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Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre Chair for Marketing and Market Research

Personal Branding and Digital Marketing

(fall semester, lectures)

"Personal branding is not about you.
It’s about putting your stamp on the value you deliver to others" - 
William Arruda

The course is a hands-on introduction to the best practices of brand management and digital marketing proven to build and foster a personal brand. Branding is one of the core marketing disciplines. It describes the process of creating a unique name and image for a product or a service in the consumer’s mind through consistent communication themes. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market to attract and retain customers.

The course, conceived as an “interactive, ongoing workshop,” introduces bachelor students to the cultural terrain of brand-building and digital marketing. Students will become accustomed to, understand, and apply branding techniques typically used in digital channels. The program is designed to motivate and encourage participants to practice these concepts in hands-on exercises, develop a spirit of problem-solving, and enhance their ability to think in business terms. The course presents best-in-class examples offering both strategic and operational perspectives of marketing management.

This course should (a) support students in creating an understanding of personal brands and branding strategies, (b) demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of using different digital marketing techniques, (c) develop strategic thinking needed to create and feedback on a digital marketing plan, (d) build up an ecosystem of social media platforms supporting the launch of a new brand in the digital environment, and (e) help students to feed, grow and analyze the digital performance of brands.

Overview of Lectures and Exercises:

The course is fast-paced, practical, and interactive. There will be a mix of lectures, case studies, group exercises, and self-reflecting tasks throughout the course. The course is composed of a total of six frontal classes, each covering one of the foundational topics of the study program. Every class consists of four primary activities building on each other and leading to creating a professionally designed personal brand

In this course, we:

  • Discuss personal brands as an essential professional asset.
  • Review different branding strategies and how to align them to professional career objectives.
  • Emphasize how digital marketing theories and frameworks support the brand-building process.
  • Set up a social media ecosystem consisting of several platforms to self-organize and promote a brand in the digital environment and beyond.
  • Introduce AI-based software and other tools for digital marketing management to feed, grow, analyze, and automate your performance.
  • Lay your hands on brands to gain practical experience through regular interactive exercises.

The ideal target audience for this course is young students who have always wanted to turn their own ideas and visions into a personal brand and their own company, but who have not yet been able to muster the right mindset, confidence, or the appropriate tools. Students who have already successfully established their own brand can also benefit from the course, but the course does not provide a detailed introduction to specific tools, such as Google Analytics or similar.

This introductory course is less suitable for students working in a corporate context with a corporate brand.

The course content is designed to be maximally practical and help students acquire highly demanded digital skills in the marketplace. Each session represents a “building block” connected, which enables students to apply all learned principles, week after week, to their branding project.

Alex Mari

Research and Teaching Associate
Phone: +41 44 634 92 53

Teaching Assistant:
Luca Lazzaro

Research Associate and Ph.D. Candidate
Phone: +41 044 634 92 07

Program Director:
Prof. Dr. René Algesheimer

Chair for Marketing and Market Research
Phone: +41 44 634 29 18

Office hours by appointment.
Andreasstrasse 15, CH-8050 Zurich, Oerlikon 

Target Audience: Bachelor students assigned to the “Wahlpflichtbereich” BWL 4.


Prerequisites: This course does not have entry requirements.

Language: English

Course Number: 03SM22BO0051

Officially register using the booking tool at the University of Zurich. An individual application for this class is NOT necessary.

The multiple-choice exam in January 2024 accounts for 100% of the final grade (see “4. Evaluation” in the syllabus).

Important Dates:
Course from 23.09.2024 to 28.10.2024; Each Monday from 14:15 to 18:00h.
The deadline to submit the presentation is 11.11.2024, 23:59h (not negotiable).
The deadline to submit optional certificates is 11.11.2024, 23:59h (not negotiable).
All submissions must be sent to

Final exam: the module examination will be held exclusively ON-SITE in January. Attendance in the classroom is mandatory, and it is NOT possible to take the exam remotely. The exact date is announced in the VVZ.

Location: To be announced. 

Important Notes:
The syllabus supports the official information in the electronic university calendar. In cases of doubt, the official announcement at the VVZ is valid.

Download the updated course syllabus for the fall semester of 2024 here. (PDF, 597 KB)

Weiterführende Informationen

University of Zurich
Institute of Business Administration
Chair for Marketing and Market Research
Andreasstrasse 15
8050 Zurich
Phone: +41 44 634 2918

location plan

Building AND