The BRANDS & STORIES specialization

Anyone who wants to carry ideas out into the world, who wants to advertise products and services, who wants to popularize people and their visions, needs to think in terms of brands and stories. Brands can be anything, a technological innovation, a bulk store, an art museum, a mayoral candidate or an environmental movement.

In this specialization you will learn to understand brands in all their complexity. In addition, this specialization does not follow a pure management approach, but is interdisciplinary: economic approaches stand alongside psychological, character-theoretical, sociological and cultural studies approaches. This is the only way to understand why people choose certain brands, why they can develop intense relationships with them and how they influence our culture.

But if you want to work with brands in your later career, it is not enough just to understand them - you have to understand how to strategically develop and communicate them. One of the most powerful forms of communication is storytelling. People don't vote for election campaign slogans, they trust the story of the candidates. Donation appeals for NGOs are also more successful if there is a convincing story behind them - and the most successful product brands usually have successful 'storytellers' in their marketing departments. Therefore, in this specialization, we learn the basics of narratology and how to use them for successful brand strategies.

The role of transformation also is a very important part in this specialization: How markets can be transformed with brands - but also, how brands must be transformed when their environment changes: Sometimes brands come under attack because trends change and new values gain in importance or other narratives become popular. In those cases, it is important to develop transformation competence and reinvent brands consistently.

Lena Manz

Lena Manz, Management (M.A.)

"BRAND is the best fit for me as it builds up perfectly and makes me look at apparently 'familiar' topics from new perspectives."