Ever had the overwhelming urge to buy a Big Mac, an iPhone or a new Toyota, even if you didn't need one? If the answer is yes, it means a brand manager somewhere is working their magic to put a spell on you.
Brand managers' responsibilities vary, but their primary duty is to drive consumers to identify with a product or service, become a loyal customer, and to buy again and again.
Simply put, a brand manager oversees strategies to deliver the desired message for an organization's product or service.
"These marketing strategies increase consumer awareness of a product or business name, term, symbol, sign, design, or combination of them that distinguishes the vendor from its competitor," notes the article "Becoming a Brand Manager" from Marketingcareeredu.org. "Large companies invest significant funds into branding strategies in order to augment brand equity, which in turn enhance sales and customer loyalty."
Key Results of Branding
A successful brand generates several positive outcomes, according to The Balance Small Business. It clearly delivers a message, confirms a business's credibility in the marketplace and provides an emotional connection between customers and a product or service. A good brand will also motivate a potential customer to buy, all the while creating customer loyalty.
Further, the website said, a good brand will:
- Instantly relate to the target audience without requiring a lot of thought on their part
- Share the reason why the product or service is unique
- Reflect the promise made to the target audience
- Reflect values the company wants to present to customers
Brand Manager Job Responsibilities
According to the staffing agency Paladin, brand managers have many responsibilities, including:
- Make sure current and prospective customers strongly identify with their products or services by staying current with marketing trends and monitoring competitive products.
- Lead efforts to develop and implement campaigns, events, corporate responsibility programs and sponsorships to implement marketing strategies.
- Manage profit and loss and ensure market growth.
To accomplish these goals, they must wear several hats and possess a variety of skills. For example, brand managers must analyze what prospective customers desire so they can create strategies to fulfill those needs with their company's products (marketingcareeredu.org). They must possess excellent research skills — through surveys and trial studies — to predict this consumer behavior.
Brand managers must design unique marketing campaigns that drive sales and encourage consumers to choose their product over competitors' products. "Review of marketing strategy performance, pricing and competitors' ad campaigns is critical to retaining and growing market share," notes Marketingcareeredu.org. "Brand managers must be able to accurately anticipate shifts in the business landscape and consumer behavior."
Skills and Education
The position of brand manager can be quite lucrative. Glassdoor lists an average salary of $94,830 per year with a range of $63,000-$128,000, as of January 2020. And demand through 2028 for marketing managers, a similar position, will increase 8% through 2028, predicts the Bureau of Labor Statistics, outpacing other job growth.
To succeed, a brand manager needs excellent oral and written communication skills, an analytical mind, an aptitude for research, creativity, and a bent for innovation, according to Paladin — but not necessarily a specific degree. However, entry-level marketers and those interested in marketing may find advantage in pursuing a degree such as the Emporia State University Master of Business Administration with Marketing Concentration Online.
This program is based on advanced coursework in accounting, finance and economics. These business basics are combined with marketing electives to give practical instruction in the use of analytics to identify and translate marketing insights into business plans. Students also learn to apply strategic forecasting and market sizing to boost marketing investment. The coursework prepares students for high-level marketing jobs with an emphasis on a growing digital marketplace.
The online MBA with an emphasis on marketing is especially relevant to working adults with job and family responsibilities. Candidates can complete the program in as few as 12 months.
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