MSc in Strategic Brand Management

MSc in Strategic Brand Management

Branding has evolved from being viewed as a luxury to being mission-critical for many businesses, organizations and government departments. A successful and well-managed brand is key to standing out in a crowded marketplace, with many of the world’s most successful companies also boasting successful brands. Equally, the responsibilities of branding professionals extend far beyond traditional brand management and messaging; they are the first to respond to many questions and challenges that businesses face, especially during this time of unprecedented global change. Such work requires both holistic knowledge of operations and data science as well as a comprehensive understanding of the business for which these professionals are responsible. Branding is central to the strategic management and advancement of any business or nongovernmental organization. AUP’s MSc in Strategic Brand Management is designed to prepare you for this world of branding.

    • 48
      Credits
    • Three/Four
      Semesters
    • Full-time
      Attendance

This is No Ordinary Branding Degree

Branding is critical to decision-making processes for businesses, organizations and NGOs. The MSc in Strategic Brand Management at The American University of Paris prepares you to influence your employer’s strategic direction in roles such as CMO, brand consultant, managing partner – or even founder.

You’ll learn to use branding as a core strategic tool, placing it at the center of business development processes and using it to drive growth. You’ll also learn to balance these management strategies with the evolving economic and ethical demands of consumers, while critically analyzing how brands engage with diverse issues such as global inequality, sustainability and racial justice.

Through workshops and masterclasses led by a range of branding sector professionals, you’ll gain first-hand insight in using branding as a tool for business development, data management and corporate identity. Case studies extend beyond products and services, covering the brand identities of cities or nations and branding for international development.

Topics include:

  • Branding: You will receive tools and strategies for building, measuring and managing a brand, with a focus on both direct and indirect measures of brand equity.
  • Management: You will be able to apply management theory in real-life contexts and use branding to develop solutions to complex management problems.
  • Business Development: You will be equipped with the theory needed to use branding to advance business growth and development.
  • Marketing: You will develop an understanding of the current challenges facing marketers around the globe and be able to create a global marketing strategy that addresses such issues.
  • Data science: You will develop the knowledge needed to explore the interface between technology and branding.
  • Strategy: You will examine strategy in terms of cultural, international and organizational elements given specific sustainability and mission-based frameworks.

The post-Covid era will be an unprecedented global exercise in restructuring businesses to face new challenges. Branding will play a key role in responding to changing consumer demand and meeting the needs of professionals reassessing their career plans. The MSc in Strategic Brand Management puts you at the center of a world redefining itself to appeal to the widest possible audience. It provides you with the tools you will need to identify new experiences and succeed in an international business-oriented environment where branding is at the heart of everything.

Program Highlights
Liberal Arts and Practical Application

  • Branding Practicum: The practicum allows you to apply strategic branding principles to the creation of an international brand in a category of your choice. You will analyze your chosen industry, create a brand proposition and identity from scratch, and develop a global marketing strategy to launch your brand on international markets.
  • Place Branding: Focusing on place branding’s role in destination marketing, civil society development, public and political diplomacy and social and environmental sustainability, the place branding course includes a Cultural Program study trip to Iceland, where you will meet local brand managers and place promoters while studying their campaigns.

Four Reasons to Study Brand Management in a Liberal Arts Context

  1. A differentiating skillset: A liberal arts education provides you with invaluable soft skills that differentiate you from your competitors in key areas such as collaborating across departments, communicating in a team setting, offering creative solutions, challenging conventional thinking and adapting to changes in an industry.
  2. A problem-solver mindset: The liberal arts also expose you to a myriad of academic disciplines and intellectual methods – among others management, communications, branding, business, data science – which enable a critical thinking mindset leading to problem solving, personal growth and social progress.
  3. Lasting connections: Your professors get to know your strengths, challenges and passions. They provide mentorship in a way faculty at larger institutions can’t always offer due to the sheer volume of students.
  4. An environment conducive to learning: Class sizes of 15 students, rather than massive lecture halls of over 200 peers, mean you will benefit from an intimate, interactive teaching environment.

Program Content
Courses and Learning Outcomes

The program provides a core of branding, marketing, business and management courses that focus on providing you with the theoretical base and practical application needed to lead today’s global brands. With this core knowledge you will progress onto three modules and two electives that will help you apply what you’ve learned in practical contexts and further deepen your understanding of strategic brand management. Electives include subjects such as data science, human resources and sustainability management. In addition, you will complete an internship or thesis on a topic of interest that you select.

Core Courses: 

CM5002 Brands And Belief

This course examines the evolution of critical advertising and brand analysis with a particular emphasis on learning how people come to identify with and believe in brands. It includes an analysis of how brands work as systems for producing differences between themselves by creating imaginary possible worlds associated with brands. Students learn tools of semiotic and linguistic analysis in analyzing brands and how they relate to each other. Each student completes a communications audit of a brand examining all aspects of its communicative strategies from package design to employee behavior, clothing, architecture, and shop design. The course will also examine how branding now has extended beyond consumer brands to such areas as NGOs and politics (political parties as brands and politicians as brands).

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CM5091 Topics In Global Communication

Topics change each semester- see the current Academic Schedule for current course descriptions.

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CM5022 Place Branding

The course focuses on place branding and its role in destination marketing, civil society development, public and political diplomacy and social and environmental sustainability. Topics include: travel and globalization; branding and competitive identity; heritage, memory and ecological tourism; mediated travel involving photography, mobile phones, social media; media and cinema inspired travel; food cultures; and the drive to experience and communicate "other spaces."

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CM5066 Branding Practicum

Brands, their creation, their identity and their management derive from a set of disciplines and principles that have been developed over the past 60 years. These disciplines are the architectural underpinnings for successful branding and they apply equally across categories of products and services and geographically across countries. The Branding Practicum will instruct students in these disciplines and principles and ask students to apply them to the creation of a new international brand in a category of their choice. Students will analyze a chosen category, create a new brand proposition for it, develop the branding identity for the new brand including name, logo, selling proposition and more. They will also create a global marketing strategy for the brand.

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BA5041 Marketing Strategy

This course examines concepts and strategies used in international marketing. Provides an overview of the current/ongoing issues and challenges facing marketers around the globe. The objective is to acquire a better understanding of the marketing challenges facing international and global firms and to analyze the tools and strategies that these companies use to mitigate these issues and challenges.

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BA5062 Management Of Complexity

This course explores and elaborates on complexity and emergence in the context of contemporary management and the practices of managing. The course engages students with advanced interdisciplinary ‘Management of Complexity’ themes in strategy, organizational behavior and leadership. In this theory and case-driven course, students examine the management of complexity in terms of specific cultural and organizational contexts and management frameworks.May be taken twice for credit.

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BA5071 Strategic Management

The course engages students with advanced themes in international management strategy, both in theory and in practice. Students will take a critical approach to understand how theory influences practice and how our perceptions of strategy evolve over time and circumstance. Furthermore, students will examine strategy in terms of specific cultural, international and organizational elements given specific sustainability and mission-based frameworks.

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BA5001 Accounting And Management Control

Overview of management control, managerial accounting, as well as financial and performance reporting, management by exception, balanced scorecard, cost accounting, etc. Takes a critical approach to using accounting and performance management tools in managerial decision making. The course focuses on how conventional management tools can inform decision-making, and how to consider financial, strategic, and ethical mitigating factors in more ambiguous and nuanced contexts.

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OR
BA5035 International Financial Management

The course will focus on the international and multinational aspects of Corporate Finance decision-making in the context of global financial markets and capital formation.

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EXPLORE THE FULL PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

 

Learning Outcomes: Brand-Oriented Solutions to Strategic Problems

The program will provide you with skills and perspectives relevant to a brand management role in a wide range of companies and organizations operating in local or global markets:

  • You will demonstrate critical thinking and the application of core competencies in business decisions in a global environment.
  • You will obtain a global perspective and be able to evaluate brand opportunities and challenges in the ever‐changing context of an internationally operated business.
  • You will be able to work in multicultural teams and demonstrate cross‐cultural sensitivity.
  • You will learn to communicate convincingly about brands based on data and conceptual frameworks, both in writing and orally.
  • You will learn how to analyze organizational strategy and its implementation particularly in relation to branding.
  • You will be able to evaluate major branding concepts and apply strategic analysis techniques.
  • You will be able to use branding to develop solutions to complex management problems.
  • You will be able to undertake a branding audit and develop rebranding plans and brand implementation.

Paris: At the Center of Innovation and Global Discourse

Paris is itself a brand. The narrative surrounding the City of Light draws over 30 million tourists a year. It’s not only museums and monuments that draw the crowds – the Parisian brand is cultural and creative, with companies in fashion, gastronomy and the arts drawing on the city’s prestige. Large-scale events, from Paris Fashion Week to the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics, add to the ample opportunities to witness brand management in action.

Paris is also being rebranded as more accessible, sustainable and forward-thinking. Not only will you study strategic brand management, you’ll see its varied impacts throughout daily life – as an ever-changing city adapts its image to the wants and needs of its citizens.

Paris is also a professional center of innovation for both corporate and institutional branding – as much a hub for NGOs and international organizations as it is for innovative startups. President Macron’s commitment to French startup culture is backed by a pledge of 7 billion euros. Throughout the program, you’ll have multiple chances to build a professional network – both in Paris and internationally.

Careers: Creative Thinking Leads to Action

Are you eager to work in an international team, seeking out new professional experiences within your field while putting your skills and expertise to good use? AUP’s MSc in Strategic Brand Management focuses on the techniques necessary to establish yourself in an international career. You’ll learn how to translate creative thinking into concrete strategies for growing a business, organizing teams and recruiting the best employees, equipping you for roles such as:

  • Chief Marketing Officer
  • Brand Consultant
  • Advertising Executive
  • Managing Partner
  • Entrepreneur
  • Communications Officer

Over 15% of all AUP alumni work in fields related to the global branding industry.