand managers must take into account when they manage their brands
  • have an understanding of the complex relationship between brands and advertising and be able to evaluate how these are affected by new technology and media
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will:
  • Be able to apply branding concepts and strategies in a dynamic, global, diverse and fragmented media landscape and the ever-increasing significance of social media
  • Be able to explore the complex task of successful branding with regards to the semiotic act of naming a product, authenticity, reassurance, differentiation, the development of its cultural meaning and the transformation of experience
  • Be able to apply knowledge of the branding concept and brand management in the context of the development of global brands
  • Be able to critically evaluate the importance of strong brands to stakeholders
Key Skills:
  • Effective written and oral communication skills
  • Planning, organising and time management skills
  • Problem solving and analytical skills
  • The ability to use initiative
  • Advanced skills in the interpretation of data
  • Advanced computer literacy skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be taught in 3-hour blocks to allow a greater level of engagement with students and to enable a flexibility of approach as appropriate. The teaching blocks will comprise a balanced mix of lecture-type teaching, group work, case studies, discussion and seminar style working such as will enable the learning outcomes to be met.
  • The summative assessment of the module, by individual written assignment and group presentation, is designed to test students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to apply their knowledge and specialist skills in the context of specific issues in stakeholder brand management.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Teaching Blocks 9 1 per week 3 hours 27
Preparation and Reading 123
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment 2500 words 100% same
Component: Group Presentation Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Business Report presentation linked to written assignment 20 minutes 100% Individual presentation

Formative Assessment:

Seminar exercises will be used to give students an opportunity to explore, discuss, critique and apply the key branding concepts, strategies and brand management in practice.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University