Mats Urde

Senior Lecturer, Associate professor

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Business Administration


  • Branding, Strategy, strategic brand management, Communication, Rhetoric, Brand orientation, Reputation


I am associate professor in strategic brand management with the key concepts of identity, communication, and reputation. My research, teaching, and work as an advisor contribute to brand orientated leadership. In brand orientation the organisation’s processes revolve around the creation, development and protection of brand identity in an on-going interaction with customers and non-customer stakeholders. The aim is to achieve lasting competitive advantages in the form of brands with a strong reputation. Brand orientation was the subject of my PhD thesis and a colleague and I have pioneered this new (identity-driven) paradigm that has developed into a synergistic strategic option to market orientation (image-driven). In essence, brand orientation is a strategic corporate view on brands as competitive advantages and resources, which need to be balanced with the paradigm of market orientation.

My research is largely based on longitudinal (over time) case studies (bridging theory and practice) of corporations and organisations. Examples of my case studies are Volvo, DuPont, Nestlé, the Swedish Monarchy and the Nobel Prize Foundation. Among the key concepts I have been part of developing are core values, brand track record, brand mindsets, and the corporate brand. I have pioneered and contributed to new research fields and international research groups on corporate brand management, brand heritage, brand rhetoric and brand orientation.

In the international research community, I served as an editor for two leading brand management journals, and I have been a guest editor for a special issue on brand orientation. When I am invited to review journal manuscripts, it is often based on my track record within the management of brands and clinical field research experience.

At LUSEM, I am head and co-founder of the research group “Lund Brand Management Group”, the aim of which is ”To develop useful tools and theories for the application in practice of managing brands, and to forward the academic field of strategic brand management.”

I am a strong proponent of the case method. Much of my work at LUSEM focuses on building and contributing to the case-teaching and learning culture. I am co-founder of Lund University Case Academy and LUSEM Case Academy. As head of our case training programme and as a coach the Lund student team at international case competitions, I see first-hand the potential of this method and its impact on research, teaching and learning.

As a teacher, I am head of the master’s degree courses “Strategic Brand Management” and “Corporate Brand Management and Reputation” (case-based course). I am deeply honoured to have been voted The Teacher of the Year (2013) and to have received The Lund University Pedagogical Teaching Award (2015).

I see the importance of bridging theory and practice in my research, teaching, and my work as an advisor. I am part of faculty in executive programmes and I have a 25 years of experience as an independent brand strategy advisor for companies and non-profits, including work with Volvo, Ericsson, Scania, Akzo Nobel, IKEA and The Swedish National Symphony Orchestra. I have been a member of the Electrolux Brand Award Committee for 10 years.

To conclude, my work as a researcher, teacher, and advisor is about pioneering, building, and applying strategic brand management theory. I strive to bridge theory and practice by using real‐life examples and case studies. In my spare time I enjoy Icelandic horse riding, kayaking, and sailing.




1. Teaching/Course responsibility:

- Role (responsible for the course, lecturer, teaching assistant): Head of course

- Course name: Strategic Brand Management

- Course code: BUSN21

- Number of clock hours: 


- Role (responsible for the course, lecturer, teaching assistant): Head of course

- Course name: Corporate Brand Management and Reputation

- Course code: BUSN35

- Number of clock hours:




(if there is more teaching, continue downwards)

2. Supervision of theses (including theses completed by Feb-19):


Master level (number of theses 2018): 4


3. Examiner of theses (including theses completed by Feb-19):

Undergraduate level (number of theses 2018):


Master level (number of theses 2018): 4



4. Briefly describe development work in education – renewal of curriculum and/or pedagogical development:

Founder and head of LUSEM Case Competition (LCC). LCC is an interactive-case competition with real-life current cases written and presented by master students to and solved by the audience consisting of students, faculty and business representatives working together. There are also competing student teams presenting their solutions to the audience and a panel of judges. LCC is a case-writing, case-presenting, and case-solving competition. The LCC marks the first LUSEM case competition and the planning for the 2019 edition is ongoing.



Planning, implementation, and pedagogical leadership in relation to “Lund University Case Academy”. A Lund University interdisciplinary forum with a focus on the case method of teaching, learning, and research. Co-founder.


Head of LUSEM Case Academy Case Competition Training. Coach and head of training of the LUSEM Master Student Team competing in the John Molson Case Competition in Montreal, January 2019. 




5. Involvement of guest teachers:

- Course name: Strategic Brand Management

- Course code: BUSN21

- Name of guest teacher and company/organization: Joakim Carlsson, CEO Nordic Fast Food Sibylla.

- Course name: Corporate Brand Management and Reputation

- Course code: BUSN35

- Name of guest teacher and company/organization: Torbjörn Valfridsson, former corporate brand director Statkraft; Anders Selander, Corporate brand director Getinge; Marcus Thomasvolk, Head of communication Volkswagen Sweden; Johan Molin, CEO Falu Rödfärg; Jean-Luc Ferraton, HR director and executive board member Intrum; Magnus Hedlund, Volvo Ocean Race; Björn Saalbach and Lidija Boström, Heads of marketing and branding, Bona.




6. Programme responsibility (name of programme)



7. Additional work in education (e.g. planning, implementation, and pedagogical leadership)


Development of a case on the Nobel Prize together with professor Greyser at Harvard Business School. The case was published at HBS in November 2018. At its heart, this is a case about the reputation of an international symbol of achievement and about managing an iconic brand. The case provides insights into the nature of a prestigious “heritage brand” and its challenges and opportunities to remain relevant and differentiated in the 21st century. In “protecting and safeguarding the standing of the Nobel Prize” the executive board faced the paradox of continuity and change with the reputation of “the world’s most prestigious award” at issue. 


A second HBS case is written and is currently in limited use in order to provide insights to the Teaching Note. Expected publication date is December 2018.




8. Briefly describe your work with IT-supported teaching and learning 

Initiating and coordinating the production of video sequences related to the case method of teaching and learning. Producing and posting of video about the master course that I am heading (Corporate Brand Management and Reputation, BUSN35).


Initiating and coordinating the production of video sequences with master students presenting their Master Theses. The intent is provide accessible information via LUSEM and YouTube about research with managerial applications.


9. Production of cases, publications on teaching and learning, teaching materials and textbooks

Editor and founder “Corporate Brand Management and Reputation Master Cases”: Series of cases written by master students following a HBS –style. Published and accessible via the LBMG site (since 2014). The overall benefit for the LUSEM and beyond is to make current cases and research accessible via the Internet and thereby contributing to the LUSEM position as a leading hub within the area. 


Editor and founder of “Strategic Brand Management Master Papers”: Series of papers written by master students following a journal-style. Published and made accessible via the LBMG site (since 2014).




Recent research outputs

Stephen A Greyser & Mats Urde, 2019 Jan 1, In : Harvard Business Review. January February 2019, January February 2019, p. 82-89 8 p., January February Issue.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stephen A Greyser & Mats Urde, 2018 Dec 17, 9 p. Harvard Business Publishing.

Research output: Other contributionTeaching case

Stephen A Greyser & Mats Urde, 2018 Dec 17, 9 p. Boston : Harvard Business Publishing.

Research output: Other contributionTeaching case

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