5 Steps to Starting Your Career in Brand Management

1099277_18103914A strong corporate brand is one of the most valuable assets that a company can have. For example, nearly 30% of Apple’s $661 billion market value is due to it’s powerful $183 billion brand value. Clearly, Apple’s corporate brand is a huge asset that has taken decades to build, but that doesn’t mean that by studying the best companies you can’t start your journey into brand management today.

Here are 5 steps you should take in order to get started in a career in brand management:

1. Study

If you’re lucky, your education will allow you to take a few classes in branding, but if not, you might be able to find some relevant marketing classes on a site like MIT’s Open Courseware. Another good resource is TED’s video selection.

2. Listen to and meet the experts

Try to get out to some conferences and meet some people who have been in the world of branding. This will serve a two-fold purpose: connections for future jobs and advice for a budding brander. The Corporate Image and Branding Conference as well as the Digital Marketing Strategy Group’s Congress are good places to start, but when all else fails, ask teachers or use Google.

3. Start building your own brand

It’s hard to get a job in branding without prior experience, but that’s where your personal brand can come in handy. If you start spending time now to build your personal brand, it’s more likely that you will get considered for a corporate branding job. You’ll already know the basics through your own trial and error, and if you’re good, you’ll have built a network that can help get you that first paying gig. Dan Schawbel’s blog is a great place to start learning the basics of personal branding.

4. Commit to the right company

Now comes the hard part – finding the right job. It’s important that you get experience with a company that has a strong brand presence. If not, your position of “brand manager” at an unknown business won’t carry much weight. Even if you start out on the lower levels, seeing an established brand manage itself will serve you well in a brand management career.

5. Work outside of marketing

I love marketing, but it’s not the only department that determines a company’s brand. In fact, corporate branding starts way before the marketing department, and involves the products, services, and management in every part of the company. Get your feet wet in marketing, move into sales or customer support, and then work your way around to human resources if possible. This wide range of experience with a company will give you an idea of how branding works in every department, and not just in the public communications sector.

The Top 10 Most Valuable Brands in the World:

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