What is Brand Management?
Branding is the personal story of a business brought to life.
Brand management is a process of using different marketing techniques to ensure that the company image is associated with the markets they operate in and that the brand is perceived in a particular way e.g the best footwear for running.
A company brand is an integral part of the marketing strategy and enables businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
What does Brand Management cover?
Company image is inherent to the brand: logo, colour scheme, style of writing and tone are all factors that can make up the visual identity of a brand.
Once the visual aspects of the brand have been created its important they are used consistently so that people begin to associate them with the products. Changing the brand can come with some serious risks especially if you are already well established, take a look at some of these re-branding disasters.
PR positive stories about the brand help reinforce the image and build confidence in people
Service is part of the brand experience. If you operate in a market where you offer a product virtually identical to your competitors then the only thing that is your differentiator is how you treat your customers. Having high standards of customer service, a returns policy and loyalty schemes are all ways you can ensure your customers has a good experience when purchasing products from you. It is this experience that will contribute to the reputation of the brand, setting the business apart from competitors even if there is very little difference in the product offering.
Endorsements involve paying a celebrity of public figure to use your brand for their trade e.g Cristiano Ronaldo for Nike football boots.
Website: engaging content, good navigation, product availability and SEO are all factors that impact the users experience of the company website and it should be continuously improved to ensure that customers have a positive experience and want to use it again.
Internet: where you appear on the internet is important to building brand presence for example advertising cakes on a weight-loss website is probably not the best move. Advertising needs to be specific to the audience you want to capture and reputation enhancing where it can be.
Ensuring the business is ranking high for key search terms related to products is important so that you can get visitors onto your website and that the business is perceived as a market leader for those terms, this is all managed through effective SEO.
Reputation management: the internet has put consumers in a powerful place with the advent of websites like feefo, which and trusted review. Some people like to leave feedback after a positive experience but more are likely to take the time to write about a negative experience, this needs to be responded to effectively or it can diminish reputation.
Social media: the same can be said for social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. They provide a platform where consumers can speak directly to brands and everyone else can see their conversation, so whether its praise or complaints they need to be handled effectively.
Social media is also a way of keeping people up to date with new products, news and press, social media is great for building online presence and pushing messages about the brand.
Advertisements, interviews, articles and case studies can all contribute to building brand presence. When you pick up a copy of vogue you know the first 20 pages are big glossy adverts from high end designer labels because the readership is their exact target market. Where and when you appear is just as important as how you appear.
Trade shows and events enable to businesses to connect directly with people who are stakeholders to the industry, this is great for building a presence within the target market.
Brand management also involves internal responsibilities like developing brand guidelines and ensuring they are being used correctly by staff and external stakeholders
Plenty of market research and competitor analysis is also involved
What kind of roles are there in Brand Management?
Brand management is split into two different types:
In-house – this is where you work for the organisation of the brand or products
Agency – working for an agency that is contracted to carry out the brand work on behalf of the business
Junior Brand Manager | Brand Manager | Agency Brand Manager
What skills do I need to work in Brand Management?
Understanding the environment the brand operates in and having excellent knowledge of the different types of marketing that can be utilised in achieving the brand goals.
You need to be very switched on to brands and their strategies, have you always been a brand lover? Do you understand the power of great branding? Its helps to be pretty passionate about it!
Attention to detail and a little bit of perfectionism, brand standards need to be upheld at all times and consistency is key in getting the right message out there and maintaining it properly.
Planning and organisation skills are key. There isn’t a single activity that leads to strong brand presence, it requires a strategy made up of lots of different activities that all need to be managed effectively.
Measuring results , its necessary to measure as much as you can to see what is working and what isn’t so the budget can be allocated elsewhere, as mentioned there is no one size fits all solution, its about finding what works and running with it until it something more successful eclipses it.
Being up to date with all the latest trends and competitor information is important in steering the brand strategy forward, foreseeing the next big thing makes for proactive branding plans rather than responding once every other competitor has already jumped on the bandwagon.
Do I need any qualifications?
Brand management requires extensive knowledge of all of the marketing specialisms and techniques that can be applied to the brand strategy and whilst having a degree or qualification can demonstrate this knowledge its not the only route into brand management.
Check our our guide for getting straight into marketing, most employers will be looking for relevant experience and you may need to develop some before you can get on to the career path, have a look at our guides to volunteering and interning.
If you want to study brand management there are a number of specific qualifications, we have included a few examples but please ensure you do your own research as this is just a brief overview:
University of Central Lancashire – Fashion Brand Management BA Hons
Manchester Metropolitan – Advertising and Brand Management BA Hons
Staffordshire University – Advertising and Brand Management BA Hons
Brunel University – Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc
London School of Business & Finance – MA in Strategic Marketing (Luxury Brand Management)
What is the salary range like for jobs in Brand Management?
Assistant Brand Managers can start anywhere from £20,000 and go up to £40,000+.
Brand Managers tend to start on around £30,000 but go up to as much as £60,000. With the average salary being around £35,000-£40,000.
Agency Brand Manager can star around £30,000 and rise to £60,000+