Introduction

Brand building is not a task for one person, it requires collaboration, teamwork, and more. However, with any important project, there is a need for a figurehead to lead and take responsibility for success. This is where the role of a brand manager comes to play. 

So how can someone become a successful brand manager? 

What is the deciding factor between a brand that flourishes and blossoms, and one that fails even before it has a chance to rise?

The truth is that there are core skills that separate a great brand manager from an aspiring brand manager.

Here are some attributes of a great brand manager.

 

Attributes Of A Great Brand Manager

What Is a Brand Manager?

A brand manager is responsible for developing and implementing brand strategies. They work collaboratively with colleagues across departments to ensure the brand is fulfilling its brand promise and living up to its brand message.

To achieve brand success, the brand manager needs to have certain qualities.

Here are five of the most important attributes a brand manager should bring to a team.

  • Effective Communication skills

In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.” – Mark Sanborn

Successful brand managers communicate across many different departments and promote company-wide cooperation on various projects. It’s essential then, to build solid relationships through effective communication before commencing new projects. 

  • A Knack For Creativity

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

Creative teams equipped with strategic targets innovate the best brands. Because of this, effective brand managers know to implement strategies that foster creativity instead of inhibiting it.

  • Quantitative Reasoning

This is perhaps one of the most fundamental attributes a brand manager should possess—the ability to apply quantitative reasoning to various forms of data related to branding efforts. Many branding outcomes are expressed qualitatively, but depicting them with analytics and numbers is what makes a brand manager effective.

 For example, a good brand manager should be able to calculate conversion rates to see how well their marketing and branding efforts are performing.

  • The Capacity To Read Trends

Brand managers need to be able to be in tune with market trends and jump on the ones relevant to their business. Also essential is the ability to understand relevant marketing research and new literature on the latest marketing activities.

  • The Ability To Adapt

Adaptability is being able to adjust to any situation at any given time.” – John Wooden

The ability to be flexible and adapt to changes that occur due to potential market changes is essential. Be it via a new design or innovative messaging, a brand manager needs to be able to create new opportunities when the occasion demands it.

We have put together a list of 10 books every brand manager concerned with being relevant in this ever-changing world should read.

10 Books Every Brand Manager Should Read In 2023

Brand sense is a treasure chest of ideas for injecting new life into your brand. The cases shared are relatable and equally compelling. 

This book shows how professionals like, Philip Kotler, Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, constantly achieve and sustain brand success. It makes an inference that a lot of intentionalities are involved in seemingly mundane things. 

For instance. the sound of the Kellogs cornflakes crunch was created in a sound lab. The car aroma perceived in a new car, to the Singapore Airlines patented smell. All this shows how branding has broken through a new frontier and to remain relevant or fit in, future brands would have to appeal to everything a consumer sees, feels, perceives, and tastes when they interact with your brand. 

The author Martin Lindstrom draws on the most extensive study ever conducted of the sensory perception of consumers. He depicts clearly via this book how a two-sense product can become a five-sense experience.

This groundbreaking book provides useful innovative branding tools for gauging your brand’s level on the sensory scale, evaluating its potential, and creating a clear pathway for the optimization of your brand’s sensory appeal.

 Organizations like Cadillac, Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Nokia, Louis Vuitton, Nestle, and Disney have all recently adopted a sensory approach, and have seen their brands blaze new trails in this new direction. 

 A manager who wants to give their organization a competitive edge can’t afford to disregard this book, as it is guaranteed to not only optimize the value of your marketing budget but also help you interpret the future needs of your customer and prepare your brand to meet them.

 

About The Author

Martin Lindstrom is the founder and chairman of Lindstrom Company, a global branding & culture transformation firm, operating in five continents and over 30 countries.

TIME Magazine has named Lindstrom one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People,” consistently for the past five years.Thinkers50 selected Lindstrom to be among the world’s top 50 business thinkers. 

He is on the advisory board of companies like Burger King, Lowes, Boar’s Head, Beverly Hills Hotels, Pepsi, Nestle, and Google.

Lindstrom is the author of seven books including several New York Times bestsellers which have been translated into 60 languages. The Wall Street Journal commended his book Brand Sense as “one of the best five marketing books ever published,”.

 

Positioning is one of the first books to address communication to a disbelieving media-blitzed public. It shares a revolutionary approach to creating a brand position in the mind of a potential customer that reflects not only the strengths of a company but its weakness alongside that of its competitor. 

The idea behind the book is to strategically position your brand as the go-to and industry leader. This way your brand is the first thing that comes to mind when your consumers think about the product or service you offer.

The positioning also shows you how to:

  1. Implement leading ad agency techniques in a way that makes your brand the largest market share holder in your niche.
  2. Capitalize on the weakness of your competition and build your strategy around it.
  3. Make the best out of your present position.
  4. Pick the most appropriate name for your product.
  5. Evaluate new trends that affect your positioning.

The authors provide many valuable examples of some of the most groundbreaking successes and failures in the advertising industry. Positioning is essential for anyone in the business space.

About the Authors

Al Ries is a legendary branding strategist and the originator of the Positioning concept.

Al co-authored a three-part series of articles announcing the arrival of the Positioning Era in Advertising Age magazine in 1972. The concept of positioning changed people’s views on advertising and marketing.

 Marketing was originally focused on communications, however successful brands have realized that finding a gap and being the first to bridge that gap with their brand name is the real deal.

Jack Trout is the president of Trout & Partners, a marketing firm with branches in 14 countries. He has contributed successfully to the marketing space in the past 20 years and he has developed novel ideas in the branding industry his concept of Positioning has been adopted as the number one business strategy.

 

Since 1994, Al has headed Ries & Ries, a consulting firm with his partner and daughter Laura Ries. Together they consult Fortune 500 companies on brand strategy and are the authors of five books that have been bestsellers around the world.

 

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is the book to read if you want to build a product or provide a service that is a world-class brand. It provides relatable examples of some great brands like Rolex, Volvo, and Heineken

This marketing classic has now been expanded to include new commentaries, illustrations, and a bonus book: The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding.

A combination of the  22 Immutable Laws of Branding and The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, shows readers that the only way to be distinct in the marketplace is to build your product or service into a brand. Best of all this book provides a step-by-step guide to help you achieve this.

The text also addresses one of the most challenging marketing problems today: which is online branding. The authors, Laura and Al, Ries share the somewhat controversial and counterintuitive strategies and secrets that both big and small organizations have adopted to establish internet brands. The text also explains what makes great brands stand out from generic ones. 

About the Authors

Laura Ries is a successful branding and marketing strategist, bestselling author, and media personality regularly appearing on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, CNN, Headline News ABC, CBS, and PBS and is often quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Advertising Age and many more.

. Laura runs Ries & Ries, a consulting firm with her partner, father the legendary Positioning pioneer Al Ries.

They are consultants with companies around the world on marketing strategy and have authored five books that have been international bestsellers in 2009.

 

The New York Times bestseller explains why certain products and concepts have gone viral.

It shows the concepts that make things popular. Questions like why certain products are more visible than others are answered in this book.

The author, Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the past decades providing answers to these questions. He shows how social influence determines everything we do. 

In Contagious, Berger shares the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social marketing. In this book, you will discover six basic principles that propel all sorts of things to become contagious.

You would learn how ordinary everyday things like a lowly cheesy steak can make a luxury steak house popular and why 200 million consumers have seen and shared a video about one of the most basic household products there is: a blender.

Contagious provides specific, adaptable techniques for designing messages, advertisements, and content that people will share and help information spread.

Irrespective of the niche you belong to, Contagious will show you how to make your product or idea spread like wildfire.

About the Author

Jonah Berger is a professor of marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an internationally acclaimed bestselling author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst. He’s a globally renowned expert on social influence, word of mouth, and why products, ideas, and behaviors go viral. He has published over 50 papers in top-tier academic journals., consulted for a range of Fortune 500 companies, and accounts of his work appear frequently in places like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review.

 

Best-selling author Douglas Van Praet adopts the most brilliant and revolutionary concepts from cognitive science and applies them to how marketing and advertising are conducted in this modern digital age. He simplifies the most complex object in the known universe―the human brain and classifies it into seven actionable steps that can change and influence behavior.

These steps are shared with the aid of real-world examples from advertising, marketing, media, and business to consciously show what brilliant marketers and ad practitioners have long done subconsciously. The authors show the backstage events of popular successful campaigns like  Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign; “Got Milk?”; Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” and many more.

About the Author

Douglas Van Praet is a C-level executive at Deutsch LA, where his responsibilities include being the group planning director for the iconic, highly acclaimed, and coveted Volkswagen account.

 

One of the things most great businesses share is that their names are the first to pop into the mind of consumers when the niche they cover is needed or being considered by a potential or existing customer.

This book by John Hall “Top of the mind transforms your business game from an e to an A game. It is the manual to dominate the mind of your customers in the niche you cover. With this book, you will discover how to develop habits and strategies that focus on creating meaningful relationships, delivering value, and consistently engaging your audience.

With this approach, John Hall built the brand  Influence & Co. into one of “America’s Most Promising Companies,” according to Forbes. 

In this step-by-step guide, you learn how to use content to create top-of-the-mind awareness for your brand.

It emphasizes how business is sole;y about human connections.

About the Author

John Hall is the co-founder and president of the leading scheduling app Calendar, which he believes will change how people manage and invest their time. He was recognized as one of the Business Journals’ Top 100 Visionaries and he received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Best Emerging Company. He is known and mentioned frequently in major publications as a top influencer, leader, and speaker. John is a Forbes and Inc. columnist and has contributed to well over 50 online publications, including Inc., Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Fast Company, and Mashable. 

 

This book provides fact-based answers to the vital questions asked by marketers every day. It addresses reasons for brand growth, the science behind advertising, the effect of price promotions, and how loyalty programs influence loyalty. 

The most distinctive feature of this book is its tried and tested applications that have worked consistently in different times, varying conditions, and different countries.

About the Author

Byron Sharp is a Professor of Marketing Science at the University of South Australia, popular for his work on loyalty programs.

 

This book has been purchased by over 500,000 business leaders. New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert Donald Miller depict how the wrong words can influence the success of your business. 

If you use the wrong words to talk about your product, nobody will buy it. Marketers and business owners struggle to effectively connect with their customers, costing them and their companies millions in lost revenue. Donald Miller shows businesses how to effectively cut through the noise to reach their customers.

His tested process has helped thousands of companies engage actively with their existing customers, giving them the ultimate competitive advantage. Building a StoryBrand teaches the following;

  • The unspoken reasons why customers make purchases;
  • How to make a brand message simple and easy to understand; and
  • How to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media, that would trigger customer engagement.

About the Author

Donald Miller is the CEO of Business Made Simple, an online platform that teaches business professionals all that is required to grow a business and amplify its value. He hosts a podcast called Business Made Simple and has authored several books.

 

This book is a complete brand tool kit for building and managing a strong brand. It guides readers through all the steps in creating a brand, from the initial research, to analysis. then brand strategy, design development, application design, identity standards, and the final phase of launch and governance are all covered in this book. Whether your goal is to revitalize an existing brand or launch a new one, there is a proven five-phase process for creating an effective brand identity.

From research and analysis through brand strategy, from design development through brand standards, and from launch to governance.

Designing Brand Identity is the most comprehensive resource used by brand builders worldwide as an essential reference for the entire process.

This thoroughly updated Fourth Edition offers insights into current trends in social networks, mobile devices, global markets, and virtual brands as well as emerging tools such as apps and video. More than 30 new case studies showcase global best practices and successful world-class brands, from IBM to Starbucks to Santos Brasil.

About the Author

Alina Wheeler engages enterprises in a dynamic process to build their brands and embrace best practices. Wheeler inspires the whole branding team to seize every opportunity to design compelling customer experiences at every touchpoint. Designing Brand Identity, now in its fifth edition, is the first book to deconstruct the branding process into a universal, five-phase methodology. Her signature mantra is “Who are you? Who needs to know? Why should they care? How will they find out?” Designing Brand Identity demystifies branding and gives practitioners a roadmap to create sustainable and successful brands. It is published in 7 languages and is used by clients and their branding and design firms to educate their staff.

 

This book is for anyone with a brand logo, font, or color scheme, and is an essential reading for those who have wondered if (or have been told) that it’s time for a change. Readers will learn how to set up a long-term strategy to build a strong brand identity, and how to make use of knowledge, metrics, and management systems to build and protect a brand’s Distinctive Assets.

Building Distinctive Brand Assets is divided into three sections that capture the processes involved in brand asset creation, implementation, and ongoing management. The first section focuses on strategy and covers how distinctive assets are created and their role in broader brand equity building. The second section covers measurement approaches, and how to use and interpret key metrics. The third section delves into the strengths and weaknesses of different types of assets and introduces the idea of a Distinctive Asset palette. This section also outlines how to set up a Distinctive Asset management system to provide an early warning system to identify potential threats before they evolve into significant issues.

About the Author

Jenni Romaniuk is a Research Professor and Associate Director (International) of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute at the University of South Australia Business School.

She is an expert in brand equity, brand health metrics, advertising effectiveness, and more. Through her work, she has consulted for many of the biggest brands in the world. Her work has been presented at leading industry conferences globally.

 

Conclusion

The journey of a Brand Manager isn’t a fixed one, it is constantly changing because the market is always evolving, and new trends and discoveries are arising daily. 

Hence for a brand manager to fit in and keep up, there is a need to keep abreast of everything within the brand marketing space, and one of the easiest ways is to by reading current findings either via journal articles or books, from industry giants in the branding space.

 


  • Angela Kayode-Sanni
  • on 15 min read

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