When running an agency like Printsome’s, you come to learn what kind of people need personalised T-shirts. And while we’ve come across with characters from all walks of life, for the most part, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many brand managers.
And then one day it dawned on me, aside from ordering branded merchandise, I really didn’t know what a brand manager does.
With the rise of social media and new technologies, the role of the brand manager is nowadays more crucial than ever. Not only do they need to look over their product’s reputation and influence, but also keep up with the competition and the current market trends.
In today’s post we’ll pay homage to their work by talking about what it is exactly they do in a day to day basis and what they need to succeed.
But first, let’s cover some basics…
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BRAND MANAGER
What is a brand?
A brand name is a tangible asset used to distinguish a product from others on the market. The brand’s image, however, exists in the mind of the consumer. It is what gives meaning to the name and communicates the brand’s core values.
Since we live in a world where information can be accessed from anywhere and at any time, consumers have multichannel access to brands. Everything they read and see contributes to their perception. The way we perceive brands and the relationship we have with them is constantly evolving, and Brand managers must adapt and evolve along with them
What does a brand manager do?
A brand manager is in charge of the success of a brand or product. They plan, develop, and implement marketing strategies to increase brand equity and overall performance, which includes print, web, and social media campaigns. They must be aware of industry trends, understand the needs of the consumer, and be able to analyse market data.
They typically work under the CMO and closely with many teams including marketing, sales, and product developers. They also need to be in good terms with finance, because aside from campaigns, they are also in control of driving growth and budgeting and financial forecasts… Phew!
AND they must do all of this while still being able to answer the questions ‘How do people feel when the see the name of your product? What is the brand’s story and how do you tell it?’ Having such a diverse role means that no two days are alike; everyday brings something new.
What skills must a Brand manager possess?
A brand manager must have strong analytical and research skills, along with excellent verbal and written communication abilities. They must be able to solve complex problems in a creative way. As well as be aware of market trends and the competitive landscape, and be able to manage a strict budget. Overall, a brand manager must be forward-thinking and business minded, a strong leader and a good listener.
What does a typical day in the life of a Brand manager look like?
Being a ‘jack of all trades’ type of manager with so many responsibilities and only so many hours in the day, how do they manage to find the time for everything? We got some insight on an example workday:
The day begins like most work days do, by reading and responding to emails. If the brand is a operating globally, messages are coming through at all hours of the night and the brand manager must be prepared to respond to them as soon as possible. Once this is through, he switches over to the social media channels and measures the success of the current campaigns.
The first meeting of the day is with the CMO, where he reports to about the current campaigns. Different types of tests and tools are used to measure the performance. They also work on the development of future social media strategies and plans for implementation. Here they must be creative to come up with unique ideas.
Being a ‘jack of all trades’ type of manager with so many responsibilities and only so many hours in the day, how do they manage to find the time for everything?
Next task on the list is the meeting with the junior team that works under him. They are responsible for researching market trends, what the competitors are doing, and customer satisfaction. A common tool that the team uses is the ‘brand pyramid’ which is graph that includes how the product attributes contribute to the functional and emotional benefits of the customer.
As the manager, he must coach and guide them on top of being responsible for their performance. He has regular feedback sessions where he reports on their performance and constructively gives recommendations.
Now comes the tough part of the day, the finance meeting. The CFO gives out the quarterly goals and what budget there is for marketing. The brand manager must decide how to allocate it. A typical situation would be for the CFO to give a sales goal that is 5% greater than the one of the previous quarter, with 10% less of a marketing budget.
This isn’t something new to the brand manager; one of the most challenging parts of the job is deciding how to allocate scarce resources.
Then, if there is an event in the works, this would be the time to go over it. Usually, the event manager would ask for an impromptu meeting, and seeing as the event is only a week away (of course), the brand manager must find the time — even if it’s just five minutes. They must decide on the promotional gear that will be given out at the event. This may sound like an irrelevant matter, but it’s crucial to maintain consistency to the brand’s image.
Last but not least, would be a meeting with a potential client. A brand manager’s customers are usually the directors or owners of places where the company’s product are sold. The channels where it is available are very important, so they must be chosen wisely. These meetings are often very intense, as there is a limited amount of time to pitch the offer, negotiate prices, and make a long-term decision.
Finally, the end of the day is near, it’s time to answer to even more emails and have a look at the next day’s calendar — even though it’s highly unlikely that it will be followed.
Text: Lia Rogers
Edit: Harald Meyer-Delius
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