Brand Manager Career and Salary Profile
An organization’s brand manager is responsible for developing and institutionalizing brand assets and enforcing established standards. The brand manager’s role becomes more relevant as the number of ways consumers receive marketing messages increases. Pursuing a career as a brand manager can begin by enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Marketing.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of advertising and marketing managers, including brand managers, will grow steadily in coming years. Job growth will occur as a growing number of products and services requires brand to stand out in order to succeed. Competition is strong for top positions; candidates with strong marketing experience and leadership qualities could have an advantage.
In general, a brand manager’s job consists of planning, developing and directing marketing efforts for a particular brand or product. These professionals often conceptualize strategic initiatives and implement details of a campaign. They manage external marketing partners such as advertising agencies, digital marketing firms and production companies. Depending on the size of the organization, they may have assistants or other staff to manage as well.
Brand managers supervise a brand’s content and function, and manage access to brand assets. They may develop brand standards and usage guidelines and assist with integrating campaigns with brand consistency. Another important activity is tracking consumer and market insights by reviewing metrics such as pricing and distribution and conducting consumer research.
These marketing professionals are typically the gatekeepers of a brand, and are consulted on proper use throughout all advertising, promotions, internal publications, marketing, social media presence and any other environment in which the brand appears. They participate in brand strategy discussions and collaborate with the creative team to ensure strategic objectives are met.
Additional brand manager job duties might include analyzing sales data to update a brand or category portfolio, determining new products and deleting underperforming products. They may also work closely with other departments, such as manufacturing and research and development, to consult on package and product as it relates to branding. Writing reports and specifications, along with creative briefs, is another typical brand manager job duty.
A brand manager typically works in an office; a 40-hour week is standard, but in the fast-paced marketing field, overtime can be required. Travel to trade shows or production faculties may be required.
Brand Manager Salary Potential
According to national salary data on PayScale.com, as of December 2010, brand managers had a median total income of about $81,540 per year, with those in the 25th to 75th percentile earning between $57,794 and $105,286 in total pay.
PayScale.com data also indicated that brand managers with a master’s degree can earn significantly more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. In fact, based on 75th percentile salary figures, graduates with MBA earned $116,517 per year while those with a BS in Business Administration earned $101,943 per year – a differential of over 14%.
Top salaries generally go to those with the advanced education and experience employers need to remain competitive in a changing global business environment.
Education and Training Requirements
While a bachelor’s degree and marketing experience are sufficient for some brand manager positions, many top employers show preference to candidates with a master’s degree.
Marketing professionals seeking a brand manager position can improve their prospects by enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Marketing. Coursework typically includes international business, strategic marketing, consumer behavior strategies and advanced market research.
Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Marketing are able to:
- Position a brand and build equity.
- Apply modern theories of leadership, management and negotiation to real-world challenges.
- Assess and manage risk using financial and economic data.
- Identify marketing opportunities and develop success strategies to leverage them.
- Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as a brand manager.
Your Path to a Brand Manager Career
If you are a decisive, fast-thinking individual with excellent communications skills, who enjoys the fast pace of a marketing environment, you could succeed as a brand manager. Taking your career to a higher level can be possible when you earn an MBA with a specialization in Marketing. With your MBA, you’ll have the skills and knowledge top employers want, and respected credentials that will make you stand out from the crowd.