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Brand Strategist vs. Brand Manager: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Brand strategists and brand managers are both important roles in developing and maintaining a successful brand. While they share some similarities, there are several key differences between the two positions. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between brand strategists and brand managers, and we provide tips for pursuing a career in brand management.

What is a Brand Strategist?

A Brand Strategist is a marketing professional who helps companies develop and maintain a strong brand identity. They conduct market research to understand consumer trends and develop marketing campaigns that will appeal to target audiences. Brand Strategists also work with advertising agencies to create branding materials, such as logos, website design, packaging and promotional materials. They often collaborate with other marketing professionals, such as copywriters, graphic designers and web developers, to ensure that all branding elements are cohesive and support the overall brand strategy.

What is a Brand Manager?

A Brand Manager is responsible for developing and overseeing marketing initiatives for a specific brand or product. This can include creating advertising campaigns, developing marketing plans, conducting market research, managing social media accounts and more. Brand Managers work with a team of marketing professionals to ensure that all branding initiatives are aligned with the company’s overall marketing strategy. They also work closely with sales teams to ensure that the brand is being properly represented to customers and clients. Brand Managers typically have a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a related field.

Brand Strategist vs. Brand Manager

Here are the main differences between a brand strategist and a brand manager.

Job Duties

Brand strategists perform research to help them develop a brand strategy. They may interview customers and stakeholders to learn about their needs and wants, then use that information to create a brand strategy. The next step is for them to communicate the brand strategy to various internal and external audiences. This might include creating presentations or writing documents so employees across different departments can understand how to implement the new strategy.

In contrast, brand managers oversee the implementation of a brand’s existing strategy. They do this by monitoring progress and evaluating results. If there are any issues with implementing the strategy, they work with teams to resolve those issues. Brand managers also monitor customer feedback and adjust the strategy as needed.

Job Requirements

Brand strategists and brand managers typically need a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many brand strategists and brand managers pursue certifications through the American Marketing Association (AMA) or the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to develop and implement marketing plans, understand consumer behavior and measure the success of marketing campaigns.

Work Environment

Brand strategists typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to meet with clients and attend conferences. They often collaborate with other members of their team, including designers, marketers and executives. Brand managers usually work in an office environment, where they manage the day-to-day operations of a brand. They may also travel for business purposes, such as attending trade shows or visiting retail locations.


Both brand strategists and brand managers need to have excellent communication skills. Brand strategists use these skills when they are conducting research, writing reports and presenting their findings to clients. Brand managers use them when they are developing marketing plans, working with advertising agencies and communicating with customers.

Both of these professionals also need to be creative because they often are tasked with coming up with new ideas for marketing campaigns or ways to improve a company’s branding. They also both need to have strong organizational skills to keep track of deadlines, budget restrictions and multiple projects at one time.

Brand strategists tend to focus more on the big picture and may work with several different brands at one time. Because of this, they need to have strong research and analytical skills to evaluate a brand’s position in the market and make recommendations about how it can improve. Brand managers usually work with one brand and are responsible for its day-to-day management. This means they need to have excellent project management skills to ensure all initiatives are completed on time and within budget.


Brand strategists can earn an average salary of $74,021 per year, while brand managers can earn an average salary of $83,855 per year. Both of these average salaries may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


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