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How to be a brand manager

This week Liz Hopkins, operating director at recruitment consultancy Michael Page Marketing, talks to Drapers about how candidates can work towards a role as a fashion brand manager.

“A degree in marketing or similar is a great way to form the foundations for a career in marketing. However, there are alternative ways to get a step on the career ladder towards a brand manager role.

Work experience is invaluable, [because] you will gain industry knowledge, whilst having the opportunity to shadow senior colleagues. This could help fast track your learning and differentiate your CV, adding flavour for a potential interview. Take the experience you gain within a company and use this to demonstrate the projects you’ve worked on during an interview. In particular are there any projects you personally took ownership on? If so, show how you strategically worked through the project from start to finish, with examples of how you delivered ROI [return-on-investment]. 

As a brand manager working within the fashion industry you will develop brand strategies, whilst working on campaigns to help drive business. You will be [dealing with] media agencies on a daily basis, as well analysing market conditions to ensure the company can deliver tactical plans against the competitive market. The busier periods within the fashion industry tend to be when launching new collections and prior to seasonal retail peaks, such as Christmas and summer. Your role during this time will be focused on launching a competitive and innovative campaign each year.

According to Michael Page Marketing’s 2013 salary report, the brand function has taken the lead as a marketing team’s most important asset to help business grow in 2013. This is up 10% on 2012 results, so now is a good opportunity to get out there and step up to a brand manager role. It’s vital you do your research on the company, find out what their latest projects are so you are prepared in the interview. Hard work and sometimes long hours are expected from the role, which often includes exposure to the wider parts of the business and some travel.”

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