Brand Manager Job Description - Skills, Duties and Responsibilities
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What Does a Brand Manager Do?
Brand managers are responsible for devising, developing and implementing marketing projects and initiatives designed to ensure the economic, strategic and operational growth of the brand. The task of a Brand Manager is to build and enhance a brand’s image in order to increase sales and foster long-term customer loyalty.
Brand managers: what do they do?
Generally speaking, a Brand Manager is assigned overall responsibility for a specific brand. As part of this role, he or she reports to higher level management and liaises and coordinates constantly with production (in relation to new product development), marketing and communication, and sales, in order to ensure the successful implementation of the sales and marketing strategy.
Brand managers are brand specialists who are responsible for defining and developing a brand’s identity through the use of powerful visual imagery and by cultivating distinctive brand attributes and associations. Successful brands are able to win consumers’ “hearts and minds” - and thus conquer market share - by using their brand identity to speak directly to consumers’ needs.
Brand managers conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses of the market and examine consumers’ buying preferences and habits, looking at similar products made by the company’s competitors. Using the data collected in this analysis phase, a brand manager will then develop a long-term brand development strategy and a marketing plan (setting out objectives, priorities and the marketing mix) for their assigned brand, which will need to be aligned with the company’s overall business objectives. They will also work on enhancing the brand or product’s image in terms of presentation, logo and packaging. Subsequently, the marketing plan is implemented, in collaboration with the Marketing Manager and within the allotted budget.
The brand manager is responsible for coordinating and managing all of the planned communication and promotional initiatives and activities, including communications campaigns, digital branding, public relations and brand promotional activities in retail outlets etc., in collaboration with colleagues from the marketing department and external consultants (e.g. advertising agencies).
During the campaign, the brand manager monitors the impact of the marketing activities on the brand’s performance against its objectives and, where necessary, recalibrates the strategy in response to changes in demand, sales policies of competitors, consumer trends or company production capacity.
Branding activities are a particularly important element in the launch of a new product or service, or in the rebranding of an existing product or service (e.g. where a new identity or strategy is called for). One of the tasks of a brand manager is to develop and plan optimal product improvement strategies that take into account competing brands/products as well as the preferences and needs of current and potential consumers.
The role of brand manager is a common one in corporate marketing departments - particularly in multinationals owning a large number of brands that are engaged in sectors such as FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), food and beverage, fashion, telecommunications, consumer electronics, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and many others.
Other common names for this position: Brand Specialist
Brand Manager Duties and Responsibilities
The responsibilities of a brand manager include:
- Defining the brand identity, brand values and target market
- Analyzing the market, including the supply of and demand for similar products, consumer habits and preferences and competitors
- Producing and implementing an efficient marketing plan, seeking to make optimal use of allotted budget
- Monitoring and evaluating marketing activities and initiatives undertaken in terms of profitability, customer satisfaction, sales targets
- Devising new strategies and/or corrective measures designed to achieve improved performances
- Implementing new sales and marketing initiatives and policies in close collaboration with sales force
- Identifying business opportunities
How to Become a Brand Manager: Education and Training
Brand managers typically require a degree in Marketing, Economics or Corporate Communication - university level courses which furnish aspiring brand managers with the knowledge and skills they need to perform the role effectively and successfully.
Another essential requirement for the role - in addition to theoretical knowledge of business management, marketing and communication - is prior experience and a proven track record, since brand managers are required to perform a wide range of functions, including product positioning, promotional initiatives and sales strategy planning.
Finally, there are a wide variety of courses and master’s degrees in brand management covering aspects such as strategic marketing, brand communication and brand reputation management in greater detail, which may serve as an effective springboard into the profession.
What Skills Are Needed to Work as a Brand Manager?
Job advertisements for brand managers typically request the following skills:
- Marketing skills
- Excellent analytical and planning skills
- Result-oriented approach
- Autonomous and flexible self-starter
- Interpersonal and networking skills
- Negotiation skills
- Multitasking skills
- Knowledge of principal software applications and tools
What's the Career Path of a Brand Manager?
What are the career goals of a Brand Manager?
Brand management is one of the many career opportunities offered by the marketing industry. Entry-level positions in the field of brand management include marketing assistant, marketing coordinator, market associate, junior market executive and assistant brand manager. Promotion from one of these junior roles to a managerial position such as brand manager typically entails moving from a purely operational role to the development of brand and marketing strategies.
Success and experience in the role may lead to a promotion to the role of senior brand manager, where new responsibilities and career opportunities may include being asked to manage and coordinate multiple brands, being assigned new products or markets, or overseeing branding initiatives at national or international level.
Subsequent career advancements may lead to a role as marketing manager, with overall responsibility for marketing worldwide, and from there to the pinnacle of a career in corporate marketing as a marketing director or Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
Top Reasons to Work as a Brand Manager
There is a certain degree of prestige attached to the profession of brand manager simply by virtue of the fact that so many of them work for large companies and famous global brands. But, in reality, even brand managers working for smaller brands or companies enjoy a high level of responsibility, autonomy and a broad scope of action. The role is, in many ways, similar to owning a company. A brand manager’s brand is his or her business, with the objective being to develop a winning marketing strategy. Other positive aspects of the role include the significant degree of innovation and creativity that characterises the marketing industry, the competitive salary packages and excellent career growth prospects.