Expertise that takes your knowledge in strategic brand marketing up a level.
Our SBC courses are taught by faculty that will help you be positioned to benefit from all the latest expertise, research and practical applications in the field, in order to become prepared to lead brand communications across all channels and drive growth.
We’ve blended the best of two worlds. Learn from faculty from both the Department of Business Administration in the Gies College of Business and the Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media, as well as from brand marketing, advertising and multimedia industry leaders.
With a curriculum that combines elements of a traditional Master’s degree in business, marketing, and advertising, you will be prepared to:
Strategically lead in an ever-changing, global multimedia environment
Think in terms of developing innovative and integrative solutions
Effectively manage brand messaging and content throughout diverse industries
Respond effectively to new technologies, emerging media and market trends
Become skilled in business management, leadership and orchestrating successful teams
Be a global brand leader in integrated marketing and advertising communications
To complete the MS SBC degree, students will take 32 hours of coursework – 16 hours taught by faculty in advertising/media and 16 taught by faculty in business administration. A professional capstone project is designed to give students practical skills in applying the lessons learned before graduation. All courses are required; there are no electives, as the emphasis in diverse global disciplines are built into the curriculum. Students must also maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 to be eligible for graduation.
Students in the MS SBC program will take the following courses to successfully complete the degree:
Our SBC courses are taught by faculty from both the Department of Business Administration in the Gies College of Business and the Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media, as well as by brand marketing, advertising and multimedia industry leaders. To complete the MS SBC degree, students will take 32 hours of coursework – 16 hours taught by faculty in advertising/media and 16 taught by faculty in business administration. Non-degree students have the option of completing a three-course certificate or taking individual SBC courses.
Basic concepts of strategic brand communication (SBC) related to business planning and strategy. Focus will be on marketing and brand management; brand positioning, brand and consumer analysis, brand integration, and brand metrics and value.
SBC 501 | Strategic Branding: Global Perspectives 2 credits, Mike Yao
This course examines advanced topics that will enhance your understanding of strategic brand communication. Specifically, it will examine the influences of culture and community upon the branding process and provide students with important concepts, tools, and stories for understanding these influences and leveraging them to enhance their ability to engage in more effective strategic brand communication activities. This course will examine these topics using a variety of learning methods, including readings, video lectures, cases studies, exercises, and a team project.
SBC 502 | Entrepreneurship in Business 3 credits, Steve Raquel
This course covers key elements of starting a business or launching a product including ideation, legal formation, funding, positioning, targeting and marketing. Students can apply these principles and skills to develop and launch new initiatives or become more entrepreneurial in their job.
SBC 503 | Consumer Insights I 2 credits, Jacqueline Hitchon
The course explores how cultural, sociological and psychological factors shape consumer behavior. This course will provide an overview of the key concepts of the discipline of consumer behavior and will enable students to put into practice their newfound understanding of consumer behavior to shape branding strategies.
SBC 504 | Managing Projects and Teams 3 credits, Rich Pieczynski
Successful SBC requires working on a series of projects. Thus learning to effectively manage projects is a critical skill. The objectives of this course are to master the technical and sociocultural dimensions of the Project Management Process. The technical dimensions deal with needs analysis, work breakdown, scheduling, resource allocation, risk management, and performance tracking and evaluation within the allocated timeframe and cost. The sociocultural dimensions include attributes of sound leadership, formation and management of impactful teams, and managing customer expectations in order to formulate consistent, integrated campaigns across channels.
SBC 505 | Consumer Insights II 3 credits, Ewa Maslowska
This course will provide an overview of the key qualitative methods used to gain strategic insights into consumer behavior and will provide practice in planning research projects, data collection, and analysis.
SBC 506 | Measurement and Evaluation 3 credits, Patrick Vargas
This course will focus on the method and analysis for consumer insights but also for measuring effectiveness of various promotional strategies and campaign effectiveness. This includes an overview of quantitative research methods with emphasis on analysis and interpretation of data, and application to evaluating effectiveness of promotional strategies.
SBC 508 | Promotional Strategy 3 credits, Michelle Nelson
This course will familiarize students with the topic of marketing communications and promotion management and will teach students the steps for planning a strategic brand communications campaign. The culmination of this course will be a campaign for a real-world client.
SBC 509 | Digital Media & Brand Reputation Management 3 credits, Mike Yao
This course analyzes the markets served by various advertising media and factors to consider in the selection and evaluation of media. Markets include investors, employees, and consumer segments. This course will also cover managing media in a global context. This course is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of media analysis, planning, buying and optimization.
The focus of this course is on creating and executing successful messages across communication channels. It explores the development of persuasive messaging through theories of persuasion, consumer-information processing and theories of creativity. The course examines the relationship between creative strategy and creative executions while allowing students to practice creating content for traditional and non-traditional media.
The course will prepare students to utilize database-generated information for targeting and building customer and brand relationships, with an emphasis on new and emerging media. The students will get exposure to principles of working with structured data using relational databases and data warehouses. They will understand how to work with unstructured data from the web. They will also get exposure to select data mining methods relevant to data commonly worked on by marketing and communication executives and apply these concepts with cases/exercises during each of these modules.
This course serves as a capstone, requiring the student to demonstrate a mastery of knowledge in the primary areas of Strategic Brand Communication The project is designed to allow the student to demonstrate his/her mastery of Strategic Brand Communication, focused on Creating and Executing a Research Plan; Repositioning Analysis and Strategy; Strategic Brand Communication Strategy & Tactics; Media Strategy & Tactics; Campaign Monitoring and Evaluation.
— COURSE CALENDARS —
2022-2023 Course Calendar
2023-2024 Course Calendar
Professional Global Workshops with Industry Leaders
In addition to the courses, students will participate in professional webinars offered by industry leaders. Illinois SBC students will gain access to the valuable global network of Illinois corporate partners and alumni.