What Does a Brand Manager Do? 2023 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Working in brand management means developing a strategy that sets a company apart from its competitors and builds a long-lasting relationship with customers.

[Featured image] A brand manager discusses strategy with three members of her marketing team.

Being a brand manager means taking on a broad role that often requires familiarity with many aspects of marketing, including market research, content marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, and design. As a brand manager, you won’t necessarily perform these responsibilities. Still, your knowledge will help guide each respective team to develop messaging and assets that align with a brand and strengthen its position in the marketplace.

Let’s go over what a brand manager’s responsibilities entail, the tools you may use in the role, and what it takes to become one.

Brand manager tasks and responsibilities

Building a brand strategy involves crafting a unique story and experience for customers that connects them with a company and its products and fosters loyalty over time.

In this role, you’ll take responsibility for overseeing any aspect of marketing that has to do with a company’s brand and ensure that all branding decisions ultimately result in stronger sales. Your goal is to align the messaging across various touchpoints to ensure it’s consistent and compelling to keep consumers returning to the brand. You’ll likely work across multiple areas, including marketing, research, content, social, and design.

As a brand manager, some of your responsibilities may include:

  • Conducting market research

  • Analysing data for trends, insights, and information

  • Advising multiple teams on branding strategy

  • Communicating with marketing teams to ensure brand alignment

  • Managing projects through various stages of development

  • Managing budgets to support branding efforts

  • Maintaining relationships with company stakeholders

What tools do brand managers use?

The tools you’ll use as a brand manager will differ depending on the specific responsibilities your company expects you to perform. But some common tools for brand management include:

  • Social media monitoring and listening tools

  • Media relationship management tools

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software

  • Data visualisation tools

What does it take to become a brand manager?

Becoming a brand manager requires a combination of higher education and experience. Marketers often move into this position after working in another type of management role, like social media or content management. Here are some steps to consider if you’d like to pursue a career as a brand manager:

Earn an undergraduate qualification.

A job as a brand manager typically requires an undergraduate qualification. Companies might specify a preference for a particular field like business, marketing, or communications. Some people also get a postgraduate qualification in marketing to hone their expertise and bring advanced knowledge to their role.

Develop related experience.

Smaller companies may require somewhere between one and three years of experience, while larger companies may require more. Working as a market research analyst, social media manager, content marketing manager, or digital marketing manager can provide you with the foundation you’ll need to move into brand management. Through these roles, you can bolster your understanding of consumers and the successful messaging it takes to reach them—essential components in managing a brand.

Develop brand and marketing skills.

A brand manager typically needs to have advanced skills in the following areas:

  • Writing: Messaging is at the heart of brand strategy, so strong writing skills will help you develop effective messaging while ensuring that copywriters execute it. 

  • Communication: Beyond messaging on behalf of the brand, you’ll need to be able to communicate with a company’s marketing team and stakeholders about your strategic recommendations.

  • Strategy: Developing or improving upon a branding strategy means understanding the market, how your company fits within it, and how to reach customers.

  • Project management: Your ability to manage multiple projects at the same time will help as you oversee new campaigns and help teams execute everything from graphic overlays to email copy.

  • Personnel management: Whether you manage direct reports on your branding team or lead several teams who report to you for branding guidance, having some experience managing others will serve you well.

  • Adaptability: Markets constantly change to reflect consumers’ needs, and it helps if you can be adaptable. More than that, staying curious about trends and innovation can help you develop a more responsive brand strategy. 

Brand manager salary

According to Indeed, brand managers in the UK make an average salary of £38,994 per year as of August 2023 [1]. Indeed calculated the average salary using data from 1,100 UK users in brand manager positions. Companies in the UK continue to need marketing professionals to increase market share, so the demand for brand managers persists. 

Brand manager career advancement

Once you’ve become a brand manager, you’ll find additional roles to explore as you continue to grow in your career. Some brand managers move on to become senior brand managers, marketing directors, or communications directors. The advanced communication and strategic skills you hone as part of your time as a brand manager may help you move into higher-level roles that oversee more of a company’s marketing plan.

What’s the difference between a brand manager and a marketing manager?

A brand manager works on brand strategy—or the story a company tells about itself to customers—whereas a marketing manager oversees a number of efforts to promote the company and its offerings to customers.

Next steps

Build job-ready skills for a career in marketing with a Professional Certificate like the Google Digital Marketing & E-Commerce Professional Certificate available on Coursera. In this course, you'll discover essential subject matter that a brand manager would likely need to know while you earn a credential for your CV.

Article sources

  1. Indeed. “Brand Manager Salary in United Kingdom, https://uk.indeed.com/career/brand-manager/salaries.” Accessed August 15, 2023.

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