Changing Profile of Brand Managers

Walk into any super market and look at some of the shelves especially the food and groceries. You will be amazed to see not only the variety of items but the numerous brands as well as generic products that are available in each category. Decision making for a consumer is quite a problem now-a-days.

In many cases the number of brands on the shelf can successfully drive the consumer to choose the cheapest available brand or pick a generic product and thus get over with the decision making. This is true of all the FMCG brands in the market today. When the competition is intense and aggressive, managing the brand is definitely a challenge for the brand managers.

Unlike earlier years, the profile of the brand manager’s job has changed and evolved with the changing times. The brand managers are responsible for the total business and are required to ensure they maintain a healthy Return on Investment.

Managing the brand, its growth, market share, profitability as well as maintaining the image as well as the value proposition in the short term as well as long term is the challenge that is faced by the Brand Managers.

Technological changes and competitive nature of open markets and globalization have altered the game of brand management and consumer behavior. The brand managers are under pressure to evolve strategies that can create product differentiation, address the consumers and provide them with increased value proposition at all times.

Today’s brand manager’s job demand a variety of skill sets needed to manage the challenging environment. Besides the changes in market environment, technology and resultant changes in the supply chain mechanisms, the consumer behavior as well as expectations are changing.

Economic environment has a major impact on the brands as well as on the consumer behavior. Any impending economic crises or rise in inflation globally as well as nationally sets of a conservative move on the part of the consumers who begin to tighten their purse, postpone their purchase or move away from a particular brand to look for cheaper alternatives etc.

Changes in the financial sector including consumer financing, credit card borrowing also impacts the brand movements in all markets. Technology, current social trends, urban lifestyle as well as electronic media etc can make or break the brands in the market.

The brand managers have got to be fully conversant with and aware of the developments or changes happening in the various fields and external environment as well as be able to move quickly with decisions and plans for furthering their brands amidst the challenges.

Brand management is no longer a single individual function. The dynamics of brand management as well as the changes in the profile of brand management encompassing ROI and bottom line contribution of the brand to the balance sheet, calls for cross functional teams to work together to manage a brand category.

Large brand oriented FMCG organizations and global multi-national organizations have suitably changed the structure of the organization to bring in functional, multi disciplinary and matrix form of organizational structure for brand management.

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