5 Key Skills that Suggest a Career in Branding

Ever considered a career in branding or Googled “branding” or “brand specialist” for any reason? Then you’re not alone. Like you, many have sought more information on branding or brand experts.

This could be because:

  • you’re looking to hire one, or
  • you’re looking to become one

Perhaps while majority were concerned with the best buzzer beaters and clutch shots from March Madness, you were looking out for the brands behind the event. That’s one of the signs you’re probably cut out for branding.

In this post we shall look at other telltale signs and skills you possess that suggest that a career in branding just might be right for you.

Whether you’re trying to decide between STEM and the Arts or looking to change careers, this article will point you in the right direction, but first things first

What is a Brand?

Mercedes Benz, Coca Cola, Disney, name them; these are some popular brand names, but what really is a brand?

According to American Marketing Association Dictionary,

“a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.”


What is Branding?

Branding can be said to be differentiation, everything that makes a brand different from the competition and more appealing to customers.

Wheeler. H, in his book the Miracle of Man, suggests that branding was a livestock practice by ancient Egyptians as far back as 2,700BC. They branded cattle for identity and theft prevention.

The Importance of Proper Branding

Thieves and rustlers attacked cattle owners, those who refused to brand their cattle were the biggest losers. Hence, branding became and still remains key to business survival in the face of heightening competition.

Brands now have approximately 8s to grab customer attention and make a good first impression, failing which customers move to the next option just a mouse click away.

Following are

Some Benefits of Good Branding

  • brand survival
  • brand awareness
  • brand recognition
  • brand acceptance
  • better perception
  • more business
  • customer loyalty
  • happy staff
  • staff loyalty, etc

These and many more are reasons why brands spend heavily on advertising, marketing and branding in order to grab the most of their respective market shares.

In a recent study, respondents from different industries were asked to indicate what percentage of their overall budget went to marketing. Participants from Consumer Packaged Goods industry recorded an average of 24%.

Others are:

  • Consumer Services ——————————————– 15%
  • Tech/Software/Biotech —————————————– 15%
  • Communications/Media —————————————- 13%
  • Mining/Construction ———————————————-13%
  • Service Consulting ———————————————–12%
  • Education ———————————————————–11%
  • Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals ———————————–10%
  • Retail/Wholesale ————————————————–10%
  • Banking/Finance/Insurance ———————————– 8%
  • Transportation —————————————————– 8%
  • Manufacturing —————————————————– 8%
  • Energy ————————————————————— 4%

From the list above, we observe that the average marketing spend per industry is 11.6%.

Below is another list from same study showing how companies under B2B Product category spend their marketing budget.

  • Direct expenses of marketing —————————- 66%
  • Social media ————————————————- 50%
  • Marketing employees ————————————– 51%
  • Marketing research —————————————– 45%
  • Marketing training ——————————————- 45%
  • Marketing analytics —————————————– 48%
  • Other overhead ———————————————- 45%

When we consider the entire study, we see that companies spend an average of 45.5% of marketing budget on marketing employees.

Big Advertising Spend

Statista reports that each year companies in the US spend around $200b on advertisement.

Below are the top 10 ad spending verticals in the US in Q1 2017.

  • Retail ——————————————– 13.0%
  • Automotive ————————————- 10.4%
  • Financial —————————————- 10.3%
  • Pharmaceuticals/Medicine —————— 9.8%
  • Travel & Tourism —————————— 9.3%
  • Media, Books, CDs & DVDs —————- 6.2%
  • Telecoms ————————————— 5.9%
  • Leisure —————————————— 5.4%
  • Food ——————————————— 4.9%
  • Hygiene & Body Care ———————— 4.2%

Still wondering how big the market is? See these 10 companies 2013 ad spend in $b.

S/N      Company                             Ad Spend ($b)

1. Walt Disney ——————–       2.1b

2. L’ORÉAL —————————- 2.2b

3. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ——– 2.2b

4. American Express —————– 2.4b

5. Ford Motor Company ————– 2.5b

6. Verizon Communications ——– 2.5b

7. Comcast Corporation ————- 3.0b

8. General Motors Company ——– 3.1b

9. AT&T ———————————- 3.3b

10. Procter & Gamble —————— 4.6b

Data Source: Business Insider

Job Opportunities, Average Salary and Job Outlook in Branding (Advertising)

S/N   Job Role                                                                      Median Salary     Job Outlook

1.          Advertising, Promotions & Marketing Manager          $108,260                   +14%

2.          Market Research Analyst                                                  $60,570                    +41%

3.          Writer                                                                                    $55,420                   +6%

4.          Films & Video Editor                                                         $45,490                   +4%

5.          Advertising Sales Representative                                   $45,350                   +13%

6.          Meeting, Convention & Event Planners                       $45,260                   +44%

7.          Graphics Designer                                                            $43,500                   +13%

8.          Photographer                                                                    $29,130                    +13%

Data Source: CareerCast

5 in-Demand Branding Skills you Probably Possess

If you’ve read this far it’s another sign that you’re likely interested in a career in branding.

Following are some skills suited for a career on branding:

1. Creative Thinking

Creative thinking, or keen sense of imagination is a biggie for many branding related jobs. In fact it is the bedrock for all that follows hereunder.

If you’re a really creative thinker, able to come up with great ideas then a career in branding just might be right for you.

2. Logo/Graphics Design

A logo is one of your biggest brand assets. Brand awareness and recognition rest first on your business name followed by your logo.

If you’re good at logos and graphics design then a career in branding should be one of your top considerations.

3. Business Name Ideation

One of the first steps of starting a business after getting business ideas is naming the business.

Tools like business name generators can help you generate business name ideas you can either adopt or adapt.

If you know how to generate company name ideas with or without business name generators, then branding as a career may be a perfect fit.

4. Creating Taglines

Some brands are popular not because of their cool business names or logos, but because of their memorable and apt taglines.

Ford Motors tagline is “Go further”

If you’re skilled at creating such amazing taglines, straplines, slogans, tags or brand lines, you can go further with it as an advertising agency just might need your services.

5. Persuasive Copywriting

A well designed logo or flier will fare badly if infested with poor body copy. Persuasive copywriting combined with engaging graphics is the crux of effective advertising.

If you’re intrigued by the likes of David Ogilvy and Co, and have been able to convince friends and strangers to buy anything then a branding or advertising related career might suit you.


Whatever you’re skilled at, whether creative imagination like Walt Disney, logos and graphics design, generating cool business name ideas, writing catchy taglines or very persuasive copy; you can choose to work for a company, agency or self as a freelancer.

These skills are valuable, if you possess them perhaps you should be considering a career in branding.

What do you think?

Reference: Wheeler, H., The Miracle of Man, London, Long Acre, 1964, p. 84.