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Building Brands and Influencing Behaviour

Steven Forbes, founder of Forbes magazine, once stated “Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business” as it persuades customers to pay more, purchase more frequently, and retain their loyalty. In short, branding is at the heart of each organisation. In this three-week course you will learn how to build a brand strategy from the ground up, and apply relevant academic theories straightaway to practice, while working with a real client. This programme combines academic insights with experiential know-how to understand the dynamics of branding and how it influences behaviour.

  • Programme at a glance
    Mode of instruction: On-campus (3 weeks) 
    Academic dates: Sunday 2 July - Thursday 20 July 2023 
    Housing dates: Friday 30  June - Monday 24 July 2023 
    Academic fees: €1675 read more about what is included in the fees.
    Housing fees:

    €685 and a €75 refundable deposit. Housing is optional, and different types of rooms are available at different prices. Room types and prices will be noted in an offer of admission. Read more about university-organised accomodation.

    Credits: 6 European Credits. Read more about credits and credit transfer.  
    Early admission deadline: Wednesday 1 February 2023. Admissions are processed throughout the year on a rolling basis. 
    Final admission deadline: Wednesday March 15 2023
    Who is this programme for?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For current university students (3rd and 4th year Bachelors and Masters) with an interest in branding, marketing, and business. For working professionals in the field of marketing, design or public relations that aim to broaden their skillset, and for future entrepreneurs that want to gain a competitive edge in business through a well-defined brand strategy.
  • Programme description

    In this three-week summer programme, we examine what factors create a winning brand, analyze the strategies behind it, and learn how to build a winning brand strategy yourself.

    The course is set up for students to learn both the theory and practice of branding. All concepts are accompanied by real-life examples and supported by various exercises. Also, we will be joined by a variety of expert guest speakers who will share lessons learned in the field. In the past, these included the brand managers of ING, Philips, and Interbrand, but vary every year. As the programme progresses, participants will dive deeper into the various aspects of brand strategy. From brand definition, consumer research, competitive positioning and differentiation, to brand values, identity design and the brand experience.

    Throughout the course, students will work both on individual brand analyses in pace with what they learn in the lectures and guest sessions, and go deeper into applying their newfound knowledge in small workshops. Participants will work on creating deliverables from brand questionnaires to, a (digital) assessment of the brand/company, building a brand strategy and recommending how to bring the brand to ‘life’, culminating in final presentations on the brand of their choice. 
    The final, individual (take-home) assignment is optional (but mandatory for students seeking academic credit) and consists of a paper in which the participant will analyze and critique a brand of their choosing. This is an opportunity to apply the theory from the course and demonstrate your ability to explore and analyse a sub-topic, such as brand architecture, nudging, or verbal identity.

    The aim of this course is to provide students with a new perspective on brands and branding, while challenging them to ‘think on their feet’ as a true brand strategist.

  • Academic director

    Guido van Garderen (MSc at UvA; MPA at Harvard) is currently pursuing a PhD in marketing at the University of Cape Town and is based in Amsterdam. His research examines how a well-defined brand strategy helps destinations attract talent, trade, tourists and investment, thereby gaining an economic competitive advantage. As a former Strategy Director at the Global brand consultancy Interbrand, he combines best practice examples with the latest academic insights, to develop an understanding of key analytical frameworks and tools, that are essential for a winning brand strategy.

  • Explore our community

    Want to get to know more about studying in Amsterdam? Follow us on social media and join our summer community. Get a feel for our summer school vibe and our academic and social community, and learn about studying with us through the eyes of past summer school students. 

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Facts & Figures
6 ECTS, 3 weeks
Language of instruction
Conditions for admission
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