Brand Manager Career Information
What a Brand Manager does
Brand marketing is all about bringing ideas alive. It is like running your own small business, but with the resources of a large firm. As a Brand Manager you will have a budget from which, you will decide how much to spend on packaging, advertising, market research, promotions, etc.
As a brand manager you will not responsible for sales, but for enticing the consumer with the product. You will assess the strengths and weaknesses of your brand and will then see how your brand compares and differs to that of your competitors.
As a brand manager you will devise plans to further the recognition and growth of your brand and will then make sure that the words are converted into actions. Short-term actions might include altering incentive programmes and changing advertising themes.
Over the longer term, as brand manager you might recommend changes in areas such as product design and quality to enhance a vehicle's brand value. At all times, you have to keep in mind company profits and customer satisfaction.
You will also ensure that the various products of the company do not cut into each others' market share. You will control every aspect of how consumers perceive their brands.
Corporate brand management is an extension of this field. This is not restricted to just the logo or stationery. Brand Management focuses on defining and communicating what the company as a whole stands for, which includes the promise of a fruitful long-term relationship with the company.
Brand Management also includes articulating the company's values to promising standards for service, warranty and quality. Corporate brand management is a major part of a company's overall strategy.
Previously companies were moving senior managers into Brand Management slots. The emphasis was on experience. But nowadays companies are developing more comprehensive approaches and Brand Management is fast becoming as niche a department as Finance or Operations.
Big corporations have had Brand Managers for quite some time now. It is the medium sized industries that are now waking up requirement for the brand managers and it is here that the maximum opportunity lies.
Increasingly, the brand is becoming the key source of differentiation that guides customer purchase choice. The brand embodies the 'heart and soul' of an organisation. Few companies have CEOs with the broad cross-functional and general management skills that total brand management requires.
The gap in brand management skills is these days being considered the biggest obstacle to growth. But it can also be a high-pressure situation as you might be juggling with million dollar brands.
Abilities & Traits Required
As a Brand Manager, you should have leadership skills and be able to work effectively with others. You should take initiative and should have the ability to motivate your team. Basically, you will be hired to solve problems creatively. As a Brand Manager you need to have problem solving and analytical thinking abilities.
To be a good brand manager, you need a combination of creativity and analytical skills. Also, understanding how to evaluate sales trends and determine basic financial measures like profit margins is important. The ability to work on projects with numerous different people is important.
A brand manager need to be insightful, creative and enthusiastic with a keen understanding of emerging business models and pricing. Strong written and verbal communication ability will see you through.
An MBA with specialization in marketing is a good starting point. You could also blossom into Brand Management through the Public Relations or Human Resources Development arms.
A Brand Manager usually starts off in the usual management bracket of around 250000 p.a. A senior level Brand Manager usually gets around Rs 800000-1200000 p.a. But the biggest satisfaction remains that your work is out there for all to see. Your name will be well known and your reputation will travel far and wide raking in more money.