For most businesses either small-scale or multinationals, there are many roles which product development plays in generating revenue and increasing profit margins for organisations.
The need to pay attention to product design, content, specification and operating standards is an area which experts in product development focus on during new projects within an organisation.
But when products are fully designed and are ready to be introduced into the market, there is a need for brand managers to devote time into developing key strategies which would lead to a successful launch of their products.
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What is Product development?
Product development in both small and large businesses involves the development of new products or improving existing products in such a way that customers would continue to patronise their company.
This is an integral role which would involve working alongside members of a team either in project management, marketing or manufacturing specialists.
Product development sometimes involves researching the customer’s needs, what price they are willing to buy and working with technical specialists to come up with eye-catching designs capable of attracting new buyers for their products.
Due to the nature of your job, it is better to have good research, analytical, presentation and problem-solving skills which would make working across a multi-disciplinary team a great experience. Also, asides working 9-5 on normal days, you may be required to work overtime or visit new geographical locations during the planning stage of a new product to obtain relevant data that can be used in making an adequate decision.
What is Brand Management?
Brand management involves understanding, maintaining and creating strategies for products, services and brands to attract more attention from consumers or the desired target audience. Brand management accounts for the success of any great brand which we admire or patronise regularly.
A successful brand management strategy leads to;
- Boosting your brand awareness
- Increase in Revenue for the company
- Influence your audience’s purchase decisions
- Build customer loyalty
- Create happy customers that become brand advocates
The success of your brand strategy is based on how effective your application of brand management principles is. some of the principles used in creating brand strategies include
- Brand Equity: helps to create value through reputation, impression and perception. a brands reputation can sometimes help to increase the sales of a new product within a short period.
- Brand Recognition: this deals with audience engagement, in terms of how easily your target audience can recognise your product without necessarily seeing the company which is responsible for the products. The use of logo’s, Jingles and packaging play an important role in brand recognition.
- Brand Loyalty: Brand loyalty evaluates how devoted a customer is to their product when compared to their competitors. Emphasis is placed on brand loyalty because it increases the chance of advertising via word of mouth
People who work in brand management have great interpersonal, analytical, data visualization and interpretation skills which are useful in creating unique strategies, especially for a highly competitive product.
Career Opportunities In Product Development
Due to the nature of their job people who work in product development can work within various organisations either tech, health, manufacturing e.t.c whilst occupying the following positions within their companies;
- Associate Product Manager; this is an entry-level position which requires that you understand product management, what it entails and are willing to work extra hours when the need arises.
- Product Manager; Being a product manager comes with years of experience which shows that you have great communication, collaboration, presentation and analytical skills. You would also demonstrate that you have an idea of basic products concepts and strategies used in product development.
- Senior Product Manager; Senior product managers typically oversee the daily activities of associate product managers by evaluating their work and giving necessary corrections if need be.
- Director of Product; Director of products usually lead teams, especially when dealing with the planning of new products. They are responsible for taking observations about little details that junior team members might overlook during their planning.
- Chief Product Officer; Chief product officers are more like managers who oversee the work of different product teams. Usually, the director of product or product managers gives reports of the teams to the chief product officer who evaluates their work based on their set key performance index.
Career Opportunities In Brand Management
Many companies employ Brand management experts to effectively shape the narrative of products sold by their companies. While working in different sectors, you can progress in your career in the following roles;
- Market Research Analyst; this involves researching the consumer’s behaviour or their needs using relevant survey materials. You may also be required to analyse data gotten with appropriate statistical tools for proper visualization and presentation.
- Brand manager: Here, all team members report their findings, recommendations and hypothesis to you for adequate evaluation. You are responsible for key decision-making process which translates to effective brand management strategies.
- Advertising; Some times people are employed within the brand management team to work closely with external or internal advertising agencies in developing themes around the desired product.
- Public Relations; Those who work under public relations manage communication with the media, consumers and potential customers in the general public. They are also responsible for answering questions which are asked for further clarification by the consumers.
Product Development Vs. Brand Management Which is Better?
Product development and Brand management both deal with products at different stages. While product development deals with all processes that lead to rebranding or the creation of a new product, brand management ensures that rebranded products and new products are presented to consumers in such a way that it leads to an increase in sales for the company.