Brand ManagerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Brand managers conduct market research and current trend research to predict future trends and create strategies that will enhance the way people perceive the brand. They typically oversee the planning, advertising, design, and events for the company, ensuring that the brand is consistent across advertising and campaigns.  Brand managers may be employed by a company to manage one or more brands in-house, or they might represent the brands of several clients as part of a marketing agency.   

Brand managers must be familiar with all marketing initiatives and activities for their brand, including print, web, and social media campaigns, events, and sponsorships. They should have excellent analytical skills, a good ability to multitask, and strong organizational skills. Attention to detail is essential in this role, as well as a deep understanding of trends and an ability to respond to customer desires, needs, and wishes. Brand managers need to be creative, innovative, and able to develop original ideas. Good written and verbal communication skills are also needed qualifications for brand managers.

Sample job description #1

Key duties of this role are leading cross-functional teams, driving differentiated, new-to-the world initiatives, and collaborating with a variety of internal and external partners, including our research and development teams, brand equity teams, white space and creative agencies, insight partners, sales teams and retailers. Additionally, you will evaluate consumer, category, financial and market performance to develop and implement strategies and key performance tracking to deliver consumer preference, interest, revenue, profit and market share objectives.

Specifically you will work across these areas

Product Innovation: The Brand Manager of [ABC Company] is responsible for building, executing, and managing our long-term product pipeline including idea generation, opportunity assessment, product development and initial commercialization.

  • Develops, implements, and delivers long-term, differentiating innovation strategies, and plans that deliver on our business strategy and objectives
  • Adopts and advocates white space/what-if thinking and constructs and inspires innovative thinking within the cross-functional teams
  • Collaborates with Research & Development and Insights teams and leverages consumer, customer, and category insights to transform what-if ideas to realistic solutions that deliver on consumer needs and long-term profitable growth
  • Leads diverse teams of cross-functional partners from concept to commercialization for new products/platforms inclusive of product development, forecasting and P&L management, channel planning, manufacturing, sell-in, marketing support, and early in-market performance tracking to optimize ensuring solutions are commercially and financially sustainable
  • Develops product positioning, packaging, and pricing strategies to support launches
  • Develops and maintains strategic relationships with external partners and agencies
  • Collaborates with sales and brand equity partners to prepare and present innovation process/outlook customized to key retailer partners

Innovation Process: This position is also responsible for partnering with the Director of Innovation, innovation team, and cross-functional teams to help build, manage and refine the short and long term product innovation process.

  • Adopts and portrays a continuous improvement mindset to drive effectiveness of product white space identification, development, and commercialization processes, leveraging external best practices, tools, and techniques, agency and insight partners
  • Stewards effective use of innovation process; help train/coach cross-functional team members
  • Develops and maintains effective KPIs and performance tracking as a core part of the innovation process. Prepares report outs and updates for senior leadership

Marketing Communications: Develops and implements integrated communications plans that drive viable market share growth for test markets/launch

  • Sets communications objectives and strategy for integrated customer and consumer launch
  • Partners with Brand Equity team to develop integrated communications plans to include advertising, social media, direct & event marketing, sales materials, public relations and promotional campaigns targeted at retailers and consumers
  • Partners with brand equity teams to deliver relevant sell-in information for test markets/launch to sales and retail partners through presentations, sell-in materials and in-market visits
  • Leverages in-market performance tracking to optimize product proposition

Leadership: Be an effective leader who is able to lead with flexibility to capitalize on opportunities and solve problems in an ever-changing workplace.

  • Coaches and develops junior members of the team, growing their marketing skill set
  • Builds and motivates effective cross-functional relationships in a highly matrixed organization
  • Responsible for leading an Associate Innovation Manager

Qualifications

  • Undergraduate Degree in Marketing or related field with 5+ years marketing experience. Preferred: MBA with 2+ years’ experience.
  • 3-5 years related consumer packaged goods (CPG) work experience preferred
  • Experience with innovation development and process preferred
  • Demonstrated experience thinking and executing like a business owner: someone who can take initiative and get things done while having fun in an entrepreneurial environment
  • Analytic horsepower with a relentless orientation on the results, and the capacity to respond quickly to changing marketplace dynamics
  • Strong influencing skills: working well with others and leading in a cross functional environment
  • Strong business acumen, with a knack for turning data into insights and recommendations
  • Strong communication skills (verbal and written) and project management skills
  • Strong consumer empathy to build compelling solutions and consumer connections
  • Budget management experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of marketing and finance, P&L management,
  • Proven track record in managing and meeting volume and profit targets through creative marketing of existing lines, and new product introductions
  • Proficiency in Nielsen/IRI syndicated data
  • Demonstrates ABC Company’s Values: Be Real, Speed Matters, Stewardship, Relationship Driven, Self- Discipline, Show Awesome Character

Sample job description #2

The brand manager must be very effective at

  • Developing and presenting recommendations to senior management
  • Engaging direct reports to execute marketing plans
  • Strategic, annual, and marketing planning and periodic re-planning on the business
  • Leadership of activities inside and outside the company that will result in successful implementation of marketing plans
  • Performance management activities including personal training and development
  • External and internal assessments of the business environment, competitors, customers and market trends, and implications to their business
  • Presentations made to customers
  • Creative development, media investment strategy, and execution working with internal and external agency partners to deliver communication strategy

Minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities required

  • Superior strategic thinking and planning
  • Overall business knowledge and holistic general management approach
  • Demonstrated strength in leadership skills
  • Outstanding analytical abilities
  • Demonstrated ability to be accountable for sales and income results
  • Strong verbal and written communicator to wide breadth of audiences including senior management
  • Economic value creation mindset
  • Lifelong learner and strong people developer

Requirements

  • MBA degree
  • Experience: Progression of successful accomplishments at levels of marketing management that lead to Marketing Manager to include typically at least 3 years as an Associate Brand Manager. Experience at Manager level preferred. Experience in a top-tier consumer products marketing company is preferred

Sample job description #3

As our brand manager, you’ll make an impact by

  • Demonstrating knowledge of the ABC Company brand, its products, processes and customers
  • Devising long-term vision and strategies for assigned lines of products or categories of products
  • Gathering and analyzing data and insights from external sources such as the market, customers, prospects, and industry analysts, as well as internal sources such as customer service and sales, to understand customer’s needs and desires and develop product roadmaps and positioning strategies
  • Conducting market research, identifying similar and competing products, assembling retail data, and gathering/analyzing customer feedback to support evidence-based decision making
  • Researching new product ideas and new applications for existing products
  • Communicating the value proposition and assisting in development of tools to support selling of the products
  • Lead product launch strategies and marketing / promotional campaign activities

What you need to succeed

  • BS /BA in Business Administration, Marketing or related field
  • 5+ years of relevant work experience
  • Excellent organization and project management skills: establishes priorities, creates project plans, and meets deadlines for multiple projects at a time
  • Strategic analysis and problem-solving: asks meaningful questions, gathers and analyzes data, and identifies creative solutions
  • Relationship skills: maintains positive, productive relationships with co-workers throughout the organization as well as outside contributors

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a brand manager is $112,670 per year in the United States, with the potential for an additional bonus or commission. Salary may depend on the level of experience, education, and geographical location. 

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$108,517$110,154
Los Angeles, California$124,233$126,108
Denver, Colorado$111,091$112,767
Washington, DC$122,284$124,129
Miami, Florida$106,937$108,551
Orlando, Florida$104,498$106,076
Tampa, Florida$104,556$106,136
Atlanta, Georgia$108,661$110,302
Chicago, Illinois$116,539$118,298
Boston, Massachusetts$123,766$125,633
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$117,036$118,803
New York City, New York$132,148$134,143
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$117,671$119,942
Dallas, Texas$109,131$110,778
Houston, Texas$112,593$114,291
Seattle, Washington$120,107$121,921
Overall$109,851$111,509

Sample interview questions

  • Why is brand management important?
  • How would you describe your brand?
  • What are your favorite marketing campaigns?
  • How do you keep up to date on the latest marketing tools and trends?
  • How would you describe our customers?
  • How would you target a new segment of consumers?
  • Can you describe a market strategy you recently worked on?
  • How do you know when a branding strategy isn’t working?
  • How do you know when to change a product’s pricing?
  • What metrics are most important to you as a brand manager? 
  • How did you handle reporting in your previous position?
  • What were the roles of your previous team?
  • How do you keep your team motivated to meet deadlines?
  • What do you do when your team doesn’t agree with your direction?
  • What kinds of clients have you worked with?
  • What would you do if your most important client hated your work?
  • What does a well-marketed product mean to you?
  • How do you give your team constructive criticism? Can you give us an example?
  • What would you do if your team didn’t agree with your decisions? 
  • What clients have you worked with in the past?
  • When is the right time to change a product’s pricing?

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