Career as a Brand Manager – The Complete Guide

Career as a Brand manager

Have you ever thought about how big brand names such as Puma, Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola have become household names? They probably have had a series of brand managers that have helped them get noticed and become a trusted brand in the market. Do you think you can do the same? Then a career as a brand manager might be right for you!

Before you jump into this job role, it would help to know a few things about the industry. Does the industry have a good scope? What courses can you take to learn about brand management? What kind of roles can you take on?

Read on for a guide on things you should know if you are interested in a career as a brand manager.

What does a Brand Manager do?

Like any other job, no day is the same for a brand manager. Let’s understand this with an example. Coca-Cola as a beverage company has multiple brands in the market like Sprite, Fanta, Limca, Coke, Diet Coke, Maaza etc. Each of these brands would have a brand manager who would be responsible only for that drink as each of these drinks has a different “feel” to it. 

Let’s say the company of Coca-Cola decides to introduce a new product for the brand of Fanta, something which has a flavour of orange as well as lemon.

i) Market Research: 
The brand manager will conduct market research to know where they can position their product in the market. This could be done by extensively studying the competitors, going on the field and asking the consumers whether they would buy such a product or if there is some unmet need.

ii) In-house collaboration: 
After they have established that there exists a gap in the market and the product would be fulfilling a particular need of a section of society, brand managers would then be collaborating with other departments. These include a detailed discussion on sales targets, the revenue to be generated by the new product, the risks that the product might face, and the marketing channel.

iii) Execution: 
The execution would be to oversee the work of the production department. In our example, the brand manager would probably work with the product engineers to figure out the recipe of the product. 

If you are working on a new variant of Fanta, you would be responsible for ensuring that the product’s design elements evoke the same feeling as that of the overall brand. The shape of the bottle, colour palette, typography and typography- all embody the brand’s vibrancy and playfulness. Here are a few photographs from their photoshoot in Milan, Italy when Fanta decided to rebrand itself.

Fanta's campaign to rebrand itself was a decision by a brand manager.

iv) Guiding the Designing team: 
Once the design and budget of the product are established, the creative agency or the in-house designers are briefed on the new product. This might include the design of the mailers, banners, display racks, social media posts, website content and design and any promotional material etc. 

The brand manager is also the person in charge of coordinating with the creative agency and the production department for a brand’s advertising campaign. Fanta has been consistent with its global image of being fun. Their advertising campaigns have relied on bizarre jingles and upbeat music to create that image.

Fanta Ad

Any other collaborations with influencers or sponsoring events are also in the purview of the brand manager. Recently, Fanta collaborated with the Indian Actor “Sara Ali Khan ” on their Holi campaign. The brand very smartly chose a fun festival, along with a young actor to keep its brand consistent with its cheerful, youth-oriented image. 

Fanta Ad – #NoBahanaHoli

v) Promotion: 
Once a product is launched in the market, the brand manager’s duty does not end. Promotion of your product is required in order to capture the attention of your consumers. Therefore it is important to incentivize the distributors and retailers to push your product. For instance, you provide retailers with  200 INR on the sale of 50 bottles of Fanta.

Budgeting an important task for a brand manager.

vi) Budgeting:
Talking about money, the brand managers would also work closely with the finance department throughout the process. For example, if Fanta’s previous advertising campaign had a surplus amount left, then the brand manager could use that money in the current campaign for the new product and help it reach consumers. Being meticulous with these money details is super important for the brand manager as it will help them plan ahead.

Other than these functions, the brand manager continuously has to brainstorm new ideas, features, new ways to market the product, prepare presentations and reports for the same etc., requiring a lot of innovation.

What does a brand manager do?

Job Roles for a Brand Manager

Here are some career paths to explore if you are interested in a career as a brand manager in India.

  1. Marketing Executive:
    Marketing professionals manage marketing campaigns to advertise goods and services in your capacity as a marketing executive. A marketing executive may be responsible for administrative, commercial, analytical, digital, commercial, and creative tasks.
  2. Assistant Marketing Manager:
    A marketing manager assistant will concentrate on creating brand strategies and boosting sales of a particular brand. Marketing initiatives like packaging, advertising, sales, promotions, and public relations will be coordinated by the assistant brand manager.
  3. Marketing Analyst:
    A market analyst works in point-of-sale sales for the business. A marketing analyst’s role in the organisation is brand promotion. A marketing analyst will also collect and report on customer feedback or a campaign’s performance.
  4. Advertising Manager:
    Advertising managers ensure that promotions of products or services are done through the right media, are reaching the target market, and are completed on time. They must manage vendors and report on the performance of each ad campaign.
  5. Content Manager:
    A content manager oversees all communications for the brand. They must deliver all content within the persona, values, and guidelines of the company. Content managers will coordinate with writers and visual designers daily to create content that adds value or is relatable.

Career Paths to becoming a Brand Manager

To become a brand manager, then you need to prepare for it ahead of time. After completing 10+2 there are various ways to pursue your career in brand management. 

PATH 1: The most common path to becoming a brand manager after 12th is to pursue your undergraduate degree in BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) after 12 Grade. This is a 3-year full-time course which provides students with the fundamentals of business management. Along with business fundamentals, the course provides students with different majors to choose from which helps the student gain specialised knowledge in the subject. This usually is done in the last year (i.e. 5th semester). The specialisations that you can choose from for being a brand manager include: 

  1. BBA with Brand Building and Management 
  2. BBA with Retail Management 
  3. BBA with Brand Management and communication 
  4. BBA with Marketing 
  5. BBA with Advertising and Brand Management 

PATH 2: Another undergraduate course, post 12th that you can pursue is BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies). This course is more or less similar to BBA with subjects like Strategic Management, Managerial Economics, Bank Strategy and Management, and Entrepreneurship.

Introduction to International Business, Finance, Accounting, Human Resource Management. While deciding on the course you can check the portion and decide based on the subjects you like. 

PATH 3: One more route you can take after 12th is to pursue a B.A. (Bachelors in Arts) with majors in English or Mass Communication or Bachelors in Mass Communication (BMC). With subjects like marketing management, Business and managerial communication, Language and culture etc., the degree will provide you with skills for communicating through various mediums. 

Regardless of the path you take, you can pursue an MBA either in Marketing or advertising to enhance your knowledge in the field.

Salary in the different stages of Career as a Brand Manager

After studying branding, there are various career profiles that you can work for. The salary, therefore, differs depending on the career profile and the company you work for. The following table shows earnings for different positions you can hold and the average salary you can expect to earn, depending on the years of experience. 

Career ProfileEntry-level (0-1years) Early-career (1-4 years) Middle (5-9 years) Experienced (10-19 years)  
Marketing Analyst 358,425 LPA440,985 LPA616,071 LPA
Assistant Brand Manager 715,186 LPA777,384 LPA 
Senior Brand Manager 25,00,000 LPA45,80,00 LPA
Marketing Director 34,30,000 LPA41,90,000 LPA 

Confused about the blanks? Don’t worry, it’s not that you won’t earn. But usually, positions like brand manager are given based on your performance and the years of experience you bring to the table. Therefore it is unlikely that you would be hired for the position of Brand Manager with 1-4 years of experience. Thus, usually, you start off with an entry-level position as an analyst and work your way up either in the same company or in a different one. 

Skills required to become a Brand Manager

  1. Creativity/Innovation: 
    As we saw earlier, a brand manager would have to keep helping other cross-functional teams to develop products, and continuously envision future plans, while also strategizing the branding goals. All of this requires creativity and out-of-the-box ideas. 
  1. Being up-to-date with the Trends: 
    New information and new products are launched almost every day. Thus, being aware of the market conditions and the consumer’s response to those products is significant for the brand manager. This is because such information will help them understand the products that are working in the market, and products that are not working in the market and also anticipate future trends. 
  1. Consumer Research: 
    In order to understand their consumers better, brand managers need to know how to ask those questions to them. This is significant at all stages of the product- the launch, growth, maturity and decline. Surveys can help the brand know its advantages as well as shortcomings, consequently providing the brand manager with the data required to suggest changes. Additionally, such surveys also help gauge the brand’s value from the customer’s perspective. 
  1. Ability to implement the research findings: 
    The data that brand managers might get could be of two types- qualitative (for instance, detailed feedback from a regular customer) and quantitative (for instance, ratings to know how likely they are to recommend the product to others). It is the brand manager’s reasoning skills which help them translate these insights into practical aspects for the brand. For instance, 45% of the consumers stated that reading the instructions on the packaging is difficult, which is something that the brand manager can take up with the graphic team to brainstorm ideas. The most obvious solution is to increase the font size. 
Adaptability as a skill for a brand manager
Be as adaptable as this lizard! Source
  1. Adaptability: 
    The capacity to be adaptable, even when it appears tough, is a core quality that all brand managers require. Because of inevitable market changes, flexibility is the only method to drive a brand ahead. The manager must be able to develop new possibilities while staying true to the fundamental brand principles, whether through fresh design or effective messages. Also, keep in mind that many talks about client experiences with your company take place in real-time on social media sites. As a result, having the freedom to use social media appropriately for branding initiatives is critical.
  1. Communication:
    Due to the constant cross-functional team management, communication is a must skill for a brand manager. They must be as visible and accessible as possible. Hence, answering inquiries from various departments, attending creative meetings, and becoming familiar with team operations. They should, above all, demonstrate that they are ready to answer any brand-related inquiries that occur. Remember that brand consistency begins at the top, thus a brand manager should make it obvious that they’ll assist with any chores or ideas that pertain to maintaining brand standards.
  1. Accountability: 
    Due to the fact that the results of any campaign can’t be guaranteed, the brand manager should be ready to face all consequences- good or bad. 

Is becoming a Brand Manager a good career option?

Every organisation offers a career path in brand management. A false impression exists that brand management systems are only found in FMCG businesses. The reality is that every industry, including those in fashion, technology, e-commerce, clothes, bottled water, and many more, has a brand management system that handles all the branding activities for the business.

Previously, brand management positions were only available in a few industries, but due to consumer behaviour towards brand names, a number of new channels have emerged to influence the market. Due to this development, the brand management career field has seen a rise of 14% in recent years.

Type of Industries hiring for a Brand Manager

Any organisation or social group that wants to promote itself or its products will need a brand manager. The following industries or types of companies are popular places to start your career as a brand manager.

  • Marketing agencies need brand managers to create comprehensive marketing campaigns for their clients.
  • Stand-alone brands want to build a unique personality to relate to and engage with their target audience.
  • Charities need the skills of a brand manager to build a community following.
  • Retailers need brand managers to communicate their unique selling points and bring in customers.
  • Manufacturers need brand managers’ skills to build the trust of quality assurance with their buyers.

Top Recruiters for Brand Managers in India

  • Amazon 
  • Unilever 
  • Leo Burnet 
  • ITC 
  • Nestle 
  • Asian Paints
  • Proctor and Gamble 
  • Wipro 
  • Cipla 
  • Diageo 

Courses to upskill as a Brand Manager

You can try out a variety of online courses to learn more about the field of work. You can use these credentials to assess your interest in the field or as a way to upskill yourself. Some of the certificate programs that will make you stand out and advance your knowledge in the industry are:

Certificate Course Institute Duration 
Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour University of London through Coursera 1-3 Months 
Branding: The Creative Journey IE Business School through Coursera 3-6 Months 
Brand Strategy: Management of your brand reputation LinkedIn 1 hour 17 mins 
Strategic Brand Management Edx (Online) 12 Weeks 
Luxury Management Edx (Online) 8 Weeks 
JuniorMBA in Branding Clever Harvey 15 hours 
Brand Management Edx (Online) 5 Weeks 
Branding Foundations LinkedIn 52 mins 

Qualifications to become a Brand Manager

Degrees in India

After passing class 12, you will have many options to learn brand management. You can opt for a certificate course at an institution or a Bachelor’s degree course at a college or university.

A) UG Degree:

Here are a few brand management courses you can choose at a Bachelor’s level for a career as a brand manager in India.

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) / Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) / Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) / Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM)Mass Communication / Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations4 Years
Bachelor of Communications (B. Comm)Brand Management / Marketing4 Years

B) PG Degrees:

Any brand management courses mentioned above will allow you to pursue a Master’s degree in brand management. Master’s degrees in brand management courses are typically two years.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) / Master of Management Studies (MMS) / Master of Business Studies (MBS)Mass Communication / Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations2 Years
Master of Communications (M. Comm)Brand Management / Marketing2 Years

Degrees Abroad

For a global career as a brand manager, your best path would be to study abroad and begin your career outside of India as well. Here are undergraduate degrees you can opt for abroad including Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) / Bachelor of Marketing. The specializations you can choose from include International Business / Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations / Business Management. The other option is to pursue a Bachelor of Communications (B. Comm) with Brand Management / Marketing as the major. These courses take 3-4 years to complete depending on which country you apply to.

For post-graduation abroad, some of the options available are Master of Business Administration (MBA) with specializations like International Business / Business Analysis / Business Management / Marketing. Another option is to pursue a Master of Marketing in Brand Management / Advertising / Public Relations as a major.

Entry into these courses will require you to give language proficiency test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, SATs, etc. along with an SOP (Statement of Purpose) and LORs (Letter of Recommendation). Want some help with SATs? We have got you covered. Read this blog to know more!

Want to know more? Check these out:

Best Books to Read About Brand Management

  • Building Strong Brands by David Aaker
  • Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity by Kevin Lane Keller & Vanitha Swaminathan
  • Do Good: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit by Anne Bahr Thompson
  • Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries & Jack Trout
  • Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

One of the TV show recommendations includes:

  • Abstract: The Art of Design 
    Where: Netflix 
    What to expect: These are the set of documentaries providing you insight into the lives of people who hold these jobs.

Brand management will always be a requirement for any company that wants to promote its products, engage with its customers, and become a top-of-mind brand. Therefore, the opportunities for anyone looking to pursue a career in brand management are vast.

In case you are unsure if a career as a brand manager is for you or if you possess the skills to be successful in brand management, then here is your chance to take the career for a ‘test drive.’ Clever Harvey’s JuniorMBA Chief Marketing Officer program will let you work with companies on a branding project for practical experience.

FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions about the career as a Brand Manager

Is brand management a good career?

A highly significant vocation in marketing is brand management. Interesting as well, with prospects for expansion across industries. Of course, you’ll need some concepts for branding, which a marketing course can give you.

How can I become a Brand Manager in India?

Candidates can enrol in programmes like BBA Marketing, MBA Advertising, PG Diploma in Advertising, and Brand Management to become brand managers. Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, Xavier’s Institute of Communication, and other major universities all offer these degrees.

Is it hard to be a brand manager?

Brand managers need to be great multitaskers and have the ability to see the big picture, or vision, and how many small elements fit into that vision. They also need to be comfortable in a leadership position as your job is to drive the brand forward.

What does a Brand Manager do day to day?

To ensure that all business decisions are aligned with the brand’s image, brand managers participate in the buying, sourcing, and production processes. Along the route, they ensure that every attempt complies with financial constraints. Brand managers continuously monitor the effectiveness of their tactics.

What is the difference between a product manager and a brand manager?

Brand Managers build a corporate brand based on a product, whereas Product Managers work on building a product.

What is the scope of brand management?

Market research, analysis of marketing trends, consumer demand, brand launch and USP, brand research, brand promotion, and distribution are the main facets of brand management. These are the duties that professionals in the field of brand management perform.

Can a fresher become a brand manager?

Freshmen are typically hired as management trainees or MTs. Before being promoted to brand or product manager, new hires work as MT for six to twelve months. An MT has the opportunity to learn about many organisational functions, particularly sales operations, during this 6 to 12month phase.

Recent Blogs

How to become a content writer

How to become a Content Writer – A Complete Guide

Embarking on a journey as a content writer requires passion, persistence, and continuous learning. With the increasing digitalization of businesses, the demand for skilled content writers is on the rise. Dive in, keep writing, and you’ll carve your niche in no time!

Read More
How to become a marine biologist

How to become a Marine Biologist in 2023- Dream Job Guide

Delve deep into the mysteries of the oceans and uncover the secrets of its inhabitants. If the world beneath the waves intrigues you, a career as a marine biologist awaits. Discover the path to explore and study marine organisms and their fascinating world.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Introducing Clever Harvey College Catapult - Get in to your Dream College. Guaranteed.
Introducing Clever Harvey College Catapult - Get in to your Dream College.
How to become a Public Relations Officer? How to become a Chief Marketing Officer ? The Highest Paying Jobs in Marketing What does a Media Manager really do?
How to become a Public Relations Officer? How to become a Chief Marketing Officer ? The Highest Paying Jobs in Marketing What does a Media Manager really do?