Brand Manager
How to Become a

Brand Manager

The complete career guide to be a Brand Manager: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $140,660
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 9.4%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Brand managers are marketing specialists who work to define and manage a company’s brand. A company’s brand is influenced by all public-facing designs, communications, and other artifacts, and the brand manager is responsible for ensuring consistency in the way a brand is presented to the public.


What is a Brand Manager?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in brand manager roles:

  • Define a company’s brand by determining the desired effect of branding on consumers
  • Define brand guidelines that designate typography, colors, imagery, and other design elements that support a company’s branding efforts
  • Review advertising campaigns, marketing initiatives, and all communications to ensure that all meet established brand guidelines
  • Conduct market research and A/B testing to determine the impression branding has on consumers
  • Monitor trends and recommend branding shifts as needed

A Day in the Life

Brand managers are responsible for creating a positive association with a brand among consumers. Their role is cross-functional and requires touchpoints with several different core functional areas. For example, one role of the brand manager is to ensure all designs and communications adhere to established brand guidelines. The brand manager creates those guidelines by reviewing market research, conducting user experience testing, and performing A/B tests to refine brand elements.

Once brand guidelines are established, they’re distributed to development, design, and copywriting teams to use in creating standards, style guides, and best practices. Brand guidelines can impact colors used in communications, imagery employed, typography for text, and even content. The brand manager reviews all external communications—advertisements, press releases, website changes, marketing initiatives, and more—to ensure brand guidelines are adhered to and the right impression is delivered.

To perform the role effectively, brand managers spend a lot of their time researching and testing. They monitor brand impressions and collect feedback, and recommend shifts in brand guidelines when required. In some cases where brand opinion is overly negative, the brand manager may perform damage control, recommending renaming and/or rebranding in order to rebuild public opinion and reestablish a brand as a competitor in its industry, giving a company an opportunity to win back lost business.

Typical Work Schedule

Brand managers mostly follow the standard working hours of about 40 hours per week as the job is mainly office-based. However, in addition to attending regular meetings, it is also expected of the brand manager to spend many evenings and weekends travel to different locations in order to attend filming and photoshoots, to manage a new product launch or visit exhibitions and conferences to promote for the brand. Accordingly, the job may become demanding with much responsibility over the brand manager. You need to be ready to put longer hours, work on weekends or evenings to be able to give the brand the necessary competitive edge it needs to achieve its target and stand out among.

Projected Job Growth

According to the US bureau of labor statistics, the overall employment of brand managers and other branding related jobs is expected to increase by at least 6 % from 2019 to 2029 which is faster than the expectations for other jobs. Recent technological changes transformed the field of branding and changed the formats and platforms of communication making it a highly dynamic and competitive field. Currently, Internet-based advertisement has a huge edge over other traditional means of branding. Therefore, in addition to having the regular degrees, having a solid background about modern and digital technology and how to utilize that for the brand has recently became a necessary skill in the field.

Typical Employers

The most prominent and common employers for brand managers are marketing agencies, where you may be responsible for multiple brands for multiple clients. Accordingly, marketing agencies provide intensive experience and helps you build a solid portfolio. In addition, some large private companies, manufacturers and retailers may have a marketing department where branding managers are required to manage the company’s brands and make the branding consistent across multiple platforms. Some public organizations, charities and even political campaigns may hire a branding manager to manage their work and promote it. You may have the chance sometimes to work remotely and independently however, this is usually limited to working with small-businesses and individual clients and it may not be a good choice for fresh graduates who aim at gaining more experience.


How To Become a Brand Manager

The starting point for a career as a brand manager is earning a bachelor’s degree. Most aspiring brand managers major in marketing, and a minor in fields like graphic design, psychology, business, or public relations can be beneficial as well. Because brand managers work with a variety of groups within a business—designers, developers, product managers, and writers, among others—it’s helpful for aspiring brand managers to have a good sense of the work those departments do for successful collaboration.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, most aspiring brand managers begin their careers in entry-level marketing positions. By working as a marketer, you will have the opportunity to work with another brand manager’s branding guidelines and see how guidelines are utilized across an organization. With many years of experience working as a marketer and launching many successful campaigns and initiatives, you may eventually qualify for a promotion into a brand manager position.

Beyond formal education and marketing experience, it’s also good for aspiring brand managers to engage in independent learning on marketing trends, research methodology, and user experience testing, as these concepts are crucial to a brand manager’s success. Subscribing to industry publications, following marketing blogs, and attending industry events are all excellent ways to expand your knowledge. Additionally, by attending events, you can expand your network of industry connections.


Brand Manager Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$91,520

Average

$140,660

High Range

---

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$44/hr

Average

$68/hr

High Range

---

How do Brand Manager salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Brand Manager's can make an average annual salary of $140,660, or $68 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $91,520 or $44 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #19 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Brand Manager. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among Brand Managers

  • 1.5%   Doctorate
  • 16.8%   Masters
  • 50.1%   Bachelors
  • 6.4%   Associates
  • 16.1%   College
  • 8.1%   High School
  • 1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

194,300

2024 Est. Jobs

212,500

Job Growth Rate

9.4%

Est. New Jobs

18,200

How does Brand Manager job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 18,200 jobs for a total of 212,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 9.4% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #222 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally


What Companies Employ The Most Brand Managers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Management of companies and enterprises 32,800 5,000 5%
Computer systems design and related services 10,900 2,400 2%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 10,700 3,000 3%

Want To Be a Brand Manager? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →