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Brand Manager Career Guide

Do you have excellent verbal and written communications skills? Are you an expert at researching and analyzing? A position as a brand manager might be the role for your creative and innovative thinking. 

Brand managers are responsible for ensuring that the brand they represent resonates with current and potential customers by overseeing the entire creative process. A brand manager has to frequently monitor marketing trends and the competitor’s products in the marketplace. They need to have a firm grasp on their target audience and their potential target audience. These individuals often meet with clients and senior management and normally supervise a team of junior marketers.

Brand managers serve as the focal point for the development, implementation, and execution of marketing initiatives and activities for their brand, including print, web, and social media campaigns, events, and sponsorships. They need to possess exceptional analytical skills, are business savvy, and can multitask.

Sample job description

[Your Company Name] has an opening for a brand management position. The ideal candidate will have up to seven years of experience. In this fast-paced and challenging role, you will gain valuable experience working alongside senior-level managers – including creative directors, brand strategy directors, and production managers – on internal and client-facing assignments. As a member of this team, you are expected to drive consultative engagements with C-level executives that drive business growth for our clients and will have the opportunity to grow and have an impact by developing scalable solutions that shape our overall performance marketing franchise.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Developing research-based brand strategy, guidelines, and vision to meet customer expectations
  • Planning and executing all advertising, product design, pricing, and new product launches that is consistent with branding
  • Building brand awareness 
  • Conducting consumer and market research
  • Researching and developing new business opportunities
  • Managing advertising budget 
  • Analyzing competitor and customer trends to predict future trends
  • Measuring and reporting on the success of marketing campaigns
  • Meeting with clients 
  • Communicating brand strategies internally
  • Managing a team of junior marketers
  • Organizing events such as product launches and exhibitions

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in business, marketing, or related field
  • MBA or Master’s Degree in marketing preferred
  • 5-7 years of experience developing brand and marketing strategies

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Exceptional research and analytical skills
  • Knowledge of CRM software
  • Deep understanding of company products and future concepts
  • A willingness to listen
  • Creative and innovative thinker
  • Strong budgeting management skills
  • Good professional judgment and discretion
  • Familiarity with the latest trends, technologies, and methodologies

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience using various social media platforms 
  • At least two years experience working in the same industry
  • Experience supervising a team 
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word
  • Self-motivated
  • Experience in a multitasking environment

Typical work environment

Brand managers work in well-equipped and comfortable offices. Most of them work normal office hours, although some might have to work evenings and weekends to meet critical deadlines. They will typically have to travel to attend events, exhibitions, conferences, and product launches. They might also need to travel to attend meetings with creative agencies. Overseas travel may be required for brand managers working on international brands. The work environment is often fast-paced, demanding, and high-pressure. Brand managers work in a variety of industries.

Typical hours

The typical hours for a band manager are during weekday business hours, Monday through Friday 8 AM and 5 PM. Some overtime might be required to meet deadlines. Travel is usually also involved and can be anywhere from a few days to a week or more at a time.

Available certifications

Many institutions offer accredited certifications. Here are several of the best certifications available for brand managers:

  • Certified Brand Manager (CBM). The CBM course is administered by the Association of International Product Marketing and Management and is designed for brand managers and those responsible for creating and strengthening a company’s brands. Topics covered in the course include the role of brand management, brand architecture and the brand portfolio, brand identity, and positioning of your brand. The CBM demonstrates expert knowledge of the elements, attributes, personality, and core values of a brand and the role each one plays in developing relationships with customers. It also shows employers you know how to maximize brand equity and brand value.
  • Certified Product Manager (CPM). The CPM certification validates your product management skills. The training focuses on building case studies, competitive analysis, product launch plans, market planning, and more to prepare you to create and build products that fit your customers’ wants and needs. You can take the training course and the final exam in person or online.
  • Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner (ACPMPO). This credential certifies your knowledge of strategic and tactical concepts in product management and product ownership. You will gain a thorough understanding of basic and advanced strategic and tactical concepts in agile product management and product ownership. The ACPMPO also ensures that upon passing the exam you fully understand agile product management and can apply the concepts immediately, making you more effective in your job and giving you an advantage over your peers.

Career path

The career path for a brand manager starts with earning a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or a related field. Gaining valuable experience and market knowledge in a junior position, such as an assistant brand manager where you’ll most likely focus on developing brand strategies and aiming to maximize sales, will give you a solid foundation in brand management. From the brand manager role, your strategic thinking and leadership skills can take you to the next level as a senior brand manager, and ultimately, to becoming a marketing director where your responsibility will shift from a particular brand to the overall marketing operations of an organization. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 13-1161

2020 Employment740,900
Projected Employment in 2022904,500
Projected 2019-2029 Percentage Shift 22% Increase
Projected 2019-2029 Numeric Shift163,600 Increase

As technology and the internet put more and more brand information at the fingertips of consumers through blogs, reviews, websites, and social media platforms, consumers are becoming more active in the branding process. Brand managers will have to find ways to leverage that technology to manage their brands based on what consumers, the competition, and the industry are doing. 

Companies are moving toward using fewer brands and making the existing ones as strong as possible. Brand managers are tasked with finding new and innovative ways to create emotionally compelling brands that build authentic relationships with consumers and build consumer trust.