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Strategic Brand Consulting

Nadia Tuma

The environment in which brands communicate with consumers is changing, and changing quickly. Corporations are increasingly hiring agencies to help them better understand how to delight their customers. Agencies, in turn, need to develop processes and strategies to stay relevant in this changing environment. This course will take the theory of brand and make it real by solving meaty brand challenges facing a variety of industries today. How do we move from the theoretical to the practical? We will examine such fundamentals as brand positioning, brand activation and research methods, and move on to innovation, strategy, storytelling and other specialized skills. Students will complete this course with a set of tools that can be used to tackle real-world brand issues applicable across a range of professions.

 

 

 

Brand Physics

Elizabeth Talerman

Brands live within the context of culture, competition and the swirl of daily life.  Like a lighthouse, a brand should be a beacon that shines with meaning, and by which people navigate. Ensuring a brand a brand stands out and stands firm is essential for its relevance and success. This becomes possible when a brand is anchored by a brief; a set of tools, guidelines and instructions that provide all those who will steward it with a unified understanding.

 

Over the course of our first 7 weeks students will learn how to develop a brand brief by building the tools that establish meaning and unify understanding. Students will hone their skills in pattern recognition and learn to isolate critical observations and their business implications. They will learn the art and science of evidence-based insight development through qualitative and quantitative research design methods. And they will gain a greater understanding of etymology and storytelling to create emotionally connective and meaningful brand tools.

 

 

In the subsequent 8 weeks, students will apply all of these skills as we work with a real, commercial client who provides us with a brand challenge to solve. 

 

 

 

 

Cause Branding & Marketing

Cliff Sloan

Every brand has a story to tell about its mission, its character and its achievements: a story that defines, humanizes and differentiates. Expressed well, these stories engage, influence and prompt devoted and knowledgeable “brand ambassadors” to take important action. In this course, students will examine and investigate how to tell brand stories with a purpose, in an effort to advance the strategic goals of philanthropies and companies “doing good” through smart, contemporary and effective cause marketing, communications and strategic partnerships.

 

 

Visual Systems

Ken Carbone

A visual system needs to be strong for a company to conquer new territory, and this understanding is the first step for the potential growth of a brand beyond its core offering. Once a brand is “loved” for delivering on its brand promise, it is rewarded with a loyal and dedicated customer base and is now ideally positioned to explore new market opportunities. Great brands such as Harley-Davidson, Starbucks and Virgin Atlantic are companies that have expanded well beyond their initial product or service offering, and enhanced their status in consumers’ lives. In this course, we will look at how to take a strong brand and expand it. Students will study the branding of their chosen company, and explain how it is unified in its vision, what its simple message is and how it amplifies its brand though a reinforced visual system. With this foundation, students will create a “pitch presentation” for how the brand can be expanded into an exciting new line of business.

 

 

Practices in Design and Market Research

Dan Formosa

Brands have historically relied heavily on marketing techniques to help establish and strengthen their presence. That is changing quickly, as instant global communication and various forms of social networking have replaced the need for consumers to rely on brands for confidence in a purchase. In this project-based course, students will learn how to create a research plan, find participants, and integrate research methods in the context of a specific branding project. Some of the topics explored will be qualitative, quantitative, online and ethnographic interview techniques, video and photo documentary, immersion, participant-aided data gathering, prototype assisted observation, methods for organizing data, finding patterns and distilling insights that lead to actionable and inspiring design directives. We will also explore the differences between market research and design research, and understand the goals and appropriateness of each.

 

 

 

Analysis, Insight and Forecasting

Sem Devillart

Cultural change is neither unpredictable nor random. The seeds of the next are buried in the now, in the psyche of the individual and in the collective mind called “culture.” In this course, students will learn to read deeply and carefully the cultural signs that surround them in order to recognize underlying patterns and learn to translate these patterns into actionable human and cultural insights, valuable throughout the lifecycle of any product or brand. We will also explore how to leverage trend analysis to forecast paradigmatic shifts in human behavior and culture as well as in the marketplace. Students will complete the course with the means to identify and leverage the patterns underlying the most powerful and beloved cultural artifacts and brands

 

 

Brand Planning: Inside the Ad Agency

Gemma Gambee

 

The luxury market is in conversation with a clever, dynamic and exciting customer.  One of the ways we communicate to the marketplace is through visual language. Identifying the patterns and symbols in our culture gives us the ability to project the possibilities and probabilities of the future visual dialogue. Developing the sensitivities, perspectives and skills to forecast the shifting desires and language of this target market is attainable. The main objective of this class will be to learn how to read the symbols and patterns to speak to the future desires of the luxury customer. 

 

 

Brand Valuation

Andrew Miller & Andrea Sullivan

Winning significant branding assignments from noteworthy companies is an art and a science – one that requires intelligence, collaboration and the ability to connect on a human level. In a short span of time, potential agency partners need to understand the challenge quickly and find ways to demonstrate distinct value to a client. In this class, multidisciplinary teams will learn to identify a powerful customer insight that can grow a client’s business. Using strategic frameworks to frame a smart point of view, each team will develop and present a pitch to evolve a well-known brand that faces many challenges. Final presentations will be delivered as an engaging and creative experience to industry leaders.  

 

  

 

A Brand Called You

Debbie Millman

The good news: We are now living in what Businessweek has called a “creative economy.” The bad news: More than ever before, design will be called upon to deliver a return on investment and measured performance in the marketplace. How can you truly quantify your talent and develop strategic and competitive intelligence? How can you quantify meaningful differentiation in a world already filled with branding firms, creative strategists and brand gurus?

 

This course will address: How to create a meaningful philosophy that can guide your career; how to present yourself in meetings and interviews; how to network and standout from your competition; how to create discipline in your approach to work, and how to sell yourself with more confidence.

Brands live within the context of culture, competition and the
swirl of daily life.  Like a lighthouse, a brand should be a beacon
that shines with meaning, and by which people navigate. 

Ensuring a brand a brand stands out and stands firm is essential
for its relevance and success.  This becomes possible when a
brand is anchored by a brief; a set of tools, guidelines and instructions
that provide all those who will steward it with a unified understanding.

 

Over the course of our first 7 weeks students will learn how to develop a brand brief by building the tools that establish meaning and unify understanding.  Students will hone their skills in pattern recognition and learn to isolate critical observations and their business implications.  They will learn the art and science of evidence-based insight development through qualitative and quantitative research design methods.  And they will gain a greater understanding of etymology and storytelling to create emotionally connective and meaningful brand tools.

 

In the subsequent 8 weeks, students will apply all of these skills as we work with a real, commercial client who provides us with a brand challenge to solve. 

The luxury market is in conversation with a clever, dynamic and exciting customer.  One of the ways we communicate to the marketplace is through visual language. Identifying the patterns and symbols in our culture gives us the ability to project the possibilities and probabilities of the future visual dialogue. Developing the sensitivities, perspectives and skills to forecast the shifting desires and language of this target market is attainable. The main objective of this class will be to learn how to read the symbols and patterns to speak to the future desires of the luxury customer.

The curriculum for The Masters in Branding Program allows students to create frameworks to guide brand, design and business development, critically evaluate brand, business, marketing and design strategies and Master the intellectual link between leadership and creativity. Learn more...

 

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Debbie Millman
Chair, Co-founder

 

Mark Dudlik

Director of Operations,

Graduate Advisor

 

J'aime Cohen
Program Coordinator

  

Emily Weiland

Studio Manager

 

Steven Heller
Co-founder, Faculty Advisor