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Self-marketing brand skills for business students

Aicha Manai (Department of Marketing Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)
Maria Holmlund (Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 3 August 2015




Despite the widespread interest in self-marketing, scant research has been published about students’ self-marketing skills. The purpose of this paper is to address this research gap and develop a framework for self-marketing brand skills specific to business students.


Aaker’s Brand Identity Planning Model (2002) was used to construct personal-brand-identity elements. Empirical data were gathered from interviews with 17 students from two business schools in Finland, who were selected using a snowballing sampling technique.


Branding-related elements, together with empirically grounded themes, emerged and were developed into a framework for developing self-marketing brand skills. Self-marketing brand core, self-marketing brand goals and self-marketing brand activities were suggested and further divided into sub-topics, becoming the content of the new framework.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides a starting point for further research on self-marketing skills from a branding perspective.

Practical implications

The paper discusses several important practical implications for business students who wish to improve their job-seeking success.


Rather than adopting a knowledge or activity perspective on self-marketing skills in job searching, the study extends the current knowledge by taking a complementary view, i.e. a branding perspective, and highlights students’ mental preparedness and drive.



Manai, A. and Holmlund, M. (2015), "Self-marketing brand skills for business students", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 749-762.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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