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Nader Tavassoli tells us about his MOOC

1. We hear you're leading an LBS MOOC. Exciting. Tell us more.

As Confucius is supposed to have said: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” In line with this sentiment, I was immensely curious about the new and growing phenomenon of MOOCs – massive open online courses – and I figured that offering one would accelerate my understanding. Moreover, in my past 20+ years in the classroom, my focus has increasingly shifted from “product centric” teaching, to “customer centric” learning, to “impact centric” doing. So this MOOC is all about learning by doing and learning to do. It also about an area I am passionate about - how brands are delivered by what people do, rather than what organisations say, for example, in their advertising.

2. So, it’s all about brand. Does that mean the MOOC is only suitable for marketing professionals?

Not at all. I designed this course for marketing and non-marketing professionals ranging from human resources to operations and finance. That's because the entire organisation needs to be aware of and aligned to deliver on the brand promise.

3. There is a lot of research out there on brands. What’s different about your research/ teaching in this area?

This course covers traditional branding fundamentals – including best practices and interviews from leading agencies – but it does so mainly as a point of departure. The main purpose is to challenge the adequacy of traditional branding in a world of “functional” parity. Today brand differentiation is increasingly achieved by providing a differentiated experience that is delivered by people across the entire organisation. Designing and delivering experiences is radically different from designing and delivering products, services or communications. This course takes branding out of the marketing communications silo and into people and organisational processes that underpin the delivery of the brand.

4. Why is London Business School investing in MOOCs? / What’s in it for the School?

Our vision is “to have a profound impact on the way the world does business.” In terms of impact, the doing aspect of this MOOC is to change the practice of brand management. Some firms – including LBS – are even sponsoring their people who want to complete the certificate track, in order to bootstrap the delivery of their own brands.  Hopefully, the MOOC will also showcase London Business School as being practical and at the cutting edge.

Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour provides practical, hands-on learning for anyone interested in the crucial role they play in delivering a brand promise. Learn more the course webpage and sign up today.