Branding + Different - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Branding + Different

Course Number 1925

Senior Lecturer Jill Avery
(with a module by Professor Youngme Moon)
Winter; Q3; 1.5 credits
14 sessions


To be eligible for the lottery for this course, students must have completed the fall term course Consumer Marketing.

If students would like to apply for an exception to this prerequisite, they must do so by submitting a formal request to Professor Jill Avery (in writing) by January 1. Exceptions will be granted at the discretion of the faculty. Note that the granting of an exception does not guarantee a seat in the course; it simply grants eligibility into the lottery for the course through the January Add/Drop process.

Students who have taken Consumer Marketing are automatically eligible for the lottery and therefore do not need to contact the faculty.

Career Focus

This course is designed for students who plan to work in firms that market to consumers or who plan to work in roles that require a keen understanding of the issues associated with B2C marketing and strategy (e.g., consulting, etc.).

Course Content and Organization

This course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of brand management and how brands and the stories that define them are crafted and communicated to consumers. The fragmentation of mass media, the proliferation of alternative ways to reach consumers, the increasing skepticism of consumers to marketers' messages, and the increasing desire of consumers to co-create the meaning of the brands that shape their lives have forced marketers to reconsider the ways in which they build and communicate their brands. This course takes a contemporary view of branding as a collaborative process of meaning making between firms, consumers, and other cultural producers, and explores concepts associated with brand storytelling, open source branding, branding in social media, and brand communities.

This 14-session course will primarily be taught by Professor Jill Avery; however, one portion of the course will be taught by Professor Youngme Moon, who will deliver a 6-session module (called "Different") that will explore unconventional ways to think about brand differentiation.