In this type of structure, every brand name or product owned by the firm is managed separately as a unique business, with each product or brand name competing individually against competitors. Such brand independence allows firms to aggressively advertise individual products—sometimes competing with other products owned and produced by the firm.
With the exception of the top levels of corporate managers, employees forming the brand team are the only workers in the firm who are involved in every part of the firm’s business related to the brand in question. Brand managers are responsible for planning, developing, and directing the marketing mix associated with the given product or brand name. They do general work, coordinating the efforts and responsibilities with workers who carry out specific functions related to production, sales, advertising, promotion, R&D, marketing research, purchasing, distribution, package development, and finance.
Employees working in brand/product management positions will be given various responsibilities from the get go allowing them to speed up the learning process and make contributions from the beginning to the brand or product assignment they are given.
Almost every consumer goods corporation employs this kind of organizational structure. Many companies specializing in industrial goods also employ similar brand/product management. One of the best methods to train to become a high level corporate employee is by gaining experience in brand management of a consumer goods firm.
In a consumer goods firm most beginners start as brand assistants. Typically new employees are hired as brand assistants and must pass through a training program consisting of sales training provided through company courses and seminars, lasting anywhere from one to four months. Traditionally such jobs are offered to MBA’s, but some companies do recruit and hire undergraduate students.
The best brand managers focus on the results, have high levels of creativity, are very analytical, are good communicators and have entrepreneurial tendencies.
To be a brand manager one must have a strong foundation based on the core aspects of marketing. These core aspects are advertising, research, consumer behavior, and strategy. Additionally one must be analytically sound and begin preparation for this through courses in finance and accounting.
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