Brand managers have an integral role in the modern enterprise, and the role is a complex one, encompassing fostering trust in the brand, managing the brand’s reputation, determining product-market fit, developing marketing and advertising strategies, and more. A brand manager works collaboratively with marketing teams, public relations, strategic management, graphic design, and other departments – thus, an understanding of each of these facets of modern business operations is essential. It’s up to the brand manager to lead the way in ensuring that marketing and advertising materials and campaigns are in line with the brand’s image, mission, and vision.
Naturally, successful brand managers require a broad skill set that enables them to work cohesively with other departments and ensure that the many pieces of the puzzle fit seamlessly together to strengthen the company’s brand. We’ve created this guide to compile a list of the essential traits, skills, and characteristics today’s brand managers need to succeed in their roles. In this guide, we’ll discuss:
- Background & Education of Successful Brand Managers
- Brand Manager Responsibilities
- Essential Traits of Successful Brand Managers
- Required Skills for Successful Brand Managers
Background & Education of Successful Brand Managers
1. Most companies hiring brand managers look for a degree in a relevant field plus several years of experience. “Brand managers tend to be degree qualified with a relevant major and/or have several years’ demonstrable marketing experience in a similar environment.
“To achieve this position employers might expect you to have a degree in Business, Advertising and Marketing, Economics or Engineering from a first line school, be fluent in English and have a post-graduate qualification or MBA.” – The role of a brand manager, Robert Walters; Twitter: @RobertWaltersPR
2. There are a variety of educational paths that can lead to a career as a brand manager. “There are no set entry routes for brand managers, but the majority have a degree or HNC/HND in business studies or marketing, as well as business experience. There are options for non-graduates, which include taking a professional marketing qualification whilst working in a more junior post.” – Job Description: Brand Manager, Creativepool; Twitter: @Creativepool
3. Some companies hiring a brand manager for the first time look to promote from within. “Many companies looking to restructure the important role of Brand Manager may look to promote from within and find an employee who has existing experience and market knowledge working closely with the brand – such was the case for GetSmarter Past Student, RJ Prinsloo when he became Brand Manager at The Kartal Distribution.” – How to Become a Brand Manager, GetSmarter; Twitter: @GetSmarter
4. While not always a requirement, an MBA can be helpful when pursuing a brand management career. “In most countries Marketing (including Brand Management) is not a regulated profession, which means that theoretically there is no mandatory training required to work in the field.
“That being said most Brand Management jobs require a Bachelor degree and some previous experience in a Marketing role, usually as Junior Brand Manager, Marketing Coordinator or Marketing Assistant.
“Almost every university offers a Business degree with a Marketing focus that offers students a good understanding of fundamental concepts such as target market, segmentation, brand positioning, as well as the 4 Ps of marketing: product, placement, price and promotion.
“An MBA will greatly increased your changes of getting a Brand Management job. Most companies, in particular in the FMCG, list this requirement under the ‘preferred skills’ section of the job offering.” – Michael Baicoianu, A Career in Brand Management: Everything You Need To Know, brandUNIQ; Twitter: @branduniq
5. Stepping into an assistant brand manager or junior brand manager role is often a stepping stone for brand management professionals. “There are no set entry routes for brand managers. A majority do have degrees before starting in a junior marketing role; for example marketing assistant or executive.
“After about three to five years, junior brand managers may be promoted to a more senior role such as brand manager, possibly overseeing a group of brands or even the company brand.
6. On-the-job experience is typically required, so some brand managers start out in entry-level marketing jobs and work their way up the career ladder. “Earning your degree will help you build the foundation of knowledge on which to build your career as a marketing manager. But in most cases, you’ll need some on-the-job experience under your belt, too.
“More than 13,000 job postings sought marketing manager candidates with less than 2 years of working experience. That number jumps to more than 62,000 job openings available for those with 2-5 years of experience. It’s obvious that a little hands-on experience goes a long way!
“There are a handful of entry-level marketing jobs that can help you acquire the skills and experience needed to become a marketing manager. Some of these positions include working as a marketing assistant, a marketing analyst, a sales representative or a marketing account executive. Your current job may even qualify as relevant experience for a marketing management position.” – Jess Mansour Scherman, How to Become a Marketing Manager: 3 Ingredients in the Recipe for Success, Rasmussen College; Twitter: @RASbusiness
7. Education alone often isn’t enough to land a brand management role. Most companies are looking for passion and energy, as well. “There is something about a powerful brand that is inherently alluring for the consumer. Coca-Cola, Nike, Hershey, BMW, Louis Vuitton – all are globally recognized brand names that evoke strong emotions and imagery around their products. Each of these brands and the products they offer are driven by strong marketing engines that work to grow sales and capture market share. And for many brands, top MBA talent helps make these marketing engines hum.
“For students looking to become career marketers or general managers, there are few opportunities that provide the content-rich experience of running your own business like brand management. Brand managers are responsible for all aspects of driving their product or portfolio of products, from developing the vision for the brand to managing the daily execution of that brand’s marketing strategy.
“Global consumer product companies offer MBAs highly attractive marketing opportunities, but are as equally demanding about who they hire to work on their world-class brands. MBA students looking to get into brand management need to display not only the requisite leadership, team work, creativity, problem-solving and analytical skills, but also the deep passion and energy for the brands they will ultimately be promoting to the world. For the aspiring marketer, the question is, of course – can they make the leap?” – Way Lum, Making the Leap: Do You Have What It Takes for Brand Management?, Beat the GMAT; Twitter: @beatthegmat
Brand Manager Responsibilities
8. Brand managers oversee all activities related to how the brand is exposed to and perceived by the audience. “Customer-facing businesses often have one or more brand managers, assigned to one or more trademarked products of business lines. The brand manager’s job is to understand and manage how a brand is exposed to and perceived by the public. Normally, brand managers work with a staff within the marketing department. Brand managers analyze the intended market for a brand or product, then design strategies to better position the brand’s products or services in the marketplace. This process takes place before launching a new product or business line, or to bolster an existing brand’s position.” – Rebecca Lee White, The Ultimate Marketing Careers Guide, TrackMaven; Twitter: @TrackMaven
9. Brand managers must ensure that products and services resonate with the target audience. “Brand managers are responsible for ensuring that the products, services and product lines that fall under their domain resonate with current and potential customers. To do so, these professionals continuously monitor marketing trends and keep a close eye on competitive products in the marketplace. They also regularly meet with clients and senior management, and they oversee a team of junior marketers.
“Working under marketing managers or CMOs, brand managers serve as the point-person for developing, implementing and executing marketing initiatives and activities for their particular brand. These initiatives and activities include campaigns (print, web, social media, broadcast, etc.), events, corporate responsibility programs and sponsorships.” – Brand Manager job description, Paladin Staffing; Twitter: @PaladinStaff
10. Brand managers need to have a strong grasp on current market trends. “Brand Managers need to be able to draw on the consumer research and monitor market trends (think about the recent craze with Pokémon Go). Therefore, having a grasp of the target market and also potential target markets is the key. What are their reactions to the marketing campaigns? What’s being said on social media and how are people talking about the brand. How is the brand manager, managing or monitoring this process?” – Amanda Wright, What is the role of a Brand Manager? – Job Description, The Branding Journal; Twitter: @thebrandingjnl
11. Brand managers rely heavily on market research to ensure product-market fit. “Brand managers conduct initial market research for a brand, gathering data about where a product fits in with the rest of the market. This includes polling demographics, discovering demand for a product, and asking people what makes a particular product stand out.
“After extensive research, brand managers develop monthly objectives with their team with the goal of increasing a brand’s value. This includes developing marketing strategies and introducing the brand to the public. Throughout a brand’s life, the brand manager reports to higher level marketing staff about sales, how marketing strategies are affecting those sales, and how a brand can reach even more consumers.” – Brand Manager – The Career, Marketing-Schools.org
12. The goal of a brand manager is to turn a product into a household name. “When you’re a brand manager, you’re given a product—which might be a shampoo bottle or a company image— to sell and, ideally, turn into a household name. A great example of this is Kleenex: although it’s actually a brand name, it’s what most people ask for when they’re about to sneeze. You gauge your success through conducting market research, which polls customers to find out how aware they are of certain brands.” – Brand Manager, Chegg Internships; Twitter: @internships
13. Brand managers act as the gatekeeper for the brand. “Brand managers are typically the gatekeepers of a brand, and are consulted on guidelines for branding in advertising, promotions, internal publications, marketing and social media outreach. They participate in brand strategy discussions and collaborate with the creative team to ensure strategic objectives are met.” – Brand Manager Career and Salary Profile, Florida Tech Online; Twitter: @FLTechOnline
14. Brand managers are responsible for strategizing on how to increase brand awareness, among other responsibilities. “A brand manager must possess skills of analysis and creativity to implement their ideas and achieve their goals. They must develop large-scale marketing strategies as well as advertising strategies, including both print and digital media. They must continue to re-evaluate how their brand is seen in order to boost its value. Brand managers can be in charge of the image of goods, services, even people.
Job responsibilities of a Brand Manager include:
- Evaluating brand image
- Strategizing how to increase brand awareness
- Overseeing advertising placement
- Monitoring the progress of sales” – Difference Between Brand Manager & Marketing Manager, Study.com; Twitter: @Studydotcom
15. Brand managers must manage both the tangible and intangible characteristics of the product or service. “On a wider scale, brand management includes managing both the intangible and tangible characteristics of a brand. For product brands, the tangibles include the item itself, packaging, price etc. In case of services, tangibles comprise customer experience, whereas the intangibles include the emotional connect.” – 12 Major Principles of Brand Management for successful Business, EDUCBA; Twitter: @corporatebridge
16. Developing and executing the brand strategy. “Brand managers are responsible for identifying their brand’s main audience and determining how to best communicate with it. Developing a brand strategy includes everything from crafting a logo and tagline to creating a consistent brand voice and personality. A brand manager for a line of frozen, family-style meals, for instance, may craft a brand strategy that targets working parents who still want to have a sit-down dinner each night with their families.” – Brand Manager Job Description, JobHero; Twitter: @JobHeroHQ
17. Brand managers are tasked with performing competitive analysis. “Brand managers are often likened to small business owners because they assume responsibility for a brand or brand family. They are always focused on the big picture. It is their job to instill the brand’s essence, map out their competitors in their brand’s category, identify marketing opportunities, and be able to communicate the unique benefits of that product or service effectively.
“Brand managers are also responsible for guiding the market research team by setting the agenda and criteria and also selecting the stimuli, such as product-benefit statement, pictures, product samples, and video clips. Once the research is complete, it is the brand manager’s job to analyze the data that’s been collected then develop a marketing strategy.
“This marketing strategy may call for a new ad campaign, development of new products, or drawing out a new vision for the brand. It is also then the brand manager’s job to ensure that other functions such as promotions, market research, research and development, and manufacturing are orchestrated to implement the strategy that they have developed.” – Laura Lake, 5 Marketing Careers You Should Explore, The Balance; Twitter: @thebalance
18. Junior brand strategists are often tasked with research-focused projects. “Junior strategists are generally tasked with research-related projects. This may be assembling background information on a client and looking into sector trends for a pitch, or it may be finding relevant stats and facts, analysing market research and data, or preparing customer research for an existing project. Or it may be doing background research for marketing and branded content for the company or client.
“Line managers (the good ones) want to see young strategists actively thinking about the company or the client, and will nurture and mentor those who go beyond the job description. Juniors who’ve been working on their writing and who stay plugged into things in their own time, often feel more confident and comfortable not only taking on research tasks, but are also more likely to push their work up the value chain into analysis, insight and, ultimately, strategy.” – Camilla Grey, How to get a job as a brand strategist—hints for landing that first role in an agency, startup, or big company., Medium; Twitter: @camillaxgrey
19. Brand managers lead cross-functional teams and also work with third-party agencies. “At its most basic level, brand management is the general management of a brand as a mini-business. The primary responsibility of the brand management function is to plan and execute all consumer-facing communications, programs, and activations for a brand. Said another way, brand management leads the strategic vision for the brand and how that vision is expressed in the marketplace. The daily reality of that role includes leading cross-functional teams across finance, sales, demand planning, product development, etc. to deliver on the consumption budget of a brand. Brand management will also partner closely with 3rd party agencies in developing advertising creative and overall media strategies, including digital, that reflect the brand’s strategic vision.” – MBA Career Spotlight On: Brand Management, Vantage Point MBA; Twitter: @VantagePointMBA
Essential Traits of Successful Brand Managers
20. Social responsibility. “The socially responsible brand manager realizes that providing goods and services will only get a company so far. To ensure maximum customer retention, you must set customers at ease. Brands need to set forth an image of helping out the greater good in some way. If a brand manager cultivates personal habits of social responsibility, implementing this layer of brand identity becomes second nature.
“Tons of companies understand the necessity for social and environmental consciousness. They promote affiliations with local non-profits, participate in fundraisers and auctions, or encourage staff members to turn in volunteer hours. These are all wonderful endeavors that go a long way to helping all sorts of charitable organizations and causes.
“However, businesses that are able to infuse this social responsibility into their brand’s image really showcase how commitment to the greater good can bolster brand reputation by leaps and bounds.” – Brian Sparker, The 15 Habits of the Highly Effective Brand Manager, ReviewTrackers; Twitter: @reviewtrackers
21. An analytic mindset. “Brand managers must be able analysts of their target consumers; in order to develop and reinforce relationships with these customers, a brand manager must understand their needs and desires, and create successful strategies to satisfy those needs with their company’s product. A successful branding strategy will do more than make isolated sales that satisfy momentary customer needs; it will convince customers to associate a need with a product or company.” – Becoming a Brand Manager, MarketingCareerEDU.org
22. An eye for aesthetics. “Good design costs as much as bad design. Product packaging and marketing materials that have a consistent, attractive, and unique look can make the difference between success and failure.
“We are visual creatures. We do not buy based on facts and bullet points but on what is visually appealing to us. Good creative inspires trust and is often associated with superior quality and functionality.
“Good brand managers can elevate creativity and consistency in applying it at all brand touchpoints, be it packaging, POS, advertising, and the after-sale experience.” – Michael Baicoianu, Five Things That Successful Brand Managers Do, MarketingProfs; Twitter: @MarketingProfs
23. Detail-oriented and persuasive. “Brand managers craft elegant business plans and submit them to senior management. Then, when the price of the key ingredient in their product goes through the roof because of locust plagues, they rewrite the business plan from scratch with many more contingencies. They focus on the minutiae of a daily sales-volume report, and they dream big dreams when it’s time to update the vision for the brand. They approach upper-level management for capital to fund a new product launch or a line extension in much the same way that small business owners go to venture capitalists or banks to fund expansion.” – Career Overview: Brand Management, WetFeet; Twitter: @WetFeet_Career
24. Adaptability to evolving markets. “A brand name is a tangible asset used to distinguish a product from others on the market. The brand’s image, however, exists in the mind of the consumer. It is what gives meaning to the name and communicates the brand’s core values.
“Since we live in a world where information can be accessed from anywhere and at any time, consumers have multichannel access to brands. Everything they read and see contributes to their perception. The way we perceive brands and the relationship we have with them is constantly evolving, and Brand managers must adapt and evolve along with them.” – A day in the life of a brand manager, Printsome; Twitter: @Printsome
25. The ability to juggle myriad tasks and demands. “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.” – Brand Manager jobs, MyJobSearch.com; Twitter: @myjobsearch
26. Trend savviness. “Brand managers must stay on top of industry trends in marketing and consumer psychology. They should be able to demonstrate their interest for the latest industry news and information.” – Frank Brogie, Brand Manager: Definition, Job Description, Salary, and More, Repsly; Twitter: @Repsly
27. A deep understanding of how customers think. “At the core, assuming a role in a brand management career means striving to create an instantly recognizable product image.
“Responsible for coordinating product presentation, these managers must figure out how to create a personality for a product or service that will convey the intent of the product while also being unique and inspiring consumer trust.
“This is a heady task that requires close attention to detail and a thorough knowledge of how customers think.” – What’s Involved in a Brand Management Career?, All Business Schools; Twitter: @AllBizSchools
28. A full historical understanding of the brand. “He sees the full history of the brand. He keeps voluminous files of the usage and history of the brands, and has a little storage room shelf where all the packaging and products produced under the brand name are stored for reference.” – Garland Pollard, 7 Characteristics of a Perfect Brand Manager, BrandlandUSA
29. Willingness to take ownership of the brand. “Many Brand Managers struggle with the transition from being the helper to being the owner. As you move into the job, you have to get away the idea of having someone hand you a project list. Not only do you have to make the project list, you have to come up with the strategies from which the projects fall out of.
“A great Brand Manager talks in ideas in a telling sense, rather then an asking sense. It’s great to be asking questions as feelers, but realize that most people are going to be looking to you for decisions. They’ll be recommending you’ll be deciding.
“When managing upwards be careful of asking questions—try to stick to solutions. You just gave up your ownership. Your director wants you to tell them what to do, and debate from there.” – Graham Robertson, The 5 factors to being a great Brand Manager, Beloved Brands; Twitter: @BelovedBrands
30. Empathy. “There’s a reason some large companies require their employees to attend empathy training. Firstly, their lawyers probably insist upon it. Secondly, it greatly enhances those employees’ interactions with customers and other team members…all of which builds the brand. Not everyone is born with a deep sense of empathy. You can, however, learn to pick up on cues and to be more conscious of others’ feelings with empathy training. This will aid you in developing marketing campaigns (you’ll know how your ideal customers feel, so you can speak to their emotions) and in all types of communications.” – Sammy Blindell, Skill Building for Brand Building, How to Build a Brand; Twitter: @SammyBlindell
31. An incredible gut instinct (and knowing when to follow it). “There are two factors that I have seen in a consistent manner: #1: They get what they need. #2: What they need is the right thing to do. Very simply put, great marketers get both. The rest either fail on #1 or #2. To get what you want, keep things simple and move fast to take the positional advantage. What separates many Brand Managers is the inability to actually rely on their instincts, instead of just the textbook answer. You get so busy, so deadline focused, so scared to make a mistake that you forget to think in a confused state of ambiguity. It’s not easy to sit there without the answer, but sometimes if you just wait a bit longer and keep pushing for an even better answer, it will come to you. Revel in ambiguity.” – Graham Robertson, How to be a Successful Brand Manager, LinkedIn
32. A competitive mindset. “Category managers will often have a competitive nature, and will thrive on being responsible for a specific product performing well and beating the competitors. There is fierce competition amongst suppliers to persuade retailers that their products should be in pride of place within stores. Retailers will consider what the market demand is for various products, how much promotion is being done for them, and the profit margin for each of them – category managers must be aware of all of these aspects of not only their own products, but also those of their competition.” – Alana Walden, 5 key skills you need for a Category Manager job, Brand Recruitment; Twitter: @BrandJobs
33. They know how to think outside the box. “Look around at the greatest content marketing examples and I’ll show you creativity and unique thinking every time. Fact is, the best ones in this industry aren’t looking for a set of ‘rules’ or a ‘road map’ that tells them exactly what they need to do next.
“Instead, they just get stuff done, however they possibly can, and often with some serious creativity acting as the catalyst to success.” – Marcus Sheridan, 10 Qualities of the Best Content Marketing Managers Today, The Sales Lion; Twitter: @TheSalesLion
34. Innovation. “Great marketing leaders and executives do not agree with mediocrity, but only with the best.
“Innovation is the key in all spheres of life, but in the corporate world and marketing world, new and improved business solutions drive the business and the person should be an innovator to attract, maintain and grow customers.
“Impatience and disagreement should be channelized by initiating changes to things that need to be changed.” – Chitra Reddy, Top 14 Skills and Qualities of a Successful Marketing Executive, Wisestep; Twitter: @Wisestepp
35. Wide-ranging curiosity. “To build a brand effectively, you have to be aware of a broad range of marketing, industry and popular phenomena and trends; and not just for creating an au courant consumer brand. B2B buyers are people too, and their environment as consumers influences their expectation of commercial environments.That means more than watching Super Bowl ads. It means having a general sense for what’s happening in politics, science, music, fine art, movies, technology, demographics, language and a bunch of other fields that impact people’s social and commercial interests, communication and behavior.” – Paul Burke, Who would make a good brand strategist?…, Quora
36. A genuine fascination with brands. “Be genuinely interested in brands – not just the brand you’re managing but brands in general. Does it fascinate you how brands are built? Do you have ideas and opinions to contribute to building brands? If you have this interest, that is I’d say half the job done. [And not just for the Nikes and Coca Colas of the world – nearly everyone wants to work on these brands that are already built. But do you care about brands that are not yet built?]” – Meenu Susanna, What should I start doing to start a career in brand management?, Quora
Required Skills for Successful Brand Managers
37. Process design. “Marketing automation is just beginning to penetrate its market. Forrester says it’s less than 5% adopted. As anyone who has been part of a re-engineering effort can attest, it’s not the automation that increases productivity. It’s the process changes that automation enables and enforces. Deploying marketing automation will require skills such as process modeling, project management, the ability to train and manage change, as well as ease with technology.” – Adele Sweetwood, 9 skills every marketing manager needs to look for, SAS; Twitter: @SASsoftware
38. Strong analytical and organization skills. “Brand Managers must have a good understanding of their audience and customers and have strong creative, analytical and organization skills. A Brand Manager must also have a good handle on consumer and market insights, including the ability to analyze market data, and he or she may be tasked with conducting consumer research. The position requires close collaboration with marketing, advertising and media departments.” – Brand Manager: Job Description, FreshGigs.ca; Twitter: @FreshGigsca
39. Effective targeting. “Then comes targeting. A good marketer has made the leap of faith and accepted that fewer target consumers will deliver a better overall result. Usually, that means stepping back from the segmentation and only going after 10% or 20% of the potential market. Tight target segments mean the marketing has a chance to succeed. Too many marketers lose faith at this stage and end up targeting pretty much everyone.
“Which leads nicely to the next feature of a great marketer: being entirely comfortable devoting time and marketing money to excluding the wrong kinds of consumers from your brand. Most marketers, when asked, still don’t know the difference between marketing and sales. Marketing is as much about stopping the wrong people buying a product as ensuring that the right ones do. Usually, the majority of potential consumers in any market will cost you money if you serve them. A good marketer knows this and uses his or her skills to ensure they are avoided.” – Mark Ritson, 6 Required Skills To Be A Great Marketer, Branding Strategy Insider; Twitter: @BrandingInsider
40. Communication skills. “The larger the corporation, the more important good communication is. Also, interpersonal communication is valuable in networking and accomplishing tasks, wherever you are. Communication skills are present during a speech, presentation, day-to-day talk, elevator pitches to executives or between you and a peer. Each interaction is important to showcasing your Personal Brand in positive light. Presenting at work is a time where you can build credibility, network within the corporate environment and be seen as a leader or subject matter expert. Your credibility is at stake during a presentation, so be prepared to answer questions and be concise with your PowerPoint slides and vocals. Presenting is a formal way of letting your audience or managers know that you exist and add value to the business. The difficult part is the pressure that you endure before you present because you are being judged on your verbiage and subject knowledge. This is why preparation is the key to your success. Strong presentation skills are a clear path for leadership, which corresponds to management.” – Daniel Schawbel, The 3 most important Personal Branding skills to have, Social Media Today; Twitter: @DanSchawbel, @socialmedia2day
41. Data visualization. “Going hand in hand with the statistical analysis crew, brands also want to be able to share some of their data insights with their key target audiences.
“However, most of us don’t perk up at the thought of combing through spreadsheets for that eureka moment. That’s where data visualizers come in – they help reformat valuable, insightful data into visual graphs, charts, and graphics that make those numbers easier to digest. Data visualizers are utilized to create powerful, data-driven content that is appealing to users (infographics are a prime example). Data visualization mastery is in high demand, so be sure to detail your knowledge on your marketing skills resume.” – Megan Marrs, 14 Marketing Skills to Add to Your Resume This Year, WordStream; Twitter: @WordStream
42. Storytelling ability. “Successfully promoting a brand requires coming up with a compelling story about that product or person to convey to the audience.” – Brand Manager Job Description, Qualifications, and Outlook, Job Descriptions Wiki
43. The right combination of empathy, analysis, ideation, and administration. “Empathy + Analysis + Ideation + Administration = An Effective Brand Manager (at least in my eyes).
- Empathy – This is a marketer’s heart: the emphatic understanding of the brand’s target consumer groups (Can you identify with people enough to clearly see their needs?).
- Analysis – This is a marketer’s mind: the analytic evaluation of data for decision-making (Do you have the mental acuity to glean insights from mined data?).
- Ideation – This is a marketer’s gut: the principled identification of the big picture (Do you have enough experience to clearly synthesize consumer insights?)
- Administration – This is a marketer’s hands: the organized interpretation of the brand’s strategy and tactical executions (Are you willing to work patiently to gain alignment across functional work groups?).
“The sum of these 4 macro level elements rolls up to a Brand Manager that is equipped with the tools to facilitate and lead efficiently and effectively.” – Robert Loggins, What are the qualifications for a Brand Manager or Brand Strategist?, Quora
44. The ability to take a holistic approach to moving the brand forward. “A good brand manager should be able to manage all the various aspects of a brand and should have a holistic approach in taking the brand forward. It is essential that he/she clearly identifies the brand attributes and have a long term strategy in place. When I say holistic, what I mean is that, the brand manager is responsible for managing the brand, maintaining good reputation, reaching sales targets, perform market research (commissioning band perception studies etc.) as well as foreseeing possible opportunities or hindrances to take the brand forward. He should be pragmatic and not just theoretical in his approach to take the brand forward. The best brand managers breathe and live the brand they manage.” – Manu Sankar Das, What are the key skills and strengths of a good Brand Manager?, Bayt; Twitter: @Baytcom
45. The ability to interface and work collaboratively with other team members and departments. “Part of the Brand Manager job description is to conduct market research regularly. Once they have collected data they analyse it so that they can develop informed brand strategies. Once they have developed a brand strategy they work together with marketing and design teams to implement it.
“These types of marketing jobs also entail working closely with sales teams. When the campaign is in place they oversee the campaign as well as monitor its progress. Depending on their analysis they will make the necessary adjustments to ensure it is successful. If a company or product has a negative image, they problem-solve to see how they can recreate a positive perception.” – An Exciting Career as a Brand Manager, JobMail; Twitter: @jobmail
46. Strategic thinking. “Being able to develop a marketing strategy that is in line with the overall business strategy and ‘think’ strategically in all aspects of marketing is not only something that a Marketing Manager needs to possess – it is also a deal breaker. If a Marketing Manager is not a strategic thinker, then they are simply not a Marketing Manager and another role would be best suited to their capabilities. A Marketing Manager needs to have a firm understanding of market trends, be able to develop a targeted marketing strategy and meet company goals.” – Melissah Smith, Traits of a successful marketing manager, MarketingEye; Twitter: @MarketingEyeAUS
47. In-depth knowledge of branding and marketing best practices. “While applying a brand name to a product / service, brand managers are required to follow certain principles, like the name of the product should be simple to remember, easy to pronounce, highly recognizable and easily and accurately translated into all languages of the target consumer market. They should be aware of the latest trends in the market and must come up with ideas for new packaging designs, including shape, size, colors, fonts and imagery. A brand manager is responsible for developing new products according to the demands of the consumer. And for this they co-ordinate with various other sections and departments of production, research and development, advertising, sales, promotion, marketing research, purchasing, distribution, package development and finance etc. A brand manager should be able to present product’s benefit as well as the company’s image in the market and look superior as compared to other brands in the market. Now online brand management, known as e-branding is also becoming popular through social networking sites and blogs.” – Brand Management as a career, WebIndia123; Twitter: @webindia123edu
48. The ability to juggle multiple deadlines, demands, and responsibilities. “Marketing professionals may find it glamorous working for big names within the FMCG sector. The truth is – brand management is hard work because of the brand name at stake. As a brand manager, you will have to work long hours and juggle multiple deadlines. Key responsibilities include a broad spectrum of job functions, from brand strategy planning, advertising and promotions to market research and product development.” – Working as a brand manager in FMCG, Robert Walters; Twitter: @RobertWaltersPR
49. The ability to tell stories with your data. “There is tons of data all over—share results, tracking, test scores, etc. One of the most critical skill an Assistant Brand Manager can work on is developing stories with the data. It’s one thing to have the data point, but another to have thought it through and know what it means, and what action you will take on this data. When you come across data, the best thing you can do is look for patterns or data breaks, try to twist the data in different ways to see if you keep getting the same story, ask questions to find back up, start putting together stories and challenge the stories. Never give a data point without a story or action. You risk letting someone else take your data and run with it. Never fear bad data, as long as you have an action plan. Never twist the data to tell a story, because if it’s challenged, the whole story crumbles with it. This skill is one that you carry with you as you move upwards in marketing.In fact, the more practice you have, the faster you’ll become.” – Graham Robertson, How to be a great Assistant Brand Manager…and of course, get Promoted, Beloved Brands; Twitter: @BelovedBrands
50. Knowing when to tap into insider knowledge within the organization. “Branding teams are often a hodgepodge of imaginative creative types from the advertising world and button-down bottom-line types from the business world. The result can be explosive—whether that’s explosive good or explosive-bad often depends on how well you get along with your teammates. You certainly can’t expect good camaraderie everywhere you go. The industry is not without its share of ‘prima donnas,’ some with big enough egos to argue for hours over which shade of pink to use. Rather than get bogged down in contentious debates with your team, think about the specialized knowledge the team members bring to the table, and the skills you might learn from them. Need to hone your market research skills? Then it will be good to work alongside some top-notch researchers. Want to learn more about manufacturing? The R&D engineer might just be your new best friend. Hoping to segue into software marketing? You’ll want to hang out with IT types and learn their language. If there are people on the team who have skills or background you lack, don’t be intimidated or shy around them—these are the people you’ll want to get to know so you can expand your brand management repertoire.” – Careers in Brand Management, WetFeet; Twitter: @WetFeet_Career