7 Red Flags to Look Out For When Hiring A Brand Manager

Brand Managers are essential for companies nowadays.

If they do their job right, they help your business (and brand) stand out.

They develop a unique concept for the company, which then drives the marketing and promotion efforts.

They liaise with both media and clients, keeping everyone happy simultaneously.

They must be, on some levels, extroverted, keen to work both independently and as part of a team.

And yet, at the same time as having a creative vision, a good brand manager must also be an excellent analyst, capable of consuming and applying data to their designs.

In short, it’s no mean feat. And neither is hiring a good one.

So, the next time you’re interviewing for your latest multitasking, multitalented Brand Manager, here are some atypical red flags to watch out for.

1. They can’t explain their ROI
Anyone who’s hired a Brand Manager before will tell you that they love to talk about their impressive ROI figures.

“Oh, you increased sales of your last brand by 10%? Nice.”

However, don’t just skirt past the fact and take it for granted. Ask them exactly how they did it.

If they’re a competent Brand Manager (who’s not fudging the numbers, that is) they should be able to tell you.

However, if they’re bluffing, getting them to explain exactly how they managed to bump those sales by 10% will leave them flustered.

2. They’re safer than a Trojan condom
The last thing you want is a Brand Manager who plays by the rules. Of course, you want someone who can follow the rules. But you still want them to toe the line every once in a while when it comes to innovative campaigns and ideas.

If you interview a potential candidate who’s worked for big-name brands but hasn’t done a single thing to innovate their strategy or make a difference at the company, then they might not bring too much to your team either.

3. They rely too much on their team
Teamwork is a CV staple and with good reason.

However, when you’re looking to hire a Brand Manager, you want someone who can take initiative, not someone who relies on their team to do all the heavy lifting.

Similarly, if they seem afraid to take charge or work autonomously, that’s a huge red flag.

Your Brand Manager isn’t there to be babied.

(Related: See what exciting Brand Manager roles we have at Vertical Advantage now)

4. They’re trapped ‘inside the box’
When you hire a Brand Manager, you’re looking for a person with a demonstrable ability to do more than just sail along and manage a brand. They need to surpass their title and develop and build.

When taking a brand to the next level, innovation is essential in a world where it can sometimes look like your branding strategy was created by a cookie cutter.

Rather than just copying trends, thinking outside the box and starting their own movement is truly what makes a fantastic Brand Manager.

5. Lacking collaboration
For most positions, longevity is a virtue. It shows loyalty and probable talent (hey, they didn’t get fired!).

But for a Brand Manager, such an illustrious (but steady) career can be a sign that they lack a certain je ne sais quoi.

Maybe they’re not quite as collaborative as they need to be, or perhaps they only look out for number one.

Maybe they simply play it safe or are more focused on preserving and protecting their own career than considering the needs of the business and the team.

While loyalty to a role isn’t a bad thing, then, you should be wary of the why.

6. They’re blacklisted by agencies
I mean…this one speaks for itself but let me elaborate. If your Brand Manager is blacklisted from other agencies, it tells you several things:

a) They’re probably not that good at their job.
b) They’ve pushed their luck one too many times… and not in a cute way.
c) Associating yourself with them probably won’t be a good look for your company.

Even if the candidate you’re considering hasn’t quite been blacklisted, but still has a bad relationship with other agencies, consider why that is. Maybe make some phone calls if you’re still interested in hiring them.

Basically, get to the bottom of the story, because you certainly won’t be hearing the full version from just one of the parties involved.

(Related: See what exiting Brand Manager roles we have at Vertical Advantage)

7. They always go with their gut
Having an opinionated Brand Manager can be a good thing. You want someone who will take initiative and risks in order to push your brand and company forward. But you want those risks to be very carefully calculated and well thought through.

What you don’t want is someone incapable of looking at things logically and taking the data into account. Being a good Brand Manager means using consumer-driven insight when and where possible.

So, make sure you hire someone who knows how to strike the right balance between Don Draper-esque genius and Iron Man analysis.

Have you hired a Brand Manager before? Are there any red flags we missed? If you want to discuss further get in contact via