Strategic Brand Management Course

Concepts and tools essential for performing the role of a brand manager in a dynamic and competitive market. Coordinating marketing activities to achieve a profitable and sustainable market position of the brand.

Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eunkyu Lee. I’m a marketing professor at the Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University. I have been teaching marketing at Syracuse University since year 2000. Before that, I also taught marketing at Seattle University and University of British Columbia. I got my graduate degrees from Duke University, which gives me some interesting dilemma these days, because Syracuse and Duke are in the same athletic conference, ACC, and I’m a basketball fan. So each time there is a basketball match between these two schools, I pay a lot of attention. I enjoy watching the game, but also, I have this psychological dilemma—I cannot help it. I am married to a beautiful wife, Yeun, and I have three children in their 20s. I was born and raised in South Korea. But I came to Duke to get my PhD and MBA there.

Now, this course is strategic brand management. And I love teaching this course. This is a really interesting course, and I hope you will enjoy taking this course as much as I enjoy teaching this course. One thing I have to clarify at the beginning of this course is this—that this is strategic brand management, not branding. Branding is a specialized area in marketing. Mainly, it is about the symbolic component of a corporation or product, perhaps the brand name, the brand logo, or some sort of symbolic aspect of a product, trademark. There are legal issues, there are communication issues, there are even financial issues of how to assess the value of a brand, and so on. Very important issues in marketing, but that is a highly specialized area in marketing. In contrast, in this course, we’ll deal with strategic brand management. We will look at marketing from a typical brand manager, or product manager’s point of view. And in the corporate world, brand managers and product managers—these people take pretty much a full ownership of a product or a brand within the company. They are, in a sense, a CEO of that brand. They develop strategies, they implement strategies, comprehensive strategies—not just a logo or name—but the pricing, how to advertise, how to promote, how to distribute, how to develop new products. On top of that, brand managers—product managers—they always monitor the marketplace to identify opportunities for launching new brands.

So at the beginning of this course, we will take a typical point of view of a brand manager, and try to build on some essential conceptual skills and also essential analytical skills necessary to effectively manage a brand. And then, once you become fairly proficient with that, we’ll move on to the second phase of this course, where I will challenge you to broaden and heighten your perspective—typically, from a viewpoint of a marketing director or vice president of marketing in a typical corporation—and see the brand portfolio, the multiple brands at the same time in more long-term strategic perspectives.

Now, the emphasis in this course is not so much of learning new concepts or principles. And there’s no textbook here for that reason. Instead, I really intend to help you develop actual abilities that are fundamental to successful brand management. Because of that, besides a series of lectures, you will be engaged in a variety of very active learning exercises. One important component of that is computer simulation game called Markstrat. Soon, you will be assigned to a brand management team representing a multimillion dollar company. And you’ll be actually managing this company in competition with other student groups. If you want to get a good grade, show me the money. Make a lot of money, and apply the concepts and tools that you will learn from this course. And you will enjoy witnessing how these principles and the tools actually work in the real world. As realistic as this simulation may be, also, I’ll try to augment your understanding of a variety of different situations of brand management by bringing a lot of case study opportunities. And through that, you’ll have an opportunity to really understand not only the basic principles of brand management, but also see how the fundamental—the same principles—can be applied to a diverse set of different market situations, and how brand management can have so many different appearances and faces. I really look forward to working with you throughout this course.