If you're interested in becoming a branding consultant, you will need at least a bachelor's degree in marketing or a similar field, although a graduate degree may help improve career advancement opportunities. Most jobs in this field are with consulting or advertising firms.
Branding consultants lend their marketing expertise to help a company make key strategic decisions and bring a product to market. Entry-level work can be attained by completing a marketing bachelor's degree program, but it's common to supplement work experience by completing a master's degree program.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in marketing, master's degree for advanced positions|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)||8% for marketing managers, 20% for market research analysts*|
|Median Annual Salary (2019)||$55,168 for brand specialists**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Job Description of Branding Consultants
Branding consultants provide analysis, solutions, and general marketing expertise to help companies successfully sell their products. They typically work for management consulting firms or advertising agencies and interact with a client company's brand managers or marketing executives. Branding consultants develop and help implement strategies for both new and existing products, and can influence all phases of marketing, from design and distribution decisions to advertising and public relations messaging.
Duties of a Branding Consultant
Branding consultants begin by gathering data, performing market research to identify target markets and assess consumer perceptions, competition, business trends, and product value. Consultants can also perform internal audits to ensure the needs and goals of a company's departments are aligned. This research informs the development of an overall brand strategy, which can affect logo and package design, pricing, placement, advertising campaigns, and customer service messaging. Decisions influenced by branding consultants include where to distribute a product, what medium is best for advertising and how to shape product messages for different demographics.
Requirements to Become a Branding Consultant
Entry-level positions within consulting firms and marketing departments can be acquired by completing a bachelor's degree program in marketing, business, or a related field. Coursework should include communications, sales strategies, and finance. Entry-level positions that can build toward work as a branding consultant include brand assistant, product manager, sales, management analyst at a consulting firm, and advertising account manager.
It's common for professionals to enhance their work experience by completing a business or marketing master's degree program, which can increase opportunities for advancement into leadership positions at consulting firms and advertising agencies. Many universities offer a Master's of Business Administration with concentrations in brand management, marketing, or communications.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to PayScale.com, the majority of brand specialists working in August 2019 earn between $39,000 and $72,000 a year; the median salary was $55,168. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide information specific to the field of branding consulting, the BLS did project that the employment of market research analysts will likely grow much faster than the average by about 20% between 2018 and 2028, while marketing managers will see job opportunities increase faster than average by about 8% during the same decade.
Earning a bachelor's or master's degree from a marketing or business program is the best option for those who are interested in this type of career. Branding consultant jobs are expected to grow faster than the national average for all careers during the next decade. The median annual salary for specialists in this field is approximately $55,000.