• University of Leeds

Introduction to Intercultural Studies: The Branding of Culture

Learn how products move across borders and how branding problematically draws on narratives of culture and place.

4,814 enrolled on this course

Introduction to Intercultural Studies: The Branding of Culture
  • Duration2 weeks
  • Weekly study5 hours
  • 100% onlineTry this course for free
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $74Find out more
  • AccreditationAvailableMore info
This course is part of the Introduction to Intercultural Studies program, which will enable you to improve your intercultural competence by understanding concepts of culture and interculturality.

Discover how marketing uses narratives of culture and place.

The course examines an aspect of marketing through the ways branding makes use of cultural stereotypes to promote products or places. On the course you’ll consider the effects this might have on national and cultural identity and explore how some products are becoming decoupled from their culture of origin whilst others are localised. You’ll study the way in which nations use “soft power” through spreading of cultural products and practices, to influence the behaviour of people across the globe. You will also examine the idea of cultural imperialism and assess the ways in which it is resisted.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds In this course we focus on a number of things, particularly products and products as they move across borders, and as they move from place to place. And when they move, they often draw on narratives of identity, place, and culture, which we analyse through a number of case studies and examples. There’s numerous examples of products that have been localised, and localisation can take place in different levels. So it can be something like languages. It can even be changing colours around marketing. It also can be larger, more systemic practises. Hollywood films, they may or may not be in a form of cultural imperialism. But I think most people would agree that they are a form of soft power.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds And soft power attempts to influence and make connections with people through things like films, music. Manga is another example of a form of soft power. I think hopefully anyone who is interested in how the narratives of products change and are received from place to place would be interested. This can include students, business people. I think people as well that are interested in concepts like soft power, commodification, narratives, authenticity, these kind of issues, would also be interested in the course.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 seconds Products are often sold with narratives attached to them. And these narratives can draw on a number of different factors. It may be ideas about authenticity. They may use certain languages, because they see language being sending certain signals of exclusivity or prestige. With increased commodification in the world, we can even see things like nations branding themselves. So this will be one topic that we look at in the course– the idea of nation branding. Sign up now for Intercultural Studies, The Branding of Culture.


  • Week 1

    Cultural branding

    • Welcome

      Welcome to Introduction to Intercultural Studies: The Branding of Culture. This course explores how ideas of culture are used in advertising to brand and sell globalised products, and sometimes to market nations or regions.

    • Branding and identity

      In this activity, you will look at globalised products and how companies adapt them in order to successfully introduce them into new markets. You will also see how advertising uses cultural references in order to sell products.

    • Nation branding

      In this activity, you will explore how countries attempt to portray and market themselves in certain ways. This is called ‘nation branding’. You will also see how foods can draw on narratives of place and nationality.

    • The movement of products

      In this activity, you will consider how globalised products are received in different contexts. You also undertake your own research into the ways in which they become decoupled from their place of origin or 'deterritorialised'.

    • Summary

      In this activity, you will find a summary of what you have learned this week, including a glossary

  • Week 2

    Globalised products

    • About Week 2

      This week, you will learn how products and their marketing are adapted to better suit audiences in different locations and in different contexts.

    • Localising products

      In this activity, you will examine the reasons why companies adapt products for audiences in different local environments – the process of ‘localisation’.

    • Soft power

      This activity introduces the idea of ‘soft’ power: how countries promote what they perceive to be their own cultural values to other nations.

    • Cultural imperialism

      In this activity, you will investigate whether the global marketing and selling of products can influence local practices, and whether this represents attempts by some nations to impose their values on others.

    • Summary

      In this final activity, you will review what you’ve learned on the course before completing your end of course assessment.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore how national and regional identities are exploited to market goods and services
  • Investigate the effects of using national identity to market products
  • Compare the ways in which globally available products are localised for different markets
  • Evaluate how soft power is derived from the spreading of cultural products and practices
  • Assess the extent to which globalisation facilitates cultural imperialism
  • Discuss the reasons for adapting products for local cultures

Who is the course for?

The course is for anyone with an interest in the concepts of culture and interculturality, you don’t need any previous experience.

This course is also ideal if you are working in business, you are preparing to move to a different country for work or study or you work with groups of people from different cultures to yours. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

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