What to study to manage brands? How to reach an income of 6600 $ per month? Should I manage or do everything myself? Says the brand manager.
Branding is in high demand. More than 2,000 vacancies for the brand manager position are currently posted on HeadHunter alone.
Who is a brand manager
A brand manager is a specialist who manages a brand and its associated processes. He does everything to make the brand profitable for the company, to be recognizable and popular among the target audience.
A brand manager often works with the company’s staff and performs various tasks – from market research and idea development to analysis of results. A business can have several brands, and a separate specialist manages each.
For example, a brand manager may work with the Chery brand at Toyota & Lexus, the Estel brand at Unicosmetics, or the Carlsberg Group.
Also, a specialist can work in a branding agency. But there, he will deal not with the whole complex of tasks but with individual processes. For example, agencies are often given the formulation of a brand platform, the development of a communication strategy, or an identity – a slogan, logo, or corporate identity.
In freelancing, the work of a brand manager is rarely found. This is because brand management requires deep immersion in all processes. However, brand managers can work remotely.
What specializations can a brand manager have?
There are different types of brands, and they use different approaches, techniques, and tools to work with them. Depending on this, there are different specializations of the brand manager. Four specializations are more common than others.
Product Brand Manager. This specialization is the most in demand. The specialist creates and develops a product or service brand – for example, promotes Danone products or MTS services. He can work in food and cosmetic companies, the fashion and beauty industry, the restaurant business, and many other areas.
Personal brand manager. He works with the personal brand of an expert, media personality, or opinion leader. People working to increase popularity and recognition, such as artists, singers, and politicians, need it. The demand for this specialization is on the rise.
Sports brand manager. Works on the creation and development of the brand of the team or the sports ground. At the same time, he can be a personal brand manager – if he promotes the athlete’s brand.
Territory Brand Manager. This relatively new specialization is associated with branding cities, regions, and tourist attractions.
What does a brand manager do, and what functions and responsibilities?
We will consider the tasks of a specialist in the staff of an average company. Most often, he deals with all stages of creating and developing a brand; namely, he is responsible for the following:
- for strategic analysis – studies the target audience, market, competitors, and trends;
- Positioning – determines what place the brand will take in the minds of consumers;
- The development of the brand platform – works out its idea, values, character, emotional and functional benefits that the brand gives to consumers;
- For the development of the identity – determines how the elements will look, thanks to which you can recognize the brand: logo, colors, fonts, corporate sound, slogan, and so on;
- For the development of a brand strategy – makes a document that describes the entire path of brand development from creation to adaptation to changes;
- For brand promotion – launches or controls advertising and PR campaigns, hold events, organizes collaborations;
- For analyzing the results – monitors indicators, prepare reports, and hypothesizes how important metrics can be improved.
In some companies, the brand manager is also responsible for pricing, channel selection, and other tasks.
Consider another example – work in distribution companies. Such companies do not produce a product but sell a finished product. Therefore, the specialist does not create a brand in them but is only responsible for promoting and analyzing the results.
Something the brand manager takes on – for example, develops a brand strategy. Something passes to the team and controls the processes. For example, a specialist can assign a task to a designer to draw a logo and a performance marketer to launch an advertising campaign to increase brand awareness.
How is the work of a brand manager evaluated?
The main task of the brand manager is to make the brand bring more profit. They use KPIs- key performance indicators to understand what is happening with the brand and what profit it brings.
The most common indicators are:
- recognition, or the level of brand awareness;
- brand loyalty;
- brand value;
- market share;
- Share of advertising expenses for brand promotion;
- ROBI (return on branding investment) – return on investment in branding;
- contact cost.
Some metrics, such as awareness, take time to track. To find out, marketing research is needed – therefore, metrics are rarely recorded, for example, once a year. Other metrics can be tracked monthly, such as sales volume, number of mentions, and events held.
What skills and knowledge should a brand manager have?
A brand manager needs knowledge of theory, applied, and soft skills.
The theory is the basis without which it is impossible. A brand manager must understand what a brand is, how and why it is created, and what advantages it gives the company. As well as how marketing, communication, and promotion tools work.
It takes a lot of skill to get the job done. Employers often expect a brand manager to be able to:
- promote the brand – organize events, launch advertising and PR campaigns;
- conduct marketing analysis – study the target audience, market, and another brand environment;
- develop a brand – develop a strategy, and adapt it to changes.
Other popular skills include negotiating, project management, marketing research, and launching new products.
Soft skills are needed to perform work tasks more efficiently. A brand manager leads a team, so he will need leadership, communication, and the ability to work in a team. In addition, employers often list creativity, presentation skills, organizational skills, and analytical thinking in job openings.
How much does a brand manager earn
Many factors influence the income of a brand manager, from the level of the company to the region where the specialist lives. You can name the salary of conditional beginners and experienced professionals.
The average salary of a brand manager in the USA is 80,141$ a year.
How to Become a Brand Manager: Four Entry Points
To get an education. The basic direction for a brand manager is marketing. Getting a higher education in this area will take four years or more.
Education will provide all the necessary theoretical bases. But more than practice is not required – you must get applied skills and develop soft skills yourself.
Move from another specialization. Brand management is a part of marketing, so marketers often come into it. For example, those who were engaged in advertising or PR. Marketers understand how a brand works; they know how to strategize, analyze the target audience, and launch advertising campaigns.
Therefore, marketers can immediately apply for the position of brand manager. They can quickly get the missing skills – it will be easier for them to build a career than those with no education but no skills.
Start with no experience. Starting from scratch is possible but rare – employers prefer those who have at least theoretical knowledge. Without theory and experience, you can only apply for junior positions – an assistant in the marketing department or an assistant brand manager.
In this case, a beginner can see how brand management is built and gain some practical skills, such as conducting market research. But gaps in knowledge will have to be closed with the help of additional education.
Take courses. This is the best option for beginners and professionals from related fields who want to learn the missing skills quickly. The courses provide theory and practice – future brand managers learn from real cases.