What is a Brand Manager?
To understand the role of a brand manager, it is best to work backwards and first understand the meaning of the word ‘brand’. It’s a word seen tossed around often by marketing firms… but what is a brand exactly?
A brand is the way a company or a product is seen by those around it. A brand is the perception of the product that is created through logos, ads, and customer engagement. The key to creating an effective brand is that the product should evoke a feeling from the consumer whenever they engage with it. It’s this brand that has consumers coming back to use it again and remain loyal to the product.
Apple is a great example of a company that uses emotions to create connection with consumers, and brand loyalty over a period of time.
Each product has a specific market it was created for; ie, its ‘target audience’. Here is where brand managers come into play. Their job is to connect the target audience with the brand and create a marketing strategy which allows them to do it effectively.
A brand manager’s job is not just to be creative and think of cool ideas; but to also align them with market research done by the company. The role of a brand manager is strategic above all else; keeping up with market trends and tweaking their plans based on market and consumer research.
What Are the Skills Needed to Be a Brand Manager?
The role of a brand manager is a juggling act between stakeholders, senior management, and clients. They work with a team and it’s up to them to bring their ideas and goals to life. As a result, the first skill needed by brand managers is an important one:
1. Good Sense of Communication
A brand manager is constantly in communication with those around them. They need to bring everyone on board with their strategy and their ideas for the brand. The communication doesn’t end there as they are also coordinating with clients and stakeholders every step of the way. They must remain visible and available to answer questions asked and maintain clarity about the project and its status.
The most iconic branding wasn’t created out of thin air. It was created by a highly creative team led by a visionary brand manager. A creative brand manager comes up with innovative strategies and ideas which translate into powerful branding. Without creativity, a product’s branding will get lost in the noise and not be memorable.
3. Read and Interpret Data
Another part of a brand manager’s job is to look at quantitative research which has been done on the market and consumers and align their plans accordingly. They should also be able to look at the results of a marketing campaign and understand whether their messaging has been effective or needs reworking.
4. Predict Trends
An experienced brand manager should be able to look at research and understand the direction in which the market is trending. This makes them out to be fortune tellers; but they are just that! By understanding the way the market is trending, they can get ahead of it and brand products accordingly. This also ensures that the branding is relevant and up to date with the target market.
It’s important for a brand manager to remain flexible and re-align their creative ideologies with an ever-evolving market. They can’t persistently hold on to a particular modus operandi through their careers and must be ready to change with the market and trends. A brand manager with outdated notions will not be able to catch the pulse of his or her audience.
What Are the Duties of a Brand Manager?
A brand manager’s day-to-day activities involve a variety of tasks and interactions with different individuals and departments through the course of the day. Their duties include:
- Understanding the core values of a product or client before starting work on the brand strategy. This means asking the right questions and formulating a vision for the brand.
- Chalking out and in turn executing all communications for the product. This is across platforms and includes print, social media, and other online channels.
- Planning product launches and being involved in product development and pricing.
- Analysing customer insights and studying competitor products.
- Managing budgets for promotional activities.
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Brand Manager?
The role of a branding manager comes with many benefits across multiple avenues. Some of them are:
- A Variety of Projects
A brand manager has the chance to work with many different products through the course of his or her career. They play a role in watching the identity of a product blossom through its branding and marketing. There will never be a sense of stagnation when it comes to the role of a brand manager.
- Lucrative Salary
The average brand manager in India earns roughly ₹13L a year (based on research conducted by Glassdoor). However, there is a high scope for upward mobility in the field with senior brand managers earning upward of ₹26L annually.
- An Upward Trend of Job Availability
In the last ten years, the job growth of brand managers has been over 10%. As the field of marketing gains momentum, the demand for skilled brand managers will continue to increase. This can only mean that more well-paying jobs for brand managers will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.
- Development of Transferable Job Skills
A brand manager develops a multitude of skills through the course of their jobs. These skills are useful even if they choose to leave the field of marketing and branding. They include budgeting and finance, event management, report writing and managing teams. Any of these skills would be useful in the future and in a different field of work.
How to Become a Brand Manager
As the role of a brand manager is a fluid and ever-evolving one, it would be amiss to say that a formal education is recommended to enter the field. However, it is advisable to complete some form of a course in the same to best understand the core concepts of market analysis and understanding how consumers operate.
A formal education in the field can be taken at two points - an undergraduate or a postgraduate level. For those who want to study at an undergraduate level, there are options available that approach branding and brand management from different vantage points. However, studying business and business strategies is a common thread in all courses when it comes to studying Brand Management. Here are some courses to look at on an undergraduate level:
- Undergraduate Degree in Brand Management/Luxury Brand Management
- Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
- Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS)
- Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS)
- Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM)
In most cases, completing such degrees are great jump-off points for people looking to get into the field. However, for those looking to specialise and be eligible for more senior positions, a postgraduate course is also recommended. Alternatively, interested individuals can also study a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in a subject like English, before applying for a postgraduate course in a subject more aligned to brand management. Some courses include:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Management
- Diploma/PGD in Brand Management
What Are the Best Colleges to Study Brand Management in India?
Here are some of the top colleges to study brand management in India, including MBA courses and courses in luxury brand management:
Details About an MBA Course and MBA Subjects in India
An MBA can be done in a variety of subjects. Subjects in MBA include HR management, business planning, and finance management, amongst others. However, to be a brand manager, it would be smartest to do an MBA in Marketing.
The MBA syllabus in Marketing is an interesting one, covering some exciting MBA subjects such as:
- Marketing Management
- Operations Management
- Consumer and Brand Insight Strategy
- Digital Marketing and Social Media Management
- Forecasting, Modelling, and Marketing Strategy.
Students can also learn the strategic brand management process and have a chance to read case studies to help them absorb material better.
FAQs About Brand Management
- What are some fields that need brand managers?
There is a vast scope for jobs in the brand management field. A multitude of companies require brand managers, including fields like - media, advertising, hospitality, lifestyle, etc.
- Do you need an MBA to get into brand management?
It is not essential to have an MBA to get into brand management but having one will help in advancing to senior positions faster.
- Is there upward mobility for brand managers?
Yes! A brand manager’s role is never stagnant and after gaining experience, an individual can apply for senior positions and move up the ladder.
- Is there an entrance exam to gain admission into top management courses?
Yes, a majority of management institutions require their applicants to take the Common Admission Test (CAT). It is best to check the requirements of a course before applying.
- What is the full form of ‘MBA’?
The full form of MBA is Master of Business Administration.
Brand Management Course Fees in India
Depending on the course, the fee structure for Brand Management degrees vary in India. Here are some of the fees for courses and MBA fee structures:
While some colleges such as MICA do have in-house scholarship programmes, as well as support for MBA fees - it is best to check while applying if any such scholarships apply to you.
Are There Any Loans Available for Brand Management Courses?
Banks across the country offer loans varying in interest rates to students for their educational endeavours. Interest rates can dip as low as 7.5%. There are also organisations such as Propelld offering 100% digitised private student loans.