As the face and voice of a brand, a brand manager plays a crucial role in shaping and maintaining a company’s reputation, identity, and growth. But what exactly does a brand manager do? And how can they effectively navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of branding and marketing?
In this blog post, we will explore the key responsibilities, skills, and challenges of a brand manager. We will also provide insights and tips on how to excel in this role and drive business success. Whether you’re a current or aspiring brand manager, a marketer, or a business owner, this post will offer valuable insights and perspectives on the importance and impact of effective branding.
The Definition of a Brand Manager
The function of a brand manager may be characterized in a variety of ways since it is so vast and varied. But let’s err on the side of simplification as branding is all about it.
A brand manager is someone who develops a brand’s strategy and manages it with the goal of building the brand’s equity, reputation, and other brand assets.
What Does A Brand Manager Do?
A brand manager is in charge of a firm, product, or person’s total reputation.
They aim to make sure that every customer interaction with a business sends the proper message, enticing consumers to return and eventually growing the brand.
The function includes managing all communication, channels, assets, and goods, to mention a few, in order to direct marketing activities.
In order to improve future encounters with consumers, a brand manager is also in charge of managing the brand and customer experience, which involves reviewing customer feedback on goods and services and finding chances where customer expectations might have been satisfied.
In order to decide on branding strategies based on what customers want now or will desire tomorrow, brand managers are also engaged in evaluating market trends.
Core duties Of A Brand Manager
To do their everyday work, brand managers must use both project management and communication abilities.
To guarantee that the brand promise to the client shows through in everything the business does, everyone has to be on the same page.
As a result, while assigning diverse responsibilities to team members, brand managers must have faith in them.
The duties for the position may generally be divided into three categories:
Strategy You create a marketing strategy that takes into account internal communications, public relations, and customer service. The goal of the strategy is to build the brand before attempting to complete the project with the aid of other teams.
Management: You facilitate seamless departmental cross-collaboration across the whole business to realize the larger goal. Meetings with a content production team, a discussion of the most recent analytics with the social media manager, or a review of a product’s branding with the product manager may be necessary. After these meetings, be sure to pass along any information to the appropriate parties.
Brand development entails modifying any brand assets to be in line with plans intended to achieve organizational goals.
Benefits of Working With A Brand Manager?
So now that we’ve described what a brand manager performs, what is the real outcome?
How can brand managers alter corporate cultures?
Brand managers are aware that firms cannot just depend on their sales force to get outcomes.
Building a brand involves creating a connection between the market and the firm, not merely with regard to the company’s goods or services or a specific offer that is made at a given moment in time.
Brand equity, or the market’s desire to prefer your brand above that of your rivals, is something that must be earned rather than purchased.
By constructing the foundation for a significant long-term brand, you are creating a safe future for the company, just like any good, solid investment.
In life, no one loves receiving confusing signals, right?
A brand manager will create brand rules and make sure they are followed in all of the company’s endeavors.
This improves all business operations.
As long as your message, graphics, and visuals are consistent, all of your communications will support one another. Additionally, it promotes the identity of your brand both within and outside of the company.
Additionally, it promotes the identity of your brand both within and outside of the company.
Your internal communications, marketing initiatives, website, and press releases will all improve with clear brand standards, and for a brand to be successful, they all must follow the same rules.
Understanding the Competition and the Target Audience
Give the public what they want while outperforming or differing from your rivals in the market.
Though few execute it effectively, it’s not a tough notion to understand.
Understanding your audiences’ objectives, issues, anxieties, wants, and emotions are crucial.
It’s also important to comprehend the organizations (i.e., your rivals) catering to their demands in the industry before coming up with a strategy to set yourself apart from them with a service that offers them something special.
Brand managers will be far more likely to succeed in their roles if they are aware of these key concepts and use them to guide their everyday choices.
What does a Brand Manager Do Daily? (Activities of the Brand Manager)
The scope of the brand manager position is enormous.
They use several strategies and methods, but their main objective is to expand the brand by boosting sales and market share.
The tasks of the brand manager might range from examining market trends and competitor activity to talking with the marketing manager about marketing execution strategies.
A brand manager often collaborates closely with a small group of marketing experts whose job it may be to organize, direct, or carry out the many brand marketing and communication initiatives.
The daily tasks of a brand manager may be divided into three groups:
Strategy & Execution Customer service, public relations (PR), and internal communications are just a few examples of the crucial marketing components that propel a firm to success.
Marketing Management Effective cross-departmental cooperation on promotions, events, and other strategic initiatives is ensured by marketing management, with inbound efforts largely concentrating on content production and social media management. The majority of your everyday responsibilities may be found here, including analytics reporting, trend identification for future plans, and opportunity assessment based on data insights from rivals’ customers.
Brand development: defining corporate goals via market requirements analysis, developing strategies for each area of emphasis needed to accomplish these goals, and enhancing branding materials to guarantee overall plan coherence.
Marketing manager vs brand manager
Consequently, how are brand managers different from marketing managers?
In actuality, the brand manager has a higher level of responsibility than the marketing manager.
Although in most small enterprises the brand manager and marketing manager are the same, in big organizations the marketing manager reports to the brand manager.
Because brand growth is the brand manager’s responsibility, they are also in charge of developing and implementing the marketing plan.
In a small company, the brand manager would probably assume all responsibility for the marketing manager’s duties; however, in a bigger company, this function would probably be divided between two or more persons.
What Skills Are Needed For Brand Managers?
Brand managers were often exclusively employed in bigger companies.
Since there aren’t many educational pathways directly into brand management, the majority of brand managers would advance from marketing roles, where they typically earned a relevant marketing degree.
Smaller brands are now being created by entrepreneurs who take ownership of the business and the brand and who often self-learn branding and marketing.
Because so many different skill sets are needed to establish a brand, there are more paths than there were for earlier generations to become brand managers.
There are various paths that lead to brand management, including design, copywriting, social media management, and visual storytelling.
What Qualities Do Brand Managers Require?
A brand manager must possess a few traits in order to do the tasks required to build and protect a brand. The following are some of the most crucial abilities a brand manager should possess.
Effective brand management requires a particular set of abilities from a brand manager. Here are the top abilities needed for effective brand management.
Your ability to communicate is one of the most crucial components of your work as a brand manager.
You need message clarity internally among brand management professionals as well as externally in order to steer the brand.
It’s crucial to cultivate good ties throughout your organization, communicate with personnel in various departments, and forge personal connections with colleagues if you want to ensure that you have great communication skills.
Any brand must value creativity, thus the brand manager’s role includes not just encouraging it but also setting an example for others to follow.
Although it’s crucial to set goals and rules for these creatives, too much discipline may be harmful.
Effective brand managers are aware of this difficulty and adopt tactics that foster creativity rather than stifle it to ensure the team maintains its inventive spirit.
Competent market analysis
Brand managers must make important choices.
Decision-making information is provided by both qualitative and quantitative research, but both need data interpretation and decision-making based on the facts at hand.
Critical management choices are made using a mix of data analysis, experience, and intuition to help the brand achieve its goals.
Flexibility and Adaptability
The markets are dynamic. They are always moving and changing because people and their desires change over time.
Effective brand management does not include a “set it and forget it” strategy, thus the manager must be able to alter course if the market environment changes.
The brand’s flexibility is crucial to its long-term survival and success, whether via identity design, product design, message, or experience.
Team leadership and collaboration skills:
Brand managers must be able to lead and inspire a team of professionals from different backgrounds and skill sets. They must also be skilled at collaborating with cross-functional teams to achieve common goals and objectives.
What Are The Brand Manager’s Responsibilities?
The responsibilities of the brand manager are vast and diversified, as was already indicated. An even greater variety of tasks are needed to match the broad range of skill sets required.
Market Segments and the target audience
Early in the process of developing a brand strategy, buyer personas or audience avatars are developed, but they also change throughout time as the brand develops.
The brand management team may better understand consumers and meet their needs by examining customer interactions and feedback.
Competitive Advantage and positioning strategy
The process of developing a brand strategy includes defining the brand’s position, and attaining difference in this area (i.e., the reason why consumers would select them over rival brands) is the foundation of that plan.
In order to safeguard the company’s market position and competitive advantage, the brand manager must remain current on what the company’s rivals are doing.
Brand Characteristics and Tone of Voice
The brand manager has to be almost obnoxiously curious about the target market and how to connect with them.
Due to their experience and insight, they are able to modify the brand personality and tone of voice so that it more accurately captures the characteristics of their target audience.
An outstanding illustration of this is Old Spice, which, after 75 years, has adjusted its brand personality and positioning to fit a new target demographic.
Brand storytelling and messaging
A core branding element that has never been more crucial than it is now is a consistent message.
Because there are so many touchpoints across the brand experience, inconsistent messaging that conveys one message on one platform while a completely other one is delivered on another may lead to misunderstandings and mistrust.
Consistency is fundamental to the brand’s messaging and the tales it tells.
It is essential that the brand manager maintain central management of communication to guarantee consistency given the many touchpoints and often several different brand representatives and professionals engaged in conveying the brand.
Implementing a marketing strategy
A brand manager may have access to a wide range of specialists, such as marketing managers and strategists.
In any case, the brand manager is ultimately responsible for marketing implementation.
The praise for a good marketing campaign flows from the creative team all the way up to the brand manager.
The brand manager is also at risk if a campaign fails or the brand loses market share or equity as a result of an improperly timed execution.
Challenges of Being a Brand Manager
Being a brand manager comes with its own set of challenges. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common challenges faced by brand managers:
Balancing short-term goals and long-term vision:
Brand managers are often required to balance the need for short-term results with the long-term vision for the brand. This can be challenging, as short-term goals such as sales and revenue can sometimes conflict with long-term objectives such as brand equity and reputation. Brand managers must strike a balance between the two and ensure that short-term actions do not harm the brand’s long-term prospects.
Dealing with brand crises and reputation management:
No brand is immune to crises, and brand managers are often called upon to manage these situations effectively. This can involve everything from responding to negative reviews or social media comments to dealing with product recalls or PR disasters. Brand managers must act swiftly and decisively to mitigate damage to the brand’s reputation.
Managing competing priorities and stakeholder expectations:
Brand managers must navigate a complex web of competing priorities and stakeholder expectations. These can include the expectations of customers, shareholders, employees, and partners, among others. Brand managers must be skilled at managing relationships and communicating effectively with stakeholders to ensure that all parties are aligned and working towards the same goals.
Staying up-to-date on industry trends and best practices:
The world of branding and marketing is constantly evolving, and brand managers must stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices. This can involve attending conferences, networking with peers, and keeping abreast of new tools and technologies that can help enhance the brand’s performance.
How to Become a Brand Manager
Now that you have all the necessary parts to complete the brand manager jigsaw, how do you go about doing so?
Step 1: Learn Useful Branding and Marketing Techniques
As I said earlier, there are several paths that might lead to a brand manager role since developing strategic brands requires a wide range of skill sets.
Getting oneself onto one of these side roads that lead to the brand management motorway requires first acquiring the necessary abilities.
There are several traditional educational pathways that may provide you with a solid foundation in both the larger marketing discipline and your chosen specialized field.
Your existing talents could be useful, which is advantageous since businesses like to recruit someone who can start working right away.
Step 2: Obtain Useful Experience
Once you have the necessary abilities, using your knowledge is the only thing left to do. Although it’s crucial that you have a solid foundation in information, academics will only take you so far.
You’ll get the exposure and expertise you need by helping to create, develop, or promote a brand.
You may do this by locating a junior job with an agency, an internal position, or a smaller company that you can directly assist with their branding and marketing initiatives.
The more brands you help create, the more difficulties you encounter, and the more experience and confidence you develop.
Step 3: Develop a thirst for success
Once you have the necessary training and expertise, the focus shifts to passion, tenacity, and application.
Your foundational knowledge and experience are excellent, but if you want to succeed in the field of brand management, you’ll need to demonstrate persistence to propel yourself ahead.
You must have a strong desire for achievement and be prepared to work a lot of hours.
This demonstrates that in addition to enjoying what you do, you are also driven to create a distinctive personal brand.
It’s likely that you’ll be an expert in a certain area of brand creation, such as design, social media management, copywriting, etc.
But in order to manage a brand, you must have the whole picture and be able to understand how each component of a company interacts with the others.
An unquenchable interest in your area of branding is necessary for this. to determine every question a brand manager must address and to seek out those answers.
Final Words on What Does a Brand Manager do
Effective brand managers are hard to come by because the ascent to the heights of brand management is no stroll in the park. But if you’re prepared to put in the effort, the benefits are there.
The big branding decisions, which can mean the difference between obscurity and iconic status, are made at the top, where the buck stops.