Corporate identity and business ethics (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Federico Brunetti, Virginia Vannucci
Federico Brunetti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
primo semestre (lauree magistrali) dal Oct 5, 2020 al Dec 23, 2020.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims at introducing students to the comprehension of corporate identity and business ethics notions both in their theoretical components and in their practical implications. The broader framework is that of finding the most correct and effective ways companies can follow to manage their relationships with external audiences in a long run perspective. With regard to corporate identity, the main focus will be on brand as a catalyst of company identity and image. As for business ethics, special consideration will be devoted to practical issues and the subsequent models and tools.


Corporate Module
Brand is nowadays one of the most valuable assets companies can leverage to differentiate their output in the tremendous offerings variety consumers are facing. In the post-modern era, where great ideologies and value systems are drawing back, people interact with brands to build, express or at least integrate their identity. Brands therefore act as a resource consumers can deal with, both on intellectual and on emotional level, to address their identity needs. Brand, finally, can be viewed as one of the most important social texts in contemporary culture. As such, for its formal and substantive features, it is an essential sense-making device in our society.

To explore such issues, this course provides relevant and upto-date theories, concepts, techniques, and models in branding. The course will interweave lectures, case discussions, guest speakers, and group projects. Moreover, this course relies on a variety of learning resources; in particolar, beside the textbook, a lot of documents, additional readings, web sites links and materials are made available in the e-learning platform so as to make the course a rich experience in terms of knowledge acquisition.

Corporate module aims are:
- understand the rationales of brand relevance, both from firm and consumer point of view
- understand branding sociological and psychological background
- understand the brand meaning building process
- acquire brand elements and their working modes
- know stages and activities involved in brand design
- become familiar with the most recent branding approaches and future trends in branding

After examining some introductory topics, the specific contents are organized in three main sections: brand understanding, brand building and brand management.
Brand leadership and Brand equity
Marketing Institutionalization
Evolution of Marketing
Modern and Post-Modern Era
Post-Modernity & Marketing
Consumer personality and consumption choices
Brand as a Text / Sign
Brand origin and Brand definition
Brand structure and operating mechanisms
Brand Personality, Identity, Image and Reputation
Anatomy of the Brand: values, brand elements and brand associations
Challenges in Brand building
Brand Positioning and Perceptioning
Iconic Brand
Neurobranding / Behavioral branding
Future approaches to branding: Affiliation and Customer Advocacy; The speaking brand; Human touch; Humankind; Age of You and Wikibrand
Brand Architecture: Branded house and House of brands
Brand Extension
Brand Portfolio

Brand & Happiness
(The need for) Marketing reform
CIEI Manifesto 20120/21

Business Ethics Module

The module will introduce the theoretical foundations of business ethics and will examine the main issues raising in a business context, with particular respect to marketing choices.

The following topics will be developed, using case studies and group discussion as learning tactics:
- the theoretical foundations of business ethics
- the variety of approaches to business ethics
- ethics in marketing choices
- ethics as a form of organizational-cultural innovation: ethical business models
- the benefit corporations

Last update: June 30, 2020

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
K.L. Keller, B. Busacca, M.C. Ostillio La gestione del brand Egea 2005

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be passed after an oral colloquium. This will take place either face-to-face or via the Internet.

The exam is aimed at assessing the general vision of the discipline, the knowledge of its key-topics, the ability to make links among different parts of the program and to apply knowledge to business reality, the ownership of language and the ability to move with ease between the concepts learned and the communicative environment of the brand.

Textbook for Corporate Identity module

Attending students
- Lesson notes
- K.L. Keller, B. Busacca, M.C. Ostillio, La gestione del brand, Egea, Milano, 2005
- Selected readings from Moodle

NON attending students
- K.L. Keller, B. Busacca, M.C. Ostillio, La gestione del brand, Egea, Milano, 2005

Textbook for Business Ethics module:

Attending students
- Lesson notes
- Project work or Estratto da E. Giaretta, Business ethics e scelte di prodotto (uploaded on e-learning), par 1.4, 2.1, 2.2
- Bazerman M. H., Tenbrunsel A. E., “Ethical Breakdowns”, Harvard Business Review, June 2009 (uploaded on e-learning)

NON attending students
- Estratto da E. Giaretta, Business ethics e scelte di prodotto, Cedam, Padova, 2000 (uploaded on e-learning), par. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2
- Bazerman M. H., Tenbrunsel A. E., “Ethical Breakdowns”, Harvard Business Review, June 2009 (uploaded on e-learning)

Last update: June 30, 2020