What Does a Brand Manager Do? (With Salary and Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Brand managers handle the reputation of a company or person, ensuring it remains positive and accurate. Their primary duty is to develop a client's public image so that it aligns with business and personal goals and helps sell products and services. If you're skilled in marketing and communication, a career as a brand manager may be perfect for you. In this article, we discuss what a brand manager is and does, how much they earn, how to become one and what their skills and work environment are.

Related: Choosing a Career Path in 11 Steps

What is a brand manager?

A brand manager is a professional who establishes and promotes the brand of a company. They may also work for celebrities who want to take advantage of their popularity and build brands for themselves. A brand is the public identity of a business or person, how they present themselves and distinguish themselves from others. It could also refer to a product line, logo, slogan or an entire company. As the definition of a brand is multifaceted, a brand manager may have varying duties. However, their usual job is to use marketing to increase profits.

Brand managers ensure a company's products and services stand out among the competition and resonate with audiences, leading to higher customer engagement and retention and more sales and revenue. Good brands rely on a favourable public image. They deliver on their promises and create experiences to build trust with their customers. For example, a customer may trust that a particular brand represents a high level of quality and want to buy from it again. The success of a business often depends on the success of its brand.

What does a brand manager do?

Brand managers monitor market trends and perform competitive analysis to make sure that the products and services of their clients stay relevant to current and potential customers. A brand manager also:

  • Performs market research studies

  • Gathers relevant company and sales data

  • Develops custom marketing campaigns for products

  • Conducts digital and social media marketing

  • Submits updated brand exposure reports to management each month

  • Contributes to the design of retail packaging

  • Communicates with the production team to improve product designs

  • Plans and supervises promotional activities

  • Manages and monitors marketing budgets

  • Communicates company stances with journalists and media

The average salary of a brand manager

The average salary for a brand manager is $31,502 per month. However, their salary may vary based on their place of employment, company, years of experience, certifications and other factors. A brand manager may work for an agency or for their own business. If they work freelance, their salary could be commission- and contract-based.

How to become a brand manager

Here are the most common steps to follow to become a brand manager:

1. Pursue education

Employers typically require candidates for brand manager positions to have a bachelor's degree in marketing, advertising, business or a related major. Some employers may also require candidates to hold a graduate degree, such as a Master's of Business Administration and a specified amount of relevant work experience. Higher education can be beneficial, as it can provide advanced instruction in core concepts like strategic communications, economics, public relations and business.

2. Earn certifications

Earn professional certifications to assure employers that you have built the required competencies to perform the job. Consider certification in brand or product management, such as:

  • Certified Brand Manager: This program, administered by the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM), teaches candidates the elements and core values of a brand and how each plays an important role in developing relationships with customers.

  • Certified Product Manager: This designation, also offered by the AIPMM, validates an individual's product management skills, with the training focused on building case studies, competitive analysis, product launch plans and market planning.

  • Agile Certified Product Manager and Product Owner: This credential from the AIPMM certifies an individual's knowledge of strategic and tactical concepts in product management and product ownership.

3. Build a network

Professional networking can position you as a desirable job candidate. Attending social events and workshops dedicated to networking can help you meet other professionals who can recommend certain positions for you. Actively expanding your professional circle and fostering relationships can also help you gain industry knowledge.

4. Gain work experience

Especially for management positions, employers may require many years of experience. Consider gaining these by spending time in an entry-level role in marketing or publicity. You might also consider pursuing an internship, especially if you're attending a college or university. Internships can enable you to meet and learn from an experienced professional in the field.

5. Search for brand manager jobs

When you're prepared to apply for brand manager positions, look for job openings online. Tailor your resume and cover letter to reflect the needs of each employer. Make sure your job application is concise, readable and error-free.

Key skills

Brand managers typically possess an assortment of soft and hard skills, including:

  • Communication: Working across departments and facilitating company-wide cooperation on branding projects takes effective communication. These professionals also need to ensure clear and cohesive branding messages to the public.

  • Creativity: Brand managers have to balance structure with innovation when developing new strategies. In addition, their job is to use their imagination to create a unique, recognisable and memorable brand.

  • Flexibility: A good brand manager adapts quickly to the evolution of the market and trends, keeping brands up to date while maintaining their core messaging. As brand management is fast-paced, these professionals leverage tools to remain competitive.

  • Writing: Brand managers need excellent writing skills so they can tell compelling stories, through print or digital channels. Along with capturing the attention of readers, they also need to convey messages in understandable ways.

  • People skills: Those in this role are experts in interacting with people, as they use brands to appeal to the emotions and beliefs of potential customers. They also excel in relationship management and can solve public relations crises to maintain the public's trust.

  • Finance: Ideal brand managers have basic financial skills to monitor budgets and ensure a business can afford to implement marketing campaigns. They can also use financial data like sales reports and forecasts to understand how their efforts are positively affecting the company.

  • Research: Brand managers can benefit from strong research skills to monitor social trends. They can then use these trends, and company data like sales and conversion rates, to inform their decisions for the future of the brand.

Related: 10 Effective Communication Skills for Career Success

Brand manager work environment

Brand managers may work in a variety of settings, depending on the day. They sometimes work in an office to conduct research, design campaigns, collaborate with other marketing and sales professionals and present reports to top management. Other times, they travel to different locations to meet with clients and attend press conferences or interviews. Those in this role generally work full-time, regular hours, but may need to work overtime to meet deadlines or handle public relations emergencies.

Related careers

There are many positions available for those interested in the marketing field. While job titles and duties may vary by company, here are some professions that are similar to a brand manager:

1. Digital marketer

Average salary: $17,183 per month

Primary duties: A digital marketer is an expert in online advertising methods. They are skilled in websites, social media, e-commerce, data analytics and other tools to track and increase customer engagement and improve sales. They perform a more specific role than brand managers, focusing on how a company or person can employ digital technology to support their mission and operations.

Related: How To Become a Marketing Executive: A Step-By-Step Guide

2. Director of public relations

Average salary: $17,487 per month

Primary duties: A director of public relations typically works for a company or for celebrities in the entertainment business, representing their clients to the public. Those in this position form relationships with professionals in the media and government to foster a positive public image for their clients. They also network with leaders and decision-makers to find ways to build their client's businesses and increase sales.

3. Communications manager

Average salary: $23,889 per month

Primary duties: A communications manager handles all internal correspondence for a company. They ensure employees understand a business's mission and strategies to increase productivity and engagement. They differ from brand managers in that their focus is on the team members of a company, rather than on external customers or stakeholders.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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