Strategies that Build Winning Brands

Creating a distinct customer advantage

This program is also offered in Spanish. View the program page in Spanish.

In a hyper-connected world with so much noise and competition, effective branding and marketing are more important than ever. In this environment, many struggle to grow while new, founder-led brands capture momentum. As a leader, how do you find growth and long-term profitability? By building a winning brand that offers a distinct customer advantage.

In this highly-interactive 6-week online experience, the brand experts at Kellogg provide engaging activities in every module that allow you to put the concepts you learn into practice right away. You’ll benefit from their real-world experience with global brands, their proprietary frameworks, and case studies that you won’t find elsewhere.

Incentives available for groups and teams of four or more attending open enrollment programs. Learn more

Online Programs

Timothy Calkins / Academic Director

Who Should Attend

  • Brand managers and directors
  • Marketing, communication and creative leaders
  • Brand ambassadors such as Customer Experience managers
  • Growth and strategy leaders, including consultants
  • Branding agency executives and teams
  • General managers
  • Founders/Entrepreneurs

Key Benefits

  • Learn to develop your brand’s positioning, character and purpose
  • Discover different approaches for evaluating the health of your brand
  • Understand how to make smart brand portfolio decisions and manage growth
  • Create a powerful marketing plan for a real-world application
  • Determine how to drive growth and defend against competitive attacks using a financial risk assessment tool

Program Content

Module 1: The Power and Challenge of Branding

  • Understand what we mean by “brands” and how they add value
  • Distinguish how brands can both help and hurt a product’s proposition
  • Demonstrate the importance of building customer advantage

Module 2: Defining Your Brand: Targeting, Positioning, Character and Purpose

  • Assess the risks and benefits of designing products and services to appeal to everyone in a heterogeneous market vs. a hyper-targeted one
  • Apply the rules for picking a smart target market
  • Construct a positioning statement which captures a winning brand positioning
  • Determine whether a cause- or purpose-driven marketing approach could add a tailwind to the positioning

Module 3: Bringing Your Brand to Life: Brand Design and Touch Points

  • Develop personas to gain clarity on who your target customers are
  • Construct a meaningful customer journey for a product category and identify crucial touch points

Module 4: Building a Strong Brand Portfolio

  • Learn how to manage a brand portfolio together as a system and best practices for portfolio management
  • Examine the different options available when building a portfolio
  • Analyze whether you should launch a new brand or do a brand extension

Module 5: Managing Your Brands

  • Learn different methods for assessing brand health
  • Recognize the shortcomings of legacy brand tracking measures for measuring brand association networks
  • Apply the Awareness/Liking/Share model of Brand Tracking to diagnose key brand challenges and potential strategic solutions
  • Create a powerful and concise one page marketing plan that will garner support from management

Module 6: Brand Strategy Growth and Defense

  • Explain why most businesses have to grow to stay healthy
  • Construct a strategically-designed brand or line extension
  • Evaluate growth opportunities from both broadening a brand and tightening its focus
  • Analyze competitive threats and determine if and/or how you need to defend your brand
  • Create a strategic defense plan


Timothy Calkins - Academic Director; Clinical Professor of Marketing; Associate Chair of the Marketing Department

Julie Hennessy - Academic Director; Clinical Professor of Marketing


What is the program about?

Strategies that Build Winning Brands takes a hands-on approach to learning how to build brands that offer a distinct customer advantage. The brand experts at Kellogg will share their real-world experience with global brands, proprietary frameworks and case studies you won’t find elsewhere, and lead you through engaging activities that allow you to put the concepts you learn into practice right away.

Is this program applicable to both B2C and B2B marketers?

Although B2B marketers will benefit greatly from the brand development content of this program, many (but not all) of the cases and examples feature B2C companies. Overall, this program is designed for managers in any type of organization who are responsible for traditional branding initiatives. It’s also appropriate for any manager or executive who contributes to the organization’s growth initiatives – whether your role is in managing customer experience touchpoints, supply chain, distribution channels, or general management, you can benefit from learning about the critical role that brands play in driving profitable, long-term growth.

What is the learning experience?

Your learning experience will consist of frameworks delivered via video lectures, live webinars, real world examples and case studies, application of frameworks through weekly activities, customized assignments and quizzes, discussion boards, and faculty engagement.

What is the program format?

The program consists of 6 modules delivered over 6 weeks online. Learners can expect to dedicate 4-6 hours per week to watch videos, complete assignments and participate in discussions. Modules are opened at the beginning of each week and have quizzes/assessments at the module’s conclusion. Learners may choose to engage with the program module all in one sitting or in smaller segments of time throughout the week. While the modules do not close, access to assignments is closed each week.

Could a learner choose to opt out of some topics?

No. This is an online program in which a topic module is introduced each week and the learner is expected to watch the video lectures, participate in the live webinars, complete the exercises/activities and take the mastery quiz at the end of each week to progress to the subsequent week’s topic.

Are any of the sessions delivered in real time (live)?

There will be 4 live webinars, led by faculty and/or subject matter experts, delivered during the course of the program via a video conferencing platform. These sessions provide learners an opportunity to listen and ask questions, and while they are valuable in enhancing the overall experience, attendance is not mandatory. All live sessions are recorded for later viewing.

What methods will be used for grading and evaluations?

Kellogg program leaders will review assignments, discussions and exercises to determine participants’ understanding of the material.

How much time is allocated to complete assignments?

The due date for submitting assignments is typically within 7 days of the module opening, but can be as long as 14 days, depending on the scope of the assignment. However, learners may request deadline extensions to accommodate for business and personal conflicts that may arise during the program time frame. Reach out to the program leader to discuss any challenges you may have in completing assignments.

Can participation in this program be counted as credit toward a degree, either at Kellogg, Northwestern University or another academic institution?

No. Executive Education offers only non-degree programs and each participant receives a certificate of completion at the end of the program. This certificate does not count as credit toward a degree. In addition, at this time, our online programs do not count as credit toward a Kellogg Executive Scholar Certificate.

Does the program offer community engagement for learners?

Yes, participants can create a profile, connect and collaborate with peers, and interact with academic/industry experts such as program leaders and teaching assistants. Live office hours will be held weekly during the program and all participants are welcome to join in with questions or to discuss assignments.

What are the requirements for accessing the program?

Participants will need the following to access the Artificial Intelligence: Strategies for Leading Business Transformation program:

  • Valid email address
  • Computing device connected to the internet (Mac/PC/laptop, tablet or smartphone)
  • The latest version of your preferred browser to access our learning platform (Chrome and Firefox are preferred for accessing Canvas)
  • Microsoft Office and PDF viewer to access content such as documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts
  • Additional software and resources may be required for certain programs – this will be communicated upon registration and/or at the beginning of the program
  • PLEASE NOTE: Google, Vimeo and YouTube may be utilized in the program delivery

Does the program offer a certificate?

Yes. Participants will receive a digital certificate of completion from Kellogg following a successful conclusion to the program. Since this program is graded as a pass or fail, participants must receive an 80% to pass and obtain the certificate. This digital certificate can be shared with colleagues and posted on LinkedIn. (PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide reports of assessments, or “transcripts,” since this is a non-degree program.)

Who is Emeritus and what is their relationship with Kellogg Executive Education?

Kellogg Executive Education is partnering with Emeritus Institute of Management, an online education provider, to develop and deliver this program. By working with Emeritus, we are able to provide broader access to Executive Education, beyond our on-campus offerings, in a collaborative and engaging format that is consistent with Kellogg’s standard of quality.

Additional questions?

Please contact us by calling 847-467-6018 or email us at

Upcoming Session

September 12 - October 31, 2024

Start: September 19 at 12:00 AM

End: October 31 at 12:00 AM

Accepting registrations through September 18


November 21, 2024 - January 16, 2025

Start: November 28 at 12:00 AM

End: January 16 at 12:00 AM

Accepting registrations through November 27


Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208