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Brand Manager - Consumer Packaged Goods

"Look at the packages on the shelves of any grocery store or drugstore—that’s just part of the evidence of my job. Sometimes my work helps customers imagine a new lifestyle, or the brand design signals social status, or the customer wants to perceive good value from the packaging. I don’t develop what’s inside the box or can, but I am responsible for the feeling you get when you see the brand on a shelf; it must stand out from the competition. I communicate these benefits on everything from package designs to Instagram feeds to TV campaigns to community events. I’m a brand manager."

Salary Range:

$97,400 - $121,900

The Tip

Do co-op work experience. Period. This forces you to get out of a classroom and apply yourself.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Strategic Marketing
  • Develop & execute a positioning strategy

  • Develop & execute a brand strategy

  • Conduct a competitive analysis

  • Conduct an environmental scan

  • Develop & apply a segmentation strategy


Research & Insight
  • Demonstrate empathy & curiosity

  • Leverage contextual knowledge

  • Ability to analyze data

  • Leverage research to support consumer insights

  • Presentation & report-writing skills

  • Use analytics tools


Product management
  • Measure return on investment (ROI)

  • Develop & execute a product strategy

  • Manage a budget

  • Develop & execute a pricing strategy

  • Manage projects

  • Manage product life cycle

Sales & Channel Management
  • Apply principles of CRM

  • Manage a sales process

  • Conduct sales presentations

  • Develop & execute a distribution strategy

  • Leverage e-commerce

  • Develop merchandising strategy

  • Leverage co-operative marketing


Communications & Branding
  • Develop & execute a media plan

  • Sponsorship & community investment

  • Leverage earned media

  • Leverage event & experiential marketing

  • Leverage influencer marketing

  • Develop a promotional strategy

  • Knowledge of media psychology

  • Apply marketing within a CSR framework

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:


"Brand management in packaged goods is what I aspired to. The challenge is, it’s what many marketers aspire to. This role is at the forefront of change in marketing, so to compete I need to be current. Leveraging education and learning is critical to be one step ahead of my competition."

Employment Experiences:
  • Did a co-op work term at a large packaged goods company. This company offered me a position upon graduation.

  • Was on a structured development plan with my company and in five years worked in creative, sales, market research, finance and manufacturing

  • Following the development plan, was promoted to assistant brand manager and then brand manager


"My big break happened by deciding to do a co-op. This single decision defined my career. It showed me what I love to do and what I am good at. It also allowed me to demonstrate this to others. I didn’t always love the jobs I was assigned to do, but I realized that to become a brand manager, I was accountable to the whole business from a product’s design to distribution. Finally, my commitment to the organization built my personal brand equity—I have an excellent professional reputation."

Community Experiences:
  • Board of my local marketing association

  • Chaired fundraising committee of my child’s pre-school


"Volunteering not only allows me to contribute my skills to my community, it broadens my network and relationships. The diversity of these relationships forces me out of my comfort zone."

Contextual Experiences:
  • Becoming a parent


"Balance requires discipline and perspective. I’ve become a better manager because I’ve internalized the principle of “don’t sweat the small stuff."



  • Cold-called a brand manager in my first year of university. This cold call led to my internship and 13 years later this brand manager is both a mentor and a friend.


"All relationships require risk taking. The biggest challenge was that first phone call I made. I realized that if I didn’t make the call, someone else would. I took a leap and never regretted it."

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