Brand managers are gatekeepers for company products and services. Their efforts are seen across all internal and external communication and are essential to the image of any business. Here are the top successful brand manager skills you should adopt to ensure your brand is strong.
Implement Strategic Creativity
It’s often said that creative teams which are too organized become less creative, but there needs to be a strategy in place and it’s the brand manager’s task to keep the team focused. Good brand managers have creative teams but understand how to focus them on an overarching strategy.
Keeping your creative team on a set game plan can be difficult but with the right methods you can retain innovation while fulfilling company goals. The key is a combination of prior planning and intermittent intervention.
When you set your team on a goal to create a new branding image or message, you need to clearly explain your expectations before starting. Put these in writing, include tangible examples and refer to them often. Pick out some good times to reiterate these goals but ensure they aren’t hampering team creativity.
Be Dynamic and Operate in Real Time
Brand management used to be a slow and steady process but today it’s far quicker. Companies need to manage brands as fast as customers’ opinions change, and brand managers must constantly keep up with discussions within their industry and about their brand. Conversations surrounding customers’ experiences with your brand happen real time on social media platforms and other mediums.
Learning to harness social media for your branding campaigns is crucial but researching your brand discussions on these platforms is equally important. Be sure to change your strategy in real time as trends develop.
Build Bridges Between Departments
Brand managers must work across many departments and often need to get cooperation on projects. Be sure you’ve built relationships prior to starting a big rebranding project. Getting these started is easier than you may think and is one of the quickest brand manager skills to implement into your workflow.
Being visible and available is important. Go to the other departments and ask questions. Try to get in one of their creative meetings as an observer and you’ll learn their workflows. Be available for questions when they have them.
There are often many questions about branding in other departments that aren’t asked because the brand manager or team has not made themselves available. Maintaining brand consistency starts within the company so make it clear to your team that they need to be available for questions from their colleagues in other departments.
One way to keep the company informed about the company brand strategy is to keep it clearly posted a visible location. Your team should be available to the rest of the company as internal brand ambassadors and take ownership of the brand message internally.
Adopt New Technologies
Successful brand managers rely on technology more than ever. The reason is the vast number of tools available to manage brands. This includes social media platforms, digital asset management and CRM tools.
Technology connects your brand with existing and potential customers. Embracing new innovations in the brand management industry is important for staying ahead of the game. There are plenty of new tools emerging and keeping up with trends is the best way to go.
Try out different tools, there are free trials for almost anything these days. And you might have some redundancy. Many programs perform the functions of two or more of the tools you’re using now. Be on the lookout for software that combines functions.
Immerse Yourself in the Market
Part of being a good brand manager is understanding the market you’re tasked in operating. Each market is unique and there are generalizations you can make about your customers. From marketing research, you’ll learn what they like to watch, the sites they visit and the social media conversations they’re a part of. Knowing these is important for marketing but it will also help you understand what brand message is effective.
Instead of just studying the media products your customers consume for marketing, take some time to use that media yourself. The best way to see whether your messaging is effective is to look at it from a customer perspective.
After you’ve immersed yourself in customer-centered media and conversations, you’ll have a better perspective when looking at your brand and messaging. It gives you first-hand insight that countless surveys can’t replace.
Start Building Your Brand Manager Skills
Implement these top skills and you’ll become a successful brand manager. The best way to get going on building your skills is to start one straight away.