I think you will agree when I say: starting a new career in brand management is hard. What does the role entail?
Which skills do you need as a brand manager? How much do brand managers make annually? These are some of the questions you’re probably asking.
Turns out starting a career in brand management is easy if you know what you’re doing. And in today’s post, we show you exactly how to become a brand manager that every team wants.
Read on to learn the basics of starting a successful career as a brand manager.
Who is a Brand Manager?
A brand manager is responsible for “defining and promoting a company’s personality, both on the shelf and in the community.” The main role of a brand manager is to create a branding strategy for a company.
Brand managers wear many hats in an organization, covering everything from market research, branding, advertising, product development, packaging and so on.
Generally, brand managers are responsible for a company’s brand image and reputation in relation to the target market.
They carry out market research to determine what ticks, and then use the data to formulate creative branding and marketing campaigns that lead to customer engagement.
It’s an interesting career choice for anybody with a knack of creative thinking and a good grasp of analytical skills. A passion for all things marketing is an added plus.
If you want to become a brand manager, you’re probably wondering how much the job pays. Well, brand management is one of the better-paying marketing jobs.
Most brand managements work within teams on a full-time basis, which comes with bonuses, health insurance, house allowances, commissions, and such benefits.
According to Payscale.com, brand managers take home anywhere between $60,000 and $130,000 per year depending on skills, experience, and the size of the company.
Your salary goes up as you earn certifications and gain more skills and experience.
How Does the Future Look?
The future is bright for all brand managers especially with the advent of digital advertising and social media marketing.
Every organization needs a brand manager to remain competitive and expand their market share. You might have the best product in the market, but if your branding fails, you won’t sell much, if anything.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “…overall employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.”
That being said, how do you become a brand manager?
5 Top Tips to Start a Career as a Brand Manager
In the following section, we cover a couple of tips to help you cover your bases as far as becoming a brand manager goes. The tips will help you prepare for any brand management role, and ace the interview when you start job hunting.
Get the Right Education
Most employers require at least an undergraduate degree in marketing, business, brand management, advertising or a related major. Some employers will also require a post-graduate degree such as an MBA for high-level positions.
Since brand managers must play many roles on a day to day basis, a bachelor’s degree is a great starting point for building a successful career.
Formal education offers you advanced instructions in various fields such as advertising, business, and economics, all of which come in handy as you scale the corporate ladder.
Most employers usually require their ideal candidate to have some years of experience before applying for the job. You’ve seen this repeated in nearly all job postings.
It goes without saying that the more experienced you’re, the better your salary becomes like a brand manager. This applies to entry-level, middle-level and high-level jobs; more experience means better career prospects.
But if you’re just starting out, how are you are supposed to have experienced for the job? Well, you can start with a brand management internship.
Most companies are more than eager to offer brand management internships that come with a lot of on-job training.
An internship can help you develop real hands-on experience as a brand manager. The best part is most companies will offer you a salaried position after the internship.
But even if the internship doesn’t lead to direct employment, the experience you gain will look good on your resume when applying for a brand management job.
If you cannot get internships, you can try pro-bono work. Talk to your friends, charities, religious groups, and local businesses, and do their branding to gain experience.
Earn Professional Certifications
Academic qualifications show the employer you have the background to fill the position. Professional certifications, on the other hand, show the employer you have the relevant skills, expertise, and passion for the job.
There are a number of industry certifications available to all aspiring brand managers. Some notable certifications that will help you better compete include CBM, CPM, and ACPMPO among others. Earn as many as you can, and stand out from the crowd.
Certifications offer you advanced skills and resources that make you a better candidate in job interviews compared to individuals without certifications.
If you want to work alone, branding (and even marketing in general) should be the last profession on your mind.
Brand management involves actively working with others in a rapidly changing environment. You will work with people, and that’s the end of the story.
As such, you should invest in building a network of likeminded people. While working with your team on a daily basis is great, you need to expand your network to people outside your company.
Network with other brand managers and marketing professionals via social media. On top of that, attend networking events to meet up with other people in the industry.
Don’t just go for the business card; endeavor to cultivate real relationships that can lead to better career prospects down the line. In other words, foster professional and/or personal relationships with your network.
I say this because you never know who will recommend you for your dream job. Don’t make it all about you; networking is supposed to be a mutually satisfying activity for all parties involved.
A simple “brand management events” search in Google should point you in the right direction. To be a successful networker, brand manager and marketer in general, you need to develop a cocktail of other skills, which leads us to our last point today.
Develop Your Soft Skills
As a brand manager, you must develop a couple of soft skills to thrive. It’s vital to keep in mind that you will need to communicate with your superiors and juniors on an ongoing basis.
This means you must hone your communication skills to ensure your team creates a cohesive brand image.
You’ll rely on said communication skills to explain your strategies to superiors based on real-world data you collect from astute market research.
The successful brand manager must also be creative. Brand management involves a lot of creativity, and the ability to come up with ideas that help the company stand out at any given time.
Other than that, you need to develop other soft skills such as responsibility, conflict resolutions, time management, focus, trend savviness and so on.
When you combine soft skills, experience, academic qualifications, experience, certifications and networking, nothing will stop you from becoming the brand manager every employer wants.
Becoming a brand manager is easy when you know what you’re doing. We hope our tips help you to start a fulfilling career in brand management. As we have seen in today’s post, the job is both exciting and lucrative for the passionate candidate.
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please let us know. Cheers to a successful career as a brand manager.