As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you will often be the only one responsible for the development of your brand. But success, as they say, breeds its own sorts of challenges. Once your business has grown enough, you will find less and less time to oversee your brand’s growth and direction—and your brand will suffer for it. Now is the time for you to meet your new best friend: your Brand Manager.
Brand managers are an integral part of any business that sells consumer products. Depending on the organization, they may either be responsible for a single major product, or a portfolio of many similar product lines. They will be responsible for the promotion and growth of said products, and explore different marketing strategies and tactics.
But is that really all the benefit that a brand manager provides? What makes him different from the marketing department? What does he do that makes him so valuable?
Unlike the marketing department, whose scope covers the entire range of products and the company’s image as a whole, a brand manager narrows his scope down to specific product lines. This allows him to immerse himself in a single brand and devote all of his effort towards the brand’s success.
Maintains brand discipline.
Product lines are always shifting. New technologies, new products, and product improvements are being released all the time. A brand manager’s job is to ensure that the brand’s message stays constant throughout its growth. This is done through consistent marketing messages and keeping new products relevant to the brand’s value proposition.
Performs statistical analysis.
No brand marketing campaign can be truly effective without data to back it up. A brand manager is adept at taking in current and historical sales data and comparing it with product performance. She will be able to see market trends and possible sales issues, and may perhaps tailor her approach to cover performance weaknesses that the data has uncovered.
Guides every aspect of a product’s image.
There is more to a brand than just straight-up advertising. Brand perception also relates to public perception, consumer reviews, price points, and even packaging. All of them contribute to a brand’s success. The key for the brand manager is identifying which ones will garner the most results and still deliver on the brand’s core values.
Advocates the brand to consumers.
A brand manager often has to communicate regularly with consumers and present the brand’s benefits and selling points. Despite this, he is not a salesman. He is not about converting your blog readers into customers. He is an advocate, which differs in that his focus is not the sale, but whether or not the product can actually help the customer. In this case, the brand manager’s loyalty is not to the company, but to the consumer and the brand.
Represents the brand internally.
Jumping off from the previous point, the brand manager is not loyal to the company. Rather, he is loyal to the brand first and foremost. This often means having to deal with internal company actions or plans that may offset the image the brand is trying to present. He educates employees and management on what the brand stands for, and tries to ensure that if any future actions do affect the brand, that they do so positively.