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Building a brand isn’t a one-person job. It takes collaboration, teamwork, and iterating back-and-forth. But as with any important project, it requires one person to lead the effort, ensuring that you get the results you want. A Brand Manager is an integral member of any company, especially those who feel that they have a rock-solid brand identity. After all, a brand is like a plant: even after it’s been planted and grown from seed to flowering greenery, you still need to take care of it every day to keep it alive.
So how does one become a successful Brand Manager? What makes the difference between a brand that flourishes and thrives, and one that dries up in the pot? A lot of branding can feel nebulous or random, but the fact is that there are core skills and practices that separate the great Brand Managers from the not-so-great.
First, let’s take a look at what, exactly, a Brand Manager does. As the name implies, they “manage the brand,” but that’s a big umbrella of responsibilities, which can vary substantively depending on the size, stage, strategy, and goals of each brand.
In emerging brands, or those looking to overhaul their brand identity, the Brand Manager is responsible for building the brand. This means doing audience research to establish the target audience, analyzing the market to determine where the brand will fit in the competitive landscape, and ensuring that the brand identity reflects these positioning factors. They’ll also have the final word on core brand elements like name, look and feel, positioning statement, and voice and tone.
For organizations where the brand identity is well-established, there’s still much work for the Brand Manager. They need to support existing relationships with the audience, and also continue to expand brand reach. They’re responsible for reputation management, brand consistency, brand trust, and brand experience.
If something reflects on the brand and is seen by the public, the Brand Manager has their hands on it.
Brand Managers are essential because the success of the brand is inextricably linked to the success of the company. Industry research shows that brand-related factors like brand consistency, authenticity, trusted social media, and engaging voice and tone matter enormously for your company. These elements don’t happen by accident. Brand Managers handle all of them, as well as the challenges inherent in being a modern business: things like keeping the brand relevant, and handling any public missteps that need addressing. To put it one way, they’re the water and sunlight that keep the brand’s leaves shiny and its flowers blooming.
Managing a brand requires keeping a lot of balls in the air at any given time. It’s a tough role, and one in which success is certainly not guaranteed — but certain qualities make it much more likely. Let’s look at 8 non-negotiable qualities of successful Brand Managers.
The journey of a Brand Manager isn’t a static one, because the world in which the brand lives is constantly evolving. That makes it a challenging role, but also an exciting one for the right person. With an open mind, a passion for your brand, and this set of best practices in tow, you can create a brand that doesn’t just survive, but thrives, in today’s changing landscape.
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