A Brand Manager is responsible for developing, implementing and managing marketing strategies to raise the public profile of a particular branded product or company.
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- An Assistant or Junior Brand Manager can expect to earn between £20,000 – £25,000 per annum.
- With experience a middleweight Brand Manager can earn £24,000 – £30,000 per annum.
- A senior Brand Manager can earn anywhere between £30,000 – £40,000.
A Brand Manager’s responsibilities are manifold. They may include:
- Market analysis through a variety of mediums such as market research, customer research, product research.
- Providing detailed and precise reports to illustrate trends, predictions and relevant strategies.
- Creation of and changes in product design and sometimes content.
- Overseeing the expansion of product portfolio, i.e. new products and concept design.
- Online marketing initiatives, possibly including the monitoring of feedback across UGC Channels (User Generated Content), such as social networking sites, product review sites and popular forums.
- Annual budgeting plans and reports.
- Liaising with Sales executives to promote new initiatives.
- Liaising with Product Designers to come up with new packaging or new products.
- Liaising with Advertising creatives to devise comprehensive marketing strategies.
Brand Managers are typically educated to a University degree level or above. Relevant degrees include Brand Management and Advertising, Business Management, Marketing, International Business, and Public Relations.
A Brand Manager is a high pressure role and there are a number of skills vital to the job. These include:
- Attention to detail for written reports and analytical tasks.
- Working to tight deadlines (that you may have set yourself).
- Ability to multi-task. Brand Mangers have the final word on the myriad components of the marketing, design and content of a product. They will always be juggling several tasks while keeping their eye on the bigger picture.
- Great interpersonal skills; you will be working with a number of highly paid professionals and relying on their combined contributions to the task in hand.
- Creative and imaginative abilities. Managing a Brand means connecting with the imagination of the public as well as your own team.
- Competitive nature. Essentially you are up against the competition; your success relies on beating them.
The working conditions of a Brand Manager are high pressured and demanding. Unlike many Marketing or Advertising professionals, Brand Managers do not always have to work long hours. For much of the year, 9 – 5 hours are acceptable to get the job done. However, at critical points in a product launch they may be expected to be in the office 24/7, starting very early and going home very late indeed. Deadlines must be met and the Brand Manager is the ship’s captain, the last to leave.
Although a Brand Manager is mostly office based, international travel is a likely component of the job, as are frequent meetings with agencies, other departments and senior or top management. Additionally there may be a large amount of social networking involved, often out of office hours. As such, being a Brand Manager is a physically, emotionally and mentally demanding job, suited to motivated individuals who love hard work and strive for success.
You would be expected to already have several years Marketing and/or Managerial experience before becoming a Brand Manager. Advertising and PR experience would be equally useful along with any professional knowledge of the particular product or product market in question.
The biggest employers of Brand Managers are the large multi-nationals who sell a variety of similar, competing products. However, virtually every large company that sells branded products to the general public is a potential employer. From t-shirts to Internet search engines, where there is a brand to promote you may find a Brand Manager at work.
Major employers of Brand Managers include:
There is a direct route from being an Assistant Brand Manager. Executives within the Marketing, Sales, Advertising, PR or Product Design industries with managerial experience could be considered for a Brand Management role.
Experienced Brand Managers may move into marketing roles where they oversee a greater range of products and campaigns. Directorial roles may be open to Senior Brand Managers.
Also known as…
- Product Manager
What’s it really like?
Jonas, 32 years old, is a Brand Manager for Every Day Life, a clothing brand available to buy across the UK in Topshop.
Jonas, tell us how you became a Brand Manager. What were you doing before you started working in fashion?
I was an international marketing manager working in the music industry.
Can you tell us what the typical life in the day of a Brand Manager is like?
I always start with some coffee while checking my emails. A typical day may include having meetings with any or all of the following – merchandising manager, chief designer, web master or other personnel on short term and seasonal campaigns. Aside from that I’ll be coordinating production, checking both samples to be sent out to press and production samples (prototypes), plus bespoke branding for each mini collection.
A lot of my work involves creating briefs for a team of designers working on upcoming collections. Another important task is dealing with the sales team to ensure that the current collections are performing to projected targets.
What is it that you like most about being a Brand Manager?
Every day is different, I have a lot of creative freedom and I get to deal with like minded individuals. We’re in the business of bringing ideas to reality which is exciting and rewarding at the same time. I travel a lot to fashion shows and get to go to a lot of parties and launches.
Best of all is being able to motivate and inspire people. I use the advances of modern technology to reach new markets. I can dress in sandals to work if I want. I have a very active imagination; I’m thinking of a hundred things at once and perhaps it’s the only job where that’s an asset instead of a hindrance
Is there anything you dislike about being a Brand Manager?
Stress levels are high, especially with looming deadlines. Dealing with 32 page department store guidelines can be a real headache. Keeping a team constantly motivated and inspired is the hardest part of the job but it’s also the most rewarding.
What advice would you give to someone looking to become a Brand Manager?
I would advise them to make a list of the companies they admire and respect, the brands that they love. Then do whatever it takes to get experience in any of those companies, or companies of the same ilk. Constantly ask questions and learn and be curious. If your job title is mailman, when you’re not posting mail you should be sitting in front of the Brand Manager’s desk asking if there’s anything you can do. The best thing would be to contact someone who has the job you want and to have a set of questions prepared about their day to day work, what they like about their jobs etc. Firstly this re-affirms if you really want to be a Brand Manager or not and secondly shows you the right way to go about it.
Where do you see yourself moving on to from Brand Management?
I’d like to be a teacher one day and give something back to help entrepreneurs, designers and other creative people reach their goals. Ultimately I’d like to run a consultancy.
Do you have any other advice for us?
Brand Management is about creating an emotional connection to a commodity. Therefore your job is removed from the product itself; it’s more about the experience of a lifestyle. The challenge is not about the product, but is about the way the product makes the consumer feel. Perceived value versus actual value, go read Capital by Karl Marx!