A brand is much more than surface branding. We focus on four deeper habits from which modern innovative brands draw their power.

Building Innovative Brands is a hands-on two-week dive into how leading brands may leverage a Design Thinking approach to become ever more participatory, experiential and experimental.

Together, we will explore how leading organizations stoke conversations, co-create experiences, spark stories and build engaging relationships with consumers.

Inspired by provocative real-world examples and industry guests, diverse student teams will employ human-centered design methods to conceive of and visualize their own creative proposals for how a company or organization could engage in innovative, brand-enhancing new ways. Teams will ultimately pitch their experience design concepts for feedback, consideration and potential real-world implementation. For an overview of the class, please watch this video.


jennifer aaker

Jennifer Aaker

A social psychologist and marketer, Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research spans time, money and happiness – how people spend and save time, how they spend and save money, and how those choices impact their well being. She counts winning a dance-off in the early 1980s among her most impressive accomplishments. She cooks very poorly.


Chris Flink

Chris Flink is a Consulting Associate Professor and part of the founding faculty team of Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (“d.school”). He’s also a Lecturer in Marketing at the GSB. Chris is a partner at IDEO, where he’s played a range of leadership roles such as heading the Consumer Experience Design practice, co-founding a NYC studio, and guiding strategic client relationships. Chris serves on the board of directors for large public companies and lives in an undergraduate dorm.