The University of Sussex Business School on Tuesday, November 24, hosted a virtual Masterclass on Brand Management and the Challenge of Authenticity delivered by its Head of Department of Strategy and Marketing, Professor Michael Beverland.
Targeted at branding and communications professionals across levels, the Masterclass explored the intersection between brand authenticity and brand purpose, storytelling and brand innovation.
Explaining the concept of ‘brand authenticity’, Professor Beverland said “authenticity is a performance that involves work that enables consumers to experience the brand as real, genuine and true.” He added that the idea that genuine authenticity is about ‘being’ is not entirely true with branding as beyond their character, brands also need to improvise by ‘doing’.
To gain authenticity, Professor Beverland advised that brands must immerse in the world of the user and create narratives that users can transport themselves into. He also recommended the effective use of brand storytelling as a strategy to overcome authenticity deficits.
Professor Beverland also advised nascent brands such as SMEs to link their storytelling to the founder’s backstory or a section of it. In cases where such stories do not exist, he suggested that storytelling should be linked to the company’s aspirational values.
The Masterclass was attended by participants from across the world including Nigeria. They cut across professionals and students who engage in the Marketing, Communications and Strategy space. It was particularly beneficial to MBA and other Masters prospects looking to apply to the University of Sussex for its January 2021 Start.
The University is currently receiving applications for full and part-time postgraduate degrees in 12 programmes including Marketing, Filmmaking, Digital Media Practice: Activism and Social Change, Finance and Management, among others.
Applications are open until Monday, November 30 and scholarships will be awarded to students with exceptional undergraduate results. For more information on how to apply, contact [email protected].
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.