What’s it all about then?
As a brand manager working for a food company, your responsibility is to create a lasting positive impression on one or more of your company’s products with consumers which leads to increased sales.
You’ll be developing, implementing and overseeing specific strategies which up the profiles of the products for which you have responsibility.
It’s all about designing and delivering the right message for your product and taking the correct brand strategies through from inception to completion.
What might I be doing?
The job will likely vary from company to company but your responsibilities will probably include the following:
- Detailed analysis and research of the market
- Developing product strategies and presenting these to senior company management for approval
- Working within defined budgets
- Overseeing all marketing initiatives for your product from design through to completion
- Liaising with other experts such as packaging designers, sales staff and those responsible for advertising
- Meeting with customers and organising focus groups to test your strategies
- Monitoring reactions to your strategy when implemented and sales figures
- Evaluating success of programmes and suggesting amendments and improvements if required
- Continually developing new strategies to implement
- Leading a small team of experts and ensuring optimum results
- Monitoring all market trends and making sure your product stays as brand leader within its market segment.
What will be expected of me?
This is a highly responsible, high pressurise job and your success will have a positive effect on a whole lot of people.
The first thing you’ll need is the ability to analyse the markets for your products and then develop appropriate strategies to get them sold – you’ll need to have an eye for detail and be well-organised as well being a creative thinker.
You’ll be expected to be a really good communicator as you’ll be dealing with loads of people all of the time. As well as this, you’ll need to be a good listener and in touch with consumer trends as this can provide many ideas for improvements and new ideas.
Because you’ll be balancing lots of different priorities, you will need to be really good at organising your own time and also that of the people who work for you.
Finally, you’ll need to be competitive by nature because the job is all about getting your products more recognised than your competitors.
What can I expect?
You’ll be working mostly from the company’s offices although a fair bit of travel may be required – particularly if your company is multi-site.
Whenever you have a major campaign, event or product launch, however, these hours will increase - so be ready for it when it happens!
At these times you could also spend a lot of time on the road to attend events such as exhibitions and other opportunities that showcase your products.
What about the pay?
A Brand Manager starting off in the role can earn between £20,000 and £25,000 a year but this will increase with experience and a proven record of successful work.
At senior levels you might expect to be earning more than £50,000 a year.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
Many employers will want you to be degree educated and have some years’ experience before considering you for the job of Brand Manager and these degrees will typically be relevant to the post - such as marketing, business management, economics, or suchlike. Naturally for the food sector, if you can take a degree which combines knowledge of food and marketing then this will obviously be to your advantage.
Of course you may have entered the industry in a more junior role and taken a variety of marketing qualifications as your career has progressed. Starting from a more junior level also helps you to decide how exactly you want your role to develop.
What about further training?
There are a variety of postgraduate courses that you could consider either as a fulltime option after you graduate or on a part time basis as an employee.
Alternatively there are a range of courses available from professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing, for example the Diploma in Marketing Communications which is available on a distance learning basis.
You might also want to consider membership of a professional body, which will mean you’re always up to date with latest news and events, as well as demonstrating your commitment to your role.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes, with the growth of the food manufacturing sector, jobs such as that of the Brand Manager are becoming increasingly important as you’ll need to be able to design and run strategies that sell more of your company’s products than those of a similar nature offered by competitors.
So, if you’re a competitive and enthusiastic sort of person this could be the very job for you!