Brand Managers aren’t everywhere, but they should be.
They have the vision, they sail the ship, they keep the initiatives on the right path. And while millions of businesses are trying to make a name for themselves in a most crowded space ever,  it is crucial that social media managers learn the skills and mindset of brand managers around the world. Companies are struggling more and more to build a brand from scratch and make it powerful.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen how social media is changing how brands interact with their customers. It’s a more natural and open one-to-one conversation. Now, instead of sending an email and waiting for days to receive a reply, you can just write them on Facebook or Twitter. It’s been never so easy to interact with a brand these days and get a reply to your customer service request.
It’s essential you start looking to brand manager at least for inspiration for crafting the vision of the business and stick to it with both hands. Brand strategists are highly effective in maintaining the course of your company in the right direction. If you’re an agency, brand strategists can be highly effective in working with clients when talking about the next year’s strategy, content plan, product launch, and branding.

 

I’ll help you see how brand managers work

 

Let’s figure out what are the most important questions we’ll answer on, such as
  • Who Are Brand Managers?
  • Job Description vs Reality of a Brand Manager’s Life
  • Why Each Business Should Have a Brand Manager?
  • What’s The Skillset of a Brand Manager?
  • What Brand Managers Love About Their Profession?
  • What’s Brand Managers Don’t Like about Their Job?
  • How Can You Become a Better Brand Manager?
  • What Are The Best Brand Management Online Courses?
  • What Are The Best Branding & Brand Management Books?

 

Who Are Brand Managers?

 

I thought a bit into how this article would work best. Just explaining what they do is complicated and job descriptions are just plain boring. So the idea hit me: who would be better of taking us through the job and challenges of brand managers, then brand managers themselves? Poof- interviews with people with hands-on experience and years of practice behind. I wanted to find out the best, the worst, and the most interesting facts about the daily life of brand managers.
We’ll start with Marcos Bravo at Tooploox that says how the job of a brand manager is Awesome and scary. You get to drive how people relate not to your product, but what your product represents. One mistake and you lose the Trust of your customers in a Snap”.
Brand managers can be usually found working at major companies with multiple brands (e.g. Nestle, P&G, Unilever) and working directly with agencies or marketing departments. Brand managers ensure and maintain the long-term vision of the brand and execute to make it fit with current and future consumers.
To be frank, brand management revolves around the ability to constantly adapt and learn. In my career, I have never encountered two tasks that were identical. So the job is always about trying to discover tomorrow’s trend and hop on it! The best advice I can give is to never consider that you have done enough. There is no point in your brand management career in which you should stop asking questions. But the key is to be able, with time, to ask the right ones.
Stefan Balcanu, Brand Manager at L’Oreal
As a brand specialist, you have to stay in touch with the reality of your customers and try to adapt and improve the brand accordingly. Click To Tweet

 

Job Description vs Reality of a Brand Manager’s Life

 

We’ve all seen this. The job described in an interview is usually miles away from reality. That’s exactly what happens in a brand manager’s job. It’s never the same, you’re in the industry of daily changes.  As part of the daily duties you’ll talk to the customers, write creative briefs for the agency you’re partnering up with, and at the same time you might be analyzing market trends and do research for the upcoming products” says Wani Azahar, Branding & PR Manager at SP Jain Institute.
I love how Marcos says that brand managers need tolisten and understand the relationship its brand is creating, how people are responding to its tone of voice and if they like it.”
We asked Hung Nguyen from Small PDF how her day to day looks like and was pretty surprised when we heard that the agenda is usually different from each day to the other
  • Outreach, including Link Building, that contributes to our SEO strategy
  • Partnerships by running an affiliate program
  • Content Marketing by producing content

 

  • Email Campaign creating email blasts
  • SEO Analysis and Competitor Analysis
  • Running Social Media Channels
  • Customer Support by talking to more than 15M users, it includes damage control, which I have a dedicated Slack channel, integrated with Mentions to keep an eye out for anything fishy relating to our brand

 

Why Each Business Should Have a Brand Manager?

 

To help you understand how important brand managers are, remember all the failed campaigns you’ve seen over the past few years. You probably know remember a major clothing brand selling a certain hoodie and facing the backlash or a cosmetic company accused of racism after launching a commercial of their soap. Did you cringe just by thinking about this? Yikes.
Jan Helbing says in his latest piece thatwe see campaigns that completely miss the mark time and time again. It’s like that Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Commercial that had a massive backlash from the audience. Ask yourself – is this campaign positively influencing my brand? It seems like a silly question, but if the answer is not a resounding “absolutely” then ditch the campaign – you’ll be thanking me well before the data does. Never underestimate the power of intuition.
Ask yourself - is this campaign positively influencing my brand? It seems like a silly question, but if the answer is not a resounding “absolutely” then ditch the campaign – you’ll be thanking me well before the data does. Click To Tweet

 

What’s The Skillset of a Brand Manager?

 

And when it comes to skills, you’ve already seen some of our guests commenting on that. Now, let’s see what we’ve learned, a brand manager has to know and learn how to
  • Create a business case to determine how better to present the product
  • Attend focus groups and continuously communicate with present & potential customers
  • Write creative briefs for the agency partners
  • Ensure that branding is solid in all the marketing materials
  • Participate in product launches and sign off on content
  • Organise brainstorm sessions with the marketing team
  • Analyse the latest sales data to see what strategies are working and multiple results

“After 9 years of hard work to go from 0 to more than 21.5M users throughout Latin America, I can share that the responsibility of a brand manager is to ensure that all contacts with the customer contain in one way or another the message we want to transmit as a company. It starts with marketing campaigns and goes beyond customer service. Our message and the branding that identifies us MUST be present. Clients must receive our messages in the same way, it’s the key to success in the long run.”

Cristian Rennella VP of Marketing (ex-brand manager)  at oMelhorTrato.com

If you’re a brand manager, there’s really no average day - you’ll always have new challenges to overcome. Good news? Most of the professionals I spoke with have embraced this and are enjoying the work due to its variety. Click To Tweet

 

“It’s best to be in continuous contact with all the areas of your company and constantly learn from all the departments you’re part of – sales, accounting, human resources and not just marketing. You’ll be able to carry out your work comprehensively and with greater success.“ comments further Cristian.
That’s why you need to carefully learn and improve your skills in:
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Marketing Management
  • Product Marketing
  • Product Development
  • Crisis Management
  • Customer Support
  • Sales Management
  • Design Management
  • PR Management

 

 

What Brand Managers Love About Their Profession?

 

When asking what she likes most, Tatsuya Nakagawa @ Castagra says that used to be a Radio DJ/presenter where I used to connect people through the cadence of my voice. Now I get to do so through a different medium, and a product loved by millions. Much more challenging, but also more rewarding. I also really enjoy the anticipation – from waiting for replies to seeing emails’ open rate going up, content getting published and marketing campaigns getting shares over social media. Oh and the positive feedback from users.”
Make sure your brand truly connects with your customers and ensure you get feedback on a regular basis. You heard this before but not many people do this regularly. Don’t get stuck in a branding bubble.

 

What’s Brand Managers Don’t Like about Their Job?

 

It’s the troll/hater mood that reigns these days. Doesn’t matter what you try to do, you will always get some level of hate. You can fight it or take the high road and in whole honesty, you shouldn’t care about these characters, but when you commit to a brand, even a bad word can ruin your day. As of liking, today is easier than ever to engage and connect with your fans, to personalize the relationship and to give them what they want, when they want it and where they want it.says Marcos Bravo.

 

How Can You Become a Better Brand Manager?

 

I believe that marketers should be constantly improving their skills since marketing channels are expanding every day and brands are creating more and more content. You have to craft the skills of content, copywriting, social media, analytics, sales, negotiation, and crisis management. Here’s some awesome advice:.
I think that are 2 main types of Brand Managers: the ones who think like business owners; and those who are just “air traffic controllers” who deliver feedback and make sure the projects are implemented. For sure the first category is more appreciated because they are always thinking how to understand customers and make them happy. How to find insights and make the right mix to tap into consumers need states. How to fight in a competitive market in order to survive, grow and gain market share.
Vlad Teioșanu | Former Brand Manager @Milka; Founder @creativesc
You’ll work closely with all the teams in the company and see magic happen. That’s why you need to understand what they’re talking about, comprehend the language and generate new ideas.

 

What Are The Best Brand Management Online Courses?

 

I would highly recommend you to subscribe for one of the courses on edX, like this one, in order to learn how to make decisions in brand management or choose one of the courses available on Coursera right here. These are both very tactical and highly useful courses that would help you understand if being a brand managers sounds like something right for you.
ALSO SEE: The Best 34 Social Media Courses To Sign Up For This Summer

 

What Are The Best Branding & Brand Management Books?

 

When speaking about branding and strategic brand management I would highly recommend the following books to read:
Make sure your brand truly connects with your customer and ensure you get feedback on a regular basis. You heard this before but not many people do this regularly. Don’t get stuck in a branding bubble. 

 

 

If you’re interested in reading more, check out these awesome resources

 

headshot vlad calus planableVlad Caluș is Chief Marketing Officer at Planable and a Marketing Hustler. Dropped out of college, moved to another country with 2 of his friends and built Planable at 19 y. o. Have any questions? Ping anytime at @vladcalus on Twitter or vlad@planable.io