Managing all aspects of the marketing mix effectively in order to maximize the consumer and trade appeal of the brand(s) and build relationships.
Role of this Position (Why does it exist?) To maximize the short and long term sales and profitability of the brand(s) for which he / she is responsible. This is achieved by managing all aspects of the marketing mix effectively in order to maximize the consumer and trade appeal of the brand(s) and build strong and enduring brand equity.
- Brand History: Understand the brand’s history – how it has performed over the years in terms of market share, sales and profitability. Analyse what have been the key drivers of strong or weak performance.
- Competitors: Develop an in-depth understanding of competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Be acutely aware of their activities in the marketplace at any given time.
- Ownership: Act as the “Managing Director” of the brand. Take passionate ownership of every aspect of the brand’s performance – sales, cost of goods, gross profit, BMI spending, product quality, presentation, stock availability, etc.
- Brand Strategy: Have an in-depth understanding of the Brand Strategy, and be the major architect of the evolution of the strategy over time. Ensure that the Brand Strategy document is reviewed annually, with relevant members of senior management present at the review. Any changes agreed at the review meeting must be recorded in an updated Brand Strategy document, using the standard company approved format, and properly communicated to the relevant parties.
- Brand Plans and Budgets: Following the annual review of the Brand Strategy, the brand plan for the following calendar year must be prepared, using the standard Brand Plan format, and presented to senior management. Once management has approved the Brand Plan in principle, it forms the preliminary basis of the brand’s financial budget for the following calendar year. If the finally approved budget numbers are different to the Brand Plan, the Brand Plan must be adjusted to reflect the same numbers as the approved budget.
- New Product Launches: The Brand Manager is responsible for conceptualizing, motivating and managing the introduction of new products, line extensions, and product improvements. The standard NPL process must be followed in this regard.
- Routine brand management activities: These include regular monitoring of sales, average selling prices, GP and BMI expenses versus budget, trade visits, customer liaison, sales force briefings, attendance at forecasting meetings, interaction with advertising agencies, promotional agencies and research suppliers, checking of invoices, liaison with other departments on a wide range of issues pertinent to the brand, etc.
- Corrective Action: In the event of adverse deviations from budget, the Brand Manager must ensure that timeous action is taken by the relevant parties to bring performance back on track. This could require action by one or more of the following departments: Sales, Forecasting, R&D, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Finance, Logistics, advertising agency, promotions agencies, research suppliers, etc. It is the Brand Manager’s responsibility to highlight the need for whatever action is required, and to follow up to make sure that the action is taken. In so doing, the Brand Manager will need to interact effectively with other departments and exert strong influence even though he / she does not have formal line authority. This will require strong interpersonal and persuasive skills.