A majority of the world population knows about popular brands like Coca-Cola, Google, Gucci, and Apple. These brands did not become successful and world-famous because of luck.
They have many loyal and repetitive customers who trust the brand no matter what. But what is the reason behind it? Well, they have some competitive brand managers who define and promote a positive image of the brand to help it build a lasting relationship with its customers and set it apart from its competitors.
This article will teach you all you need to know about brand managers, including their roles, duties, skills, salary, and much more.
A brand manager is an integral part of a company as he develops and executes brand strategy – a strategic plan that helps a company achieve its pre-defined long-term goals by creating its specific image in the minds of its customers.
They work collaboratively with multiple teams, including social media marketing, market research, graphic design, product design, digital media, and interactive media teams, which is why they must have an understanding of all these fields.
They are not expected to perform all these roles, but having an understanding of each field will help them guide each team to design strategies that align with the brand’s goals and objectives.
A brand manager maintains a positive image of the brand and ensures its products align with its customers’ needs. He performs many different roles, which is why he needs to have a broad skill set.
Brand manager duties
Duties of a brand manager vary from company to company.
Design a brand strategy
One of the key roles of a brand manager is to identify and understand the brand’s target audience and find out the best possible ways of gaining their trust and communicating with them.
He develops a brand strategy that consists of the following key elements:
- Brand logo
- Brand voice
- Brand purpose
- Brand personality
- Brand vision
- Target audience
- Long and short-term goals
Conduct market analysis
If a brand is planning to launch a new product, the brand manager will first gather all the necessary information required to develop and promote a product. He studies product demand and conducts surveys to find out what people expect from a particular kind of product.
Using all the gathered information, he determines which color to use for the product (as colors can enhance brand recognition by 80%), how to design it, and what its basic features should be.
Oversee all the marketing activities
A brand manager works with social media marketing and digital marketing teams to supervise their marketing activities. He understands his audience’s demands and finds suitable ways to expose a brand or product to them. He analyzes the market and forms strategies to position a newly launched product or service the right way.
Monitor current market trends
Understanding and following trends is important as it allows brands to stay competitive and fresh. A brand manager stays up to date and keeps an eye on emerging trends to find new opportunities and ideas to grab his audience’s attention.
Boost brand awareness
A brand manager utilizes his creativity and analysis skills to come up with new ideas to attract more and more potential customers. He develops winning marketing and advertising strategies to target his audience. He evaluates brand image to see how he can boost the brand’s value.
Analyze the performance of all social media profiles
Social media has become an important marketing tool. 21% of buyers purchase products from brands that they can find on social media. To grab the attention of such consumers, brand managers keep business profiles engaging and attractive. He tracks important social media metrics to determine how profiles are performing, and then he makes amendments to social media strategies according to the need.
Perform competitive analysis
Internet users take only 0.5 seconds (50 milliseconds) to decide whether or not to stay on a website. It means the competition is very high. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to understand their strategies, strengths, and weaknesses.
A brand manager performs competitive analysis to find who his main competitors are, and then he designs more effective marketing strategies to attract his audience.
Lead multiple teams
A brand manager plans and executes different activities related to marketing, product development, social media management, community development, etc. He guides all teams on how to skyrocket sales by aligning their strategies to brand goals. He gives them a roadmap and makes sure they work according to the guidelines.
Brand manager skills
A brand manager needs to have the following key skills.
Branding and marketing
One of the most important skills a brand manager needs is knowledge of branding and marketing. He should be aware of the basic branding and marketing principles so he can design strategies according to them and help the company develop more. He should know what kind of name should be given to a product, how its packaging should be designed, and how it should be presented to the world so it can gain their attention and interest.
It is an advanced skill that allows you to share data insights with your target audience so that the general public can easily digest complicated data. He tells content creators how to design different forms of data-driven content, such as infographics, pie charts, column charts, etc. He uses this skill to present analytics to directors and other higher-level professionals to tell them how the branding strategy is performing.
A brand manager has to use this skill throughout the day to make speeches, have a day-to-day talk, give presentations, or share ideas with peers. Therefore, if you want to be a brand manager, make sure you learn written and oral communication skills. They will help you accomplish tasks and connect with your target audience on a deeper level.
A brand manager has to oversee the performance of many teams. Whenever a problem arises, he should try to find and present suitable solutions instead of freaking out and focusing on problems. It will allow teams to keep working on their goals.
Social media savvy
A brand manager should know how to use popular social media platforms to improve the brand’s image, reach his target audience, and engage his customers. He should be aware of the importance of different forms of social media content and know which content is suitable for his target audience.
Branding allows you to make your brand stand out in a crowd of competitors. You need to think outside the box to beat your competitors. A good brand manager develops innovative ideas and techniques to take the brand to the next level.
Market conditions keep changing with time which can affect your business adversely if you don’t adapt according to the changing conditions. So, a brand manager should have the ability to be flexible even if the situation looks difficult. He should create new opportunities to help the brand keep growing.
Focused and responsible
Having good ideas is not enough to be successful. You need to be able to put them into action. Since a brand manager works with different teams and has to perform multiple tasks, he should stay focused and perform all duties responsibly.
Analytical and organizational skills
A brand manager should be able to collect, organize and analyze data to find out creative and rational solutions. He should know how to conduct consumer research and understand the problems and needs of his audience.
Since he has to collaborate with different teams, he should know how to accomplish all his day-to-day activities more productively and stay focused to achieve his desired outcome in less time.
A brand manager should be able to use words and actions to share the brand story in the most effective way. He should know how to convey a particular message or information to his particular target audience to engage them, make them listen, and inspire them to take action.
Brand manager salary in the US
The annual salary of a brand manager in the US can be anywhere from $62,000 to $99,000. The Glassdoor data shows that an average brand manager earns around $78,000 per year in the US, consisting of a $70,265 base salary and $7,910 additional salary (bonuses, tips, etc.).
What do you need to be a brand manager?
The three basic things you need to be a brand manager are:
Education: You must have at least a bachelor’s degree to apply for the brand management post. Your degree should be in a relevant discipline such as brand management, marketing, social media management, digital marketing, communication, etc.
Experience: It is not an entry-level post. So you should have at least 3 to 5 years of work experience to apply for brand management. If you are a student, you can gain experience by doing relevant internships or doing a part-time job. It will allow you to get experience before completing your degree.
Related skills: A brand manager should have almost all the skills that we have already mentioned above. You can learn them via free and paid courses.
Brand manager vs. marketing manager
A brand manager is responsible for creating a brand and developing a proper brand strategy to promote it. He creates and maintains a positive image of the brand among its customers so they keep coming back in the future.
On the other hand, a marketing manager is responsible for creating marketing strategies to make customers feel that the product is an essential addition to their lives. He develops marketing materials for different groups of customers to catch their attention and persuade them to take a desirable action, for instance, pressing the ‘buy button.’
Expert tips & tricks for brand managers
These tips will help you become the best in your field.
- Educate and empower your team before you start educating your audience. You should share your short and long-term goals with your team members and make sure everyone is on the same page. Then it will help them use the acquired knowledge to build and develop successful projects.
- Investing time and effort to build a brand strategy is required to develop an effective strategy. You should define your goals and then form a long-term roadmap, highlighting how, when, where, and what you are going to share with your audience to communicate the brand message.
- Get a deep understanding of your audience. Understand their needs, problems, and behaviors. Find what your products can do for them, when they will buy them, and how they plan to use them. Analyzing your customer journey and understanding will tell you how you can attract and retain them.
- Instead of trying to please everyone, try to identify the best customers to amplify your brand. Find how your brand can help them improve their lives, then make them happy with your quality products or services.
- Create a unique brand style guide. It will help you define your brand voice and maintain consistency across the brand. It will also allow content creators to develop clear and consistent content to represent the brand on multiple platforms.
- Write some rules and guidelines about how to present a brand to the world. These can be basic instructions like the preferred font size for the logo, image rights, etc. Make sure these guidelines are easily accessible so everyone can read them whenever they need a reminder.
If you have a passion for working in branding, brand management is a suitable career choice for you. A brand manager wears many hats. He works with different teams to help the brand reach its short and long-term goals. That is why he needs to have a variety of skills to excel in this field.
Once you become a brand manager, you will find that it offers many career options. You can eventually become a social media director, communication director, or marketing director based on your interests or the opportunities you have.