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Brand Management


Visconti L. M.

Docente titolare del corso



The Course targets students interested in developing theoretical and practical understanding of brand management from a company’s perspective. As such, it represents an ideal complement for students having attended the research seminar “Consumers and Brands” (Bachelor level), where brands are instead analysed from the perspective of end-users.


Participants will learn two radically distinct approaches to branding. First, a product-plus approach that considers brands as add-ons to products/services/ experiences. Second, a holistic brand approach, which instead considers brands as the cornerstone of a company’s marketing strategy and as its most valuable asset.


This Course aims at:

  1. Developing multidisciplinary and multi-epistemological understanding of processes behind brand management and consumer interaction with brands.
  2. Improving students’ ability in designing and fostering brand recognition (brand morphology), brand essence (brand axiology), and brand narratives (brand storytelling).
  3. Complementing theoretical understanding of branding with in-field practical experience.



The Course is organized as follows:



Class 1   A brief history of brands



Class 2   A hierarchy of brand effects

Class 3   Socio-affective effects of brands

Class 4   First in-class tutorship

Class 5   Financial effects of brands



Class 6   Brand morphology: Primary brand elements

Class 7   Brand morphology: Secondary brand elements

Class 8   Brand morphology: The stylistic repertory

Class 9   Second in-class tutorship

Class 10 Brand axiology: The brand contract

Class 11 Brand axiology: Brand ideologies

Class 12 Brand narratology: Functions and effects of brand storytelling

Class 13 Brand narratology: Designing effective brand stories

Class 14 Final presentations



Assessment is based on both an individual written exam (50% of the final grade) and group assignments (50%).


Detailed evaluation criteria are set at the beginning of the course.

Peer evaluation will be granted upon request.




  • Aaker, Jennifer (1997), Dimensions of brand personality, Journal of Marketing Research, XXXIV, 347-356.
  • Aggarwal, Pankaj and Ann L. McGill (2012), When brands seem human, do humans act like brands? Automatic behaviornal priming effects of brand anthropomorphism, Journal of Consumer Research, 39, 307-323.
  • Arvidsson, Adam and Alessandro Caliandro (2016), Brand public, Journal of Consumer Research, 42, 727-748.
  • Borghini, Stefania et al. (2009), Why are themed brandstores so powerful? Retail brand ideology at American Girl place, Journal of Retailing, 85(3), 363-375.
  • Diamond, Nina et al. (2009), American Girl and the brand gestalt: Closing the loop on sociocultural branding research, Journal of Marketing, 73, 118-134.
  • Epley, Nicholas, Adam Waytz, and John T. Cacioppo (2007), On seeing human: A three-factor theory of anthropomorphism, Psychological Review, 114(4), 864-886.
  • Holt, Douglas B. and Douglas Cameron (2012), Triumph of a better ideology, Market Leader, 1, 24-27.
  • Muniz, Albert M. Jr. and Thomas C. O’Guinn (2001), Brand community, Journal of Consumer Research, 27, 412-432.
  • Van Laer, Tom et al. (2014), The extended transportation-imagery model: A meta-analysis of the antecedents and consequences of consumers’ narrative transportation, Journal of Consumer Research, 40(5), 797-817.
  • Van Laer, Tom, Luca M. Visconti, and Stephanie Feiereisen, Need for narrative, Journal of Marketing Management, forthcoming.


  • Keller, Kevin L. (2012), Strategic Brand Management, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, fourth edition, chapters 1; 2; 3; 4; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11.
  • Visconti, Luca M. (forthcoming), Communicating luxury brands through stories,” in Felicitas Morhart, Sandor Czellar, and Keith Wilcox (eds.), Research Handbook on Luxury Branding, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.


    Suggested book

  • Holt, Douglas B. (2012), How Brands Become Icons, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, chapters 1 and 2.

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