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This site is currently under construction. We are, however, pleased to say that the SMU 102 Digital Copywriting Unit is now open. We've also added Marketing Principles and an Intro to Public Relations. Our Content Marketing Unit is currently in development.

Branding is the foundation of everything we do in telling the stories about our products, our services and the experiences that we offer. Everything we do connects back to branding. This one point is so important...we're going to say it again: everything marketers do comes back to branding. 

Which explains why we begin with the concept of branding - what it is, what it isn't and how we develop it and how we use storytelling to convey it to our audience.

This course introduces you to the concept and different aspects of branding. The aim of this course is to provide you with a hands-on, practical toolkit for you to develop your brand...and communicate you're brands values and unique selling points (USPs) more effectively.

The content of this course has been adapted from a peer-reviewed module taught at Falmouth University at undergraduate, postgraduate as well as external career and professional development level. To gain the best experience, we invite you to view and approach this as a course.


Building and managing a successful brand is one of the key business drivers today. At the heart of any effective brand strategy is attaining the ability to develop brand vision and insight to engage a target audience. This understanding, in turn, develops a strategic approach to designing an integrated marketing plan - embedding quality and excellence at every stage of a brand communication. Great brand plans communicate how a brand will be built and protected.

Creating a brand plan may seem like an overwhelming task. By breaking each component of a brand plan into bite size chunks of study, learners will be able to identify the important components and elements of their own brand - in preparation for writing an effective brand plan at the end of the module. Individuals will learn leading-edge brand concepts, enabling them to bring new ideas and skills back to their own company, business, organization or service.

This course will be especially useful for individuals preparing a brand plan for the first time, or are reviewing the effectiveness of their current plans. It is also invaluable for senior managers who have to evaluate the brand plans submitted to them by marketing specialists.

Learning outcomes

  • Define the tangible and intangible components and elements of a brand that influence consumer perceptions.
  • Developing a market and brand positioning analysis.
  • Define who your audience is and its tribes:  who they are, where they live, what they do and what they care about.
  • Generate ideas for and approaches to strategic brand storytelling.
  • Generate ideas for and approaches to establishing an emotional connection with an audience.
  • Develop and write an insightful strategic brand plan.

Course content

  • The principles of branding, brand benefits and components.
  • The principles of brand strategy and brand planning.
  • How to generate ideas for brand strategy including the contents of the brand positioning statement.
  • The role of marketing communications.
  • Planning and evaluating the performance of the brand.
  • The principles of being a responsive brand.
  • The principles of brand reputation management.
  • The principles behind creating a 'Living Brand'.

How this course is organized


This course is made up of a number of sessions. Think of sessions as building blocks of knowledge. Each session addresses one key theme, with a set of sub-themes that link back to the main session subject. Each session builds upon the knowledge gained from the previous sessions within the course.

It is important that you don't skip between units. Units need to be studied in the order they have been provided.

Session Overview

Each session has an Overview. The overview bullet gives you the learning aims and outcomes for that session. The overview also puts each session into a specific context. In other words, it's here that we tell you what you need to learn, the reason for it and how it applies to the overall branding process.

Session Preparation Activities

Each session will have preparatory activities that need to be done before you listen to the lecture.
It's a successful approach we've carried over from the campus-based courses we teach. The preparatory activities introduce basic aspects of that session's theme. Building a foundation-level understanding of the lecture's theme makes for a shorter lecture - and a more informed lecture. You'll find that you will get much more out of the lectures by doing the preliminary reading and/or watching a series of short videos.

Session Lectures

Each session has a lecture for you to listen to. The lectures formally cover the main theme of the session.

Session Scenarios

Branding is a creative activity. It involves imagination and abstract thought. The purpose of scenarios is to help support your creative approach to the various elements and components of your brand developed within each session. In essence, they are a reflective activity. Reflection helps us assess and evaluate what we do and why we do it - our approaches to things.  Reflection also helps us understand our strengths and our weaknesses - areas where we perhaps need to do some further study or adopt a different approach. Without reflection, it is almost impossible for actual "learning" to occur.

There's a famous chap in education by the name of John Dewey.  He has a famous quote: "We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience."  That's the essence of the scenario activities provided in each session.

Doing the scenarios prepares you for...

Session Templates

Templates have been provided in each session for you to formally engage with a specific aspect of your brand. This could be identifying your audience, identifying what key messages you want to communicate, the tools you will use for communicating with your audience, tone of voice, etc.

Templates are the final formal stage in each session. These are literally your takeaways from each study session. Each is specifically focused on a precise area of your brand and/or brand strategy.

Session Reading Room

Each session has a Reading Room. Each reading room contains additional reading to further and deepen your understanding of each session's theme. The reading isn't mandatory. However, we do recommend investing some time in engaging with the reading. We've trawled the internet over the years of teaching this material - and we have found some of the best books, articles and whitepapers on the various aspects of branding...and they're here for free.

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