Till a generation ago, the only specialisations in MBA that one would consider were that of finance, HR and marketing. However, these days it is seen that there is much more to the world of business administration; it is seen that managers are required in almost all domains and each prefers people who are specialised. As is obvious from all of it, this has led to a rise in the types of specialisations that you can choose to opt for in your MBA. Amongst those, one of the most promising newer fields is that of brand management.
For a layman, we can say that brand management is a super specialisation in sales and marketing. The role of these people is to work with brands and help the same establish an identity. This can be done through its name, term, design or symbol. These days, it is often seen that a brand is a combination of more than one of these parameters.
The reach of a brand to the consumer is often dependent on how its products and services are presented before the audience. The entire process of managing all these details in an effort to ensure maximum reach and thereby, maximum revenue generation falls under the duties of a brand manager. Read on to know how you can make a successful career in this field.
• Job Role
The main job of a brand manager is to plan, develop and direct the marketing strategies of the brand that they work for. In the case of larger brands, it may be a product of the brand, instead of the brand. They coordinate the work of the various marketing departments.
When two brands come together to create a new product, the co-branding is also the responsibility of these people. It is the responsibility of brand managers to leverage on the brand name and ensure that the newer products that are launched by the brand make good money.
• Educational Background
Brand management is offered as a specialisation that one can pursue during their MBA. For this, one needs to have completed their graduation in any discipline. As per the norms of the management entrance in the country, one needs to have qualified any management exam (like CAT, MAT, GMAT) to be eligible for an admission to a B-school. Some management schools offer brand management as an elective paper in their BBA courses as well.
• Skills Required
As this is a demanding task where targets must be met, it is important for a candidate to be extremely organised and methodical if they want to excel in this field. They should be able to analyse the data that is given to them and then present their findings in an effective manner. For this, good communication skills are an absolute must.
Other than this, the job involves working in teams and that is why multitasking abilities (in the form of working with multiple teams at once) and good listening skills are an absolute necessity for anyone who wants to succeed here. You really cannot fare well in this profession if you are not genuinely enthusiastic about your product area.
Although brand management is a specialisation of sales and marketing, even here it is up to you to choose the sector you want to work in. Retail management, lifestyle and luxury management, brand distribution management and brand packing management are the most popular choices. Amongst the newer fields of specialisations, the most common one is that of online brand management. Most e-commerce websites depend on the powers of e-branding to earn their revenue.
• Major Recruiters
International brands like Novartis, GSK, Coca Cola, Aviva Life Insurance and Sara Lee often look to India to hire brand management professionals. The Indian market is also pretty much self-sufficient with companies like Mahindra and Mahindra, Godrej India, Sun Pharma, Aditya Birla Group and Dabur hiring a major chunk of the qualified professionals in this field.
As is obvious from the nature of the job, almost all the jobs in this sector are private in nature. These days, pharmaceutical industries and the healthcare sector are the major employers in the world of brand management and they usually have the most lucrative pay package to offer freshers.
• Nature Of The Job
This is one of the most demanding jobs in the world of sales and marketing. Here the candidate will be given targets (either on a weekly basis or monthly) and they will have to adhere to them. The more efficiently you meet your targets, the better will be your chances of climbing up the corporate ladder.
To meet targets, professionals often should extend their working hours and work on weekends as well. This job also involves a lot of travelling. Thus, it is advisable that you join this field only if you are ready to put in hard work and you love this profession.
Like every other profession, the salary in the world of brand management tends to rise with experience. Qualified professionals start off with a salary that is somewhere between Rs 12,000 and Rs 18,000 per month. With experience, the value rises to about Rs 50,000. Most companies in this field offer an annual bonus and many other perks and incentives in addition to the annual compensation package.
• Career Growth Path
In the world of brand management, most freshers start off as a part of the sales team as a marketing analyst. After gaining a couple of years of experience, they take up the role of assistant brand manager and are responsible for coordinating the different marketing functions (like packaging advertising, promotions and public relations).
Once a candidate gains the required experience and excels in this role, they are promoted to the role of a brand manager. With due perseverance, one can aspire to grow to be a marketing director. The marketing director guides the overall marketing strategy of the brand by cording the work of the brand managers and assistant brand managers working in the organisation.