Brand managers play an integral role in bringing a company’s products and services to the forefront, developing a brand identity, and ensuring product-market fit. In the digital world, a brand manager’s responsibilities are complex and multi-faceted, demanding experienced, talented professionals who are up to the challenging task of overseeing the growth of a brand.
A Definition of a Brand Manager
A brand manager serves a crucial marketing role. It is the brand manager who ensures that products and services resonate with consumers, as he is responsible for the image a product or person portrays. Brand managers must be able to hone in on exactly what a company stands for and tell its story in a relevant and genuine way. Brand managers do everything from fostering relationships with influencers to monitoring social media.
Challenges Facing Brand Managers
Brand managers have to be able to cut through the noise to make their company or product stand out to consumers. People are inundated with messages every day, and the brand manager has to make sure that he tells a genuine story that will resonate with them and stay in the front of their mind.
It’s not easy today, as studies show that average consumers are exposed to as many as 10,000 brand messages each day and switch between screens as many as 21 times per hour. What makes a brand manager’s job even more difficult is that the average attention span has shortened to eight seconds. All in all, a brand manager has to figure out a way to effectively reach consumers, despite all the distractions, with a story that creates urgency to prompt them to take action.
Important Brand Manager Skills
Brand managers must have a slew of skills in their marketing toolboxes to be effective. As storytellers, they must possess excellent writing skills and creativity. Those skills must transfer to short and long form pieces that identify the brand and convey the message.
Brand managers also must be able to build trust with stakeholders while continuing to define a brand and tell a story that not only makes sense to consumers but also is genuine. Moreover, these marketing gurus must possess top-notch analytical skills and a complete understanding of the brand they promote. It’s also imperative for brand managers to have budget management chops.
Brand Manager Best Practices and Strategies
Martin Roll, business and brand strategist, identifies five best practices of brand managers:
- Be adaptive and flexible – Brands cannot be static if they are to remain successful. As such, brand managers must balance “consistent brand guardrails” with the “freedom to adapt to leverage local growth opportunities.” Having the ability to adapt and remain flexible prevents brands from becoming obsolete or irrelevant.
- Leverage technology – In today’s world, technology is a must. Brand managers must adopt technology solutions to support their practices.
- Be a strategic guide and mentor – Brand managers must serve as the custodians of the brand to ensure consistency in brand identity, strategy, and marketing. Advice local marketing teams on strategic issues and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices between local and global brand teams.
- Align organizational structures – Brand management functions should be seamlessly integrated throughout the organization. Because brand management is so complex, your organizational structures should be in place to limit its complexity.
- Be proactive – Brand managers must be proactive instead of reactive. Stay on top of trends, learn about your consumers, and strive to align your practices with the new and emerging tools and techniques of the trade.
Marketing Profs also identifies strategies that top brand managers implement to remain effective:
- Combine strategy and creativity – Brand managers have to be both strategic and creative. They must glean insights from data and then use them to tell a story that will entice people to go with his brand. Brand managers must be able to move deftly between research and facts to creativity in communication, which requires them to be analytical, verbal, creative, and visual.
- Don’t follow the herd – Brand managers must be innovative and show consumers what sets their brand apart. They have to think outside the box if they are to beat the competition.
- Consider strategy before tactics – You must be able to turn down efforts that only satisfy short-term needs and then gain buy-in on your brand strategy from top decision-makers.
- Prioritize simplicity – With shrinking attention spans, brand managers must make a good impression with a succinct message. Focus on the essentials, explain how to use a product clearly and concisely, make it easy for customers to find you, make yourself accessible to solve customer issues, and be capable of quickly explaining what your brand stands for.
- Focus on aesthetics – Good design translates to trust among consumers. Make sure your product is as visually appealing as possible and apply your consistent creativity at all touchpoints.
Brand managers must possess a strong set of skills to craft a brand’s identity and overcome the challenges of distracted consumers who are inundated with marketing messages each day. To learn more about brand managers, visit the most recent relevant posts on our blog: