The American Marketing Association defines a Brand as a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. And as a Brand Manager, it falls under their purview to utilize consumer data and trends. This is done to build strategies that will put a fresh spin on how the brand is perceived.
Alekhya Chakraborty, Brand Manager- Vivel, ITC | Dove, Unilever | Emami | MakeMyTrip, is a seasoned Brand Manager who talks about his journey to becoming a Brand Manager and how a typical day looks like for him. He starts by saying that he never once could imagine that he would grow up to sell soap to women! Essentially, that is what his role is as a Brand Manager of Vivel.
He elaborates on how he goes about in achieving that objective. He enlists the key aspects and describes them as:
- The Logic bit
- The Magic bit
He says that the trick is combining the magic and the logic and arriving at an answer that helps sell more soaps.
Delving into the Logic bit of the equation, he says that data is where most of your answers will lie. Dissecting and studying huge amounts of Data helps in understanding consumer behavior. In the end, it is the consumer who pays the salary of a Brand Manager and thus, knowing one’s consumer is the most crucial aspect of being a Brand Manager.
It is essential to chalk out pieces of Data which will help answer questions pertaining to the Business. And then comes the stage of devising a proposition within the context of the product and service. Thus, putting it before the consumer’s eyes!
He explains how the said proposition, put in front of the end consumer, is where the media and promotions come in. A Brand Manager has to identify the most optimized way to put out the message that has been crafted after delving into all sorts of data.
He does this by getting the best ROI and that’s how he improves as a Brand Manager. And in trying to do that there are a lot of learnings that pan out in terms of the overall marketing journey, in terms of the entire consumer journey. Now you have to go back and see what are the learnings you change and can improve. You also need to know the bits that you need to tweak to become better a brand marketer. So, that’s a typical day.
Alekhya then talks about the Magic bit of things. None of this is what a Brand Manager can do alone, on his own. On any given day, a Brand Manager does very little in an individual capacity.
He explains with the help of an example. For instance, he says, an ad that has to be released.
It is the Creative Agency that makes the ad on the basis of the brief from the Brand Manager. The product packaging that attracts the end consumer to make the final purchase, is made by the packaging department. This again is on the basis of the brief given by the Brand Manager.
The media proposal helps in acquiring the mind share of the end consumer, which contributes greatly to the decision of the end consumer finally making the purchase, is signed off by the Creative Agency. All of this is in line with the Brand Manager’s brief.
Eventually, the final shelving comes in and display of the product. This puts the product within the view of the end consumer. The Sales Team is responsible for this.
Essentially what a Brand Manager does, is control all the gears and levers to ensure that all parts are working in unison. With one common goal of tipping the scales in favor of the end consumer, thus, making that final purchase decision!
On fully describing an average day in the life of a Brand Manager, Alekhya stresses the importance of the ability to perform and manage a team. This ability he picked up during the numerous quizzes and competitions he participated during his B-School days.