Brand Manager Vs. Product Manager

May 31, 2020

Comparing Brand Managers to Product Managers

Companies that sell goods and services would fail if they never came out with new products to offer or had no continuity in their marketing. Though brand managers maintain or improve the perceived values of a company that are put forth through advertisements, product managers build new products based on extensive market research.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2020)* Job Growth (2018-2028)**
Brand Managers Bachelor's Degree $71,064 8% (Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers)
Product Managers Bachelor's Degree $84,267 8% (Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers)

Sources: *Payscale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Brand Managers vs. Product Managers

Both brand managers and product managers lead the growth of a company through new products and customer awareness. Brand managers focus on creating a company brand around a product, while product managers aim to develop and market new goods and services. Both are interested in the opinions of buyers, but the focus of the opinion is different for each. Brand managers, for example, want customers to recognize and love products mainly because they trust and love the company that made them. On the other hand, product managers want to create something customers will get excited about, something that can compete with similar items in the market.

Brand Managers

Brand managers typically work for an advertising company or are hired by a company to help boost sales. Primarily, they create a plan to advertise a new product. This plan often meets the existing company brand. Of course, to improve the reputation or popularity of a company, they may also attempt to bring a new face to the brand while promoting the new product. All of this requires research into the target customer base to ensure the product will add to the brand loyalty. Once they have targeted their customers, they then design an advertising campaign around them, the brand, and the product.

Job responsibilities of a brand manager include:

  • Deciding on a budget for the marketing campaign that fits the fiscal abilities of the company
  • Planning promotions to increase product sales and build the popularity of the brand
  • Ensuring the brand, its products, and its advertising remain consistent
  • Analyzing the product sales in retail locations to determine the strength of the brand

Product Managers

To design and launch new products, product managers first research the market. This includes both the buyers and the competitors in an attempt to find gaps in the market. Part of the job is to understand the design and features of the product customers are interested in and communicating this to the development team. Leading focus groups made up of target customers is one way to gain feedback on prototypes. The ultimate goal, of course, is to ensure the company makes enough money from the product to increase the return on initial investments. To track the success of the product, these professionals put together marketing reports by collecting sales data once the product hits the shelves.

Job responsibilities of a product manager include:

  • Working with engineers and designers to create new products
  • Creating product roadmaps that outline the budget, deadlines, and goals
  • Solving any problems that arise with the product during development to ensure deadlines are still met
  • Offer demonstrations of the product in retail locations

Related Careers

As someone interested in a career as a brand manager, you could also find a job as a public relations manager fulfilling, especially since both these professions require a knack for advertising. If, however, you are curious about a position as a product manager, you may want to look into a job as a sales manager, as these require close attention to generating funds.

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