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Leading by Branding

Leading by Branding

Code: MGT4LG211
Extent: 5 ECTS (135 h)
Timing: 2nd – 6th semester
Language: English    
Level: Advanced Professional Studies
Type: Elective

Starting level and linkage with other courses

The course has no special starting requirement, and it could be linked to the Master’s thesis.

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, the student is able to

  • Understand and describe branding as a strategic tool for business management, leadership and marketing.
  • Apply problem identification, analysis and solving to branding.
  • Compare brand-related sources and models at an advanced level.
  • Apply branding theories to practical contexts.
  • Develop brand guidelines or a brand manual for his/her organization.
  • Combine branding theories and the student’s own ideas to formulate new models.
  • Understand the significance of research in branding.
  • Apply teamwork and learning skills to knowledge and feedback sharing in social media designed for learning.

Recognising and validating prior learning (RPL)

If you have acquired the required competence in previous work tasks, recreational activities or on another course, you may show your competence with a demonstration and complete your studies faster. More information and instructions about RPL are available at MyNet.

Course contents

Success in business is largely based on skilful brand management. Understanding both the consumer’s everyday life and the corporate customer’s business helps companies to build strong brands that differentiate the market offering from the competitors. The course Leading by Branding provides the students with the knowledge for building strong brands. The course includes four themes:

  • Brand management theory and models
  • Brand identity and brand symbolism
  • Brand communication through storytelling and social media
  • Brand architecture and brand strategy

Cooperation with the business community

Real-life examples from business. The students may share their business experiences in branding and their organization brand management.


The learning materials and practical examples are international.

Teaching and learning methods

The learning approach is a virtual application of problem-based learning (PBL). Practical problems in the business contexts are solved through constructing knowledge in teams.

Students search for information independently and apply theoretical knowledge to practice, sharing their learning in social media designed for learning.

In theme discussion, the main activities may be highlighted as follows:

  • Focusing on the problem and the learning objectives
  • Searching and analyzing information
  • Discussing the topic and building on each other’s comments
  • Applying theory to practical contexts and examples
  • Argumentation and critical thinking
  • Evaluation and sharing feedback

The instructor’s role is to facilitate the learning process. The instructor will participate in the theme discussions with guiding comments or feedback, when necessary, and give one interactive video conference (interactive lecture) both to support the web-based learning process and to discuss some branding topics. The introductory meeting is given in class.

Introductory meeting and interactive video conferences 10 h
Virtual theme discussions  (preparation and participation) 110 h
Writing concept maps and self-assessments 17 h

Assessment components and their respective weights

Virtual theme discussions 75%
Concept maps 25%
Self-assessments Accepted/Failed

Contact teacher

Matti Helelä, Pasila, box 27
Phone and WhatsApp +358 40 488 7073

Assessment criteria

The course is evaluated on scale of 1 to 5 using the following criteria.

Table 1. Assessment Criteria for Leading by Branding







I can fully understand and very clearly describe branding as a strategic tool for business management, leadership and marketing. My real-life examples supporting or challenging the theory are relevant and accurate. I use and combine different brand theories to present my own models. I am aware of other views of the knowledge I present. My use of theory and specific terminology is very accurate.

I explain the big picture in branding so clearly and logically that the others learn a great deal from me. I contemplate my learning process, explaining how the material has affected my thinking. I use the viewpoints of other students to enhance my own thinking and I see the connection between different perspectives.

I always generate new and useful ideas. I question different viewpoints and argue my opinions and ideas very clearly, so that the others understand my perspective. Reasoning is always visible in my talk. I justify my challenges and offer alternative hypotheses. I share my reasoning behind my talk. I can move between different perspectives and try them. If needed, I can adopt another person’s perspective and evaluate it critically. I seriously respond to and further develop what others have said. I put forth and demand knowledge that is accurate and relevant to the issue under discussion. I use evidence appropriate to the topic.


I can understand and clearly describe branding as a strategic tool for business management, leadership and marketing. I present interesting real-life examples to support the brand theory. I use my findings to compare different theories and viewpoints.

I see the connection between brand theory and practice and I can explain it to the others. I explain causes and analyze the contents of my study.

I regularly generate new and useful ideas. I question different perspectives and my argumentation is very logical. I share my perspectives so that the others learn from me. I can come up with different categorizations and compare them effectively. In most cases, I can define relevant problems. My reasoning is mostly very clear and I consider different viewpoints before providing solutions to problems.


I can mostly understand and mostly describe branding as a strategic tool for business management, leadership and marketing. I can describe the relevant brand concepts and apply them to new contexts. I can link the key theoretical concepts to the practical task to present the big picture.

I partly doubt my knowledge and my use of theoretical brand concepts is sometimes defective where deeper knowledge is concerned.

I often generate new ideas and question different viewpoints. My argumentation is mostly logical. I often succeed in making my point clear to the others. I can make logical categorizations and explain them quite clearly. I can often come up with relevant problems and find relevant solutions.


I can partly understand and partly describe branding as a strategic tool for business management, leadership and marketing. I can describe the most relevant brand concepts and partly apply them to new contexts.

I can only partly explain the practical task with the key theoretical brand concepts. I have difficulty explaining my learning to the others.

I sometimes generate new ideas and question other students’ perspectives, showing effort in doing my best. My argumentation is often logical and I try my best to improve it. Sometimes I can come up with logical categorizations and relevant problems.


I can partly understand but only poorly describe branding as a strategic tool for business management, leadership and marketing. I can identity, list and combine the main theoretical brand concepts.

I can only partly describe the brand theory but I have major difficulty in explaining the practical task by using the relevant theoretical concepts.

I sometimes but seldom generate new ideas and question other students’ perspectives. I sometimes ask questions when I don’t understand. My argumentation is often illogical but I show effort in tackling the issue under review. I understand various categorizations and problems when someone else explains them.


I cannot understand or describe branding as a strategic tool for business management, leadership and marketing. I have missed the point of the task. My knowledge rests on intuition. I don’t understand or correctly use the theory or specific terminology.

I sometimes display effort and awareness of the learning objectives but I only partially fulfill the goals.

I fail to generate ideas or argue my opinions and perspectives. My reasoning rests on intuition.