Brand managers have the potential to truly make a difference in their companies and in their industries. They enact change, they solve problems, and they help people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. Brand managers hold a lot of the marketing power within their businesses, and their roles are essential to the success of every marketing action undertaken by those companies.
However, it’s not all flashy product launches and witty social media campaigns. Being a brand manager is a lot of work and a ton of responsibility. And like any job, it’s not without its challenges. Here are three of the most common challenges faced by brand managers in their day-to-day duties.
Maintaining Consistency Across Multiple Platforms
If an employee sends out a press release with the wrong letterhead or a promotional graphic features an old logo, it might not seem like such a big deal on the surface. But this is exactly the sort of thing that drives brand managers nuts.
A brand manager is tasked with showcasing their brand in a certain light — a light that’s constantly changing. If employees use outdated materials to promote the brand, not only does it create confusion within the marketplace, but it undermines the message that the brand manager is trying to send. A brand trying to tell the world it’s cutting-edge and forward-thinking can’t build that message around graphics and slogans from five years ago.
This idea of consistency isn’t limited solely to advertising materials. It’s important for brand managers to make sure that all the moving parts of their operation — from the ad copywriters to the social media team to in-store employees — are all in line with company expectations. If a retail employee doesn’t know about promotions taking place on the company website, it creates a disconnect that makes the entire brand look bad.
The entire point of a brand is that it’s a united front that guarantees consumers the same experience, no matter how they interact with the brand. Any breaks in this chain will significantly diminish the customer experience. It’s the role of the brand manager to minimize these occurrences, if not eliminate them altogether.
Dealing With Negativity
Once upon a time, customers would air their grievances in private, dealing solely with a single representative on a customer service telephone hotline. Today’s world of customer service is far different, with angry consumers taking any opportunity to publicly take businesses to task for any perceived slight that may have occurred.
Just as was the case with customer service hotlines back in the day, modern customer service requires the brand to respond only with kindness and sympathy. That can be difficult in today’s world, where a brand’s social media manager need only look in their mentions for a slew of negativity, all of which necessitates a caring response — and, increasingly, a prompt response.
Negativity isn’t just limited to people complaining about bad customer experiences via social media. Brands must also deal with demanding customers that threaten to leave bad reviews on sites like Yelp if they don’t get their way. They also have to put up with ambivalent customers who really aren’t angry, but feel like they might get free stuff if they complain enough. And more and more, brand managers have to be wary of a culture that goes out of its way to find reasons to be offended and that has derailed many a marketing campaign.
It’s hard for anybody to maintain a positive disposition when they’re constantly reminded of their shortcomings. And yet, this is what brand managers must deal with each and every day. Their dedication to the brand must be absolute. Otherwise, they’ll quickly be derailed by the barrage of negativity they face from consumers.
Planning For The Future While Handling Today’s Business.
The only real constant in marketing is that everything always changes. The trends that exist today will be a distant memory in three years, let alone three months or even three days. Brand managers must always be aware of the changing world in which they live, one that looks completely different on a seemingly daily basis.
At the same time, brand managers have to maintain a delicate balancing act. They have to keep tabs on what’s happening socially so that they can plan for tomorrow, while simultaneously carrying out what needs to be done to keep the brand strong today. It’s a lot to keep track of, and staying organized is an absolute must for brand managers.
That means that plans for an entire campaign can change at a moment’s notice if something happens that requires a change of course. Brand managers have to be flexible enough to accommodate for such events, and they have to be capable of getting sufficient buy-in from their entire team to implement these changes in short order. That’s not an easy task for anybody. But again, gaps in a brand’s image can lead to diminished consumer confidence, so it’s necessary for brand managers to do the impossible on a daily basis.
The role of brand manager is certainly a job that comes with plenty of responsibility and juggling tasks. However, when everything clicks, the results are undeniable, and it’s a feeling of accomplishment unlike any other.