module specification

MC5013 - Fashion Branding and Communications (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Fashion Branding and Communications
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 20%   Group Oral Presentation
Coursework 50%   Individual Report 3000 words
Group Coursework 30%   Group Marketing Communication Plan (group) 3000 words
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides students with the opportunity to explore contemporary fashion branding and advanced marketing communications theory and analyse these within the context of retail practice.  Over the course of the module students will examine consumer and business behaviour in relation to branding. Students will examine all the tools in the marketing communications mix and how retail brands integrate their mixes to maximum effect to their specified target markets. 

Assessments are designed to enable students to thoroughly research consumer behaviour in relation to fashion brands in order to formulate an appropriate communication strategy.  The assessments build on each other as students then position their idea in the market, develop their own communications mix and formulate a fashion marketing plan for their brand proposal.

Module aims

The main aims of the module are as follows:
- to ensure students are equipped with relevant knowledge of communication practices in fashion.
- to assist students in gaining a deeper knowledge of the fashion consumer, techniques used in fashion branding, the establishing of a strategic and visual tactical positioning in the current marketplace, the changing role of fashion communications, such as: events, public relations and social media.
- to increase students’ analytical, evaluative and budgeting skills with regards to selection of integrated communications tools. 

The module aims to assist in the building of the following specific skills:
1) Researching – both secondary and primary market research
2) Analysing data
3) Problem solving and decision making
4) Digital literacy and IT skills
5) Numeracy and quantitative
6) Commercial Awareness, including vision, corporate social responsibility and governance

The module also aims to assess the following additional skills:
7) Interpersonal, including. collaborating / working with others, cross cultural awareness, having a positive attitude, negotiation and persuasion
8) Communicating/presenting – orally and in writing, including inter-cultural communication
9) Academic Reading
10) Academic writing and literacy


  • Marketing communications and the process of exchange; scope, role and tasks; external influences
  • Communication theory; message origin, content reception, noise; opinion leaders, formers, followers
  • Understanding the fashion consumer (B2C), consumer behaviour and psychology; sensory marketing and engaging the consumer through emotional triggers; the B2C decision-making process and levels of engagement
  • The organisational buyer (B2B); the B2B decision making process and levels of engagement
  • Brand theory; brand portfolio, brand architecture, brand personality, brand behaviour, brand forms, branding as used by local and international retail brands, luxury, high street and independent brands
  • The source of brand power, building brand equity, the evolution of social brands
  • Developing brands with word-or-mouth communications
  • Positioning, differentiation
  • Visual merchandising to visual marketing
  • Marketing communications theory and strategy: integrating, evaluating and rating the use of  sponsorship, sales promotions, advertising, direct marketing, personal selling, publicity, events and digital media by fashion brands; costs, circulation and context
  • Advertising: models of advertising, assessing the effectiveness of traditional media, qualitative research, measuring effectiveness against campaign objectives; costs of research; use of emotion in advertising; corporate advertising
  • The power of magazines: the repertoire of magazines, the magazine-reader relationship, advertising costs, circulation and context
  • The role of public relations (PR): the costs of PR, types of PR function, credibility, providing evidence of effectiveness, media catching, the role of PR in crisis management
  • Celebrity endorsement: collaborations, Q-score, ranges, celebrity lifecycle, saturation, measuring the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement, celebrities and charities, trends
  • Trade marketing communications: press releases, trade journals, fashion shows, fashion weeks, showrooms, exhibitions, events,
  • Social media; fashion blogs
  • Mobile marketing
  • The effectiveness of different media channels used within strategic marketing communications
  • Corporate reputation; corporate image identity, personality
  • Planning and budgeting an integrated branding communications campaign
  • Ethical and sustainable brands
  • Rich media and infotainment
  • The changing landscape of marketing communications
  • General considerations for international marketing communications
  • Career opportunities in marketing communications

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered over a 30 week period and consist of 1 ½ hour lectures followed by a combination of 1 ½ hour seminar/practical workshops.  Exceptions to this are: the designated employability week, teaching weeks 13 and 28 which will be used for research and preparation for examinations (where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year).

Lectures will include key theoretical aspects of branding and integrated communications on which students will research further and discuss examples of during the seminars. The seminars should in part have a workshop approach to aspects of costing, negotiation and evaluation of contemporary campaigns.

Employability is embedded throughout the module whereby students consider different job roles within the marketing industry on a constant basis. Practice and decisions throughout the module are as far as possible based on actual industry practise. The employability week also focuses on specific aspects of job interviews and coping, planning and awareness mechanisms. Speakers from industry such as Trendwatching may deliver insights into how they operate and their role within the industry. Students are also encouraged to visit the Museum of Brand, Packaging and Advertising.

Weblearn will be used as part of a blended learning approach and will be central to the delivery of the module. It will contain the module handbook, case studies, journal articles and external Weblearn learning links.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit the students will be able to:

1. Explore the influences and motivations of fashion consumers within the B2B and B2C contexts
2. Evaluate, communicate and apply branding concepts that are used in the fashion industry to promote products and services;
3. Apply theories of branding and communications in order to understand how fashion brands are developed, built and maintained;
4. Source, collate and analyse market research.
5. Research, develop and formulate a communications plan for a fashion brand.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy consists of three components, which aim to assess the module’s learning outcomes:

  1. Group oral presentation + storyboard:  Students will be asked to present research based on consumer lifestyle trends, attitudes, motivations, perception, processes of consumer decision making and engagement in lively and fast paced visual and verbal form such as storyboards. Verbal and visual presentation 20%. Week due: 10-12 (where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year) Length: 15 mins
  2. Individual report: Students will be required to demonstrate an understanding of fashion/retail branding and branding communication strategies targeting the B2B and B2C sector.  Weighting: 50% Week due: 19, where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year or Spring semester teaching week 4. Length: 2500 words
  3. Marketing communication plan (group): Students will be required to compile a detailed communication plan for a fashion/retail brand based on a given scenario.  Weighting: 30% Week due: 26, where week 1 is the first teaching week of the academic year, or Spring semester teaching week 11. Length: 3,000 words.
Assessment Learning Outcome Skills Development
Group oral presentation 1,4 1,2,7,8,9
Individual report 2,3,4 1,2,9,10
Marketing communication plan (group) 3,4,5, 3,5,4,6,8,7



Lea-Greenwood G (2012) Fashion Marketing Communications, Wiley
Keller  K.L et all (2013) Strategic Brand Management, Prentice Hall
Fill, C. (2013) Marketing Communications: Brands, Experience and Participation, 6th edition, Pearson Education
Bickle M. (2010) Fashion Marketing, Fairchild
Van Dijk M. (2009) Luxury Fashion Management: Brand and Marketing Management in the ever-changing Luxury Fashion Industry, VDM Verlag
Posner H. (2011) Marketing Fashion, Laurence King
Muller F. (2009) Brand Portfolio Strategies in Fashion Industries: A Study on how to successfully extend brand portfolio in the fashion industry, VDM Verlag
Rath P.M. et al. (2008) The Why of Buy: Consumer Behaviour and Fashion Marketing, Fairchild books
Tungate M. (2008) Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara, Kogan Page, 2nd edition
Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Journal of Brand Management
Journal of Marketing Communications
Journal of Interactive Marketing
Journal of Consumer Behaviour