Brand Manager

Mars - West Chester, PA (30+ days ago)4.0

A mutually rewarding experience.

Work. Realize your ambitions. And realize there’s more to being in business than just making a profit. That’s the Mars philosophy. And the opportunity we offer every one of our Associates. An opportunity to take what you do and make it mean more for you, for those around you and for the planet. What you get here is challenging, interesting work. You get the tools you need to do a great job and you get to have the best possible people on your side to help you do it. And at the same time as getting to find ways to do business better today than we did it yesterday and driving a great career, you also get to build a more enlightened business and drive sustainability.

Because it’s never just about a single person, a single project or a single brand. It’s about how you can grab everything that’s within your reach here and use it to pursue mutual, long-term gain. It’s about having ideas. And ideals. Being prepared to risk failure because the promise of success means we’ll all be a little better off. It’s that mix of integrity and ambition that makes Mars such a special place to work. And why working here is always about more than just a job.

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars is a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love. With almost $35 billion in sales, the company is a global business that produces some of the world’s best-loved brands: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5™, SKITTLES®, UNCLE BEN’S®, MARS DRINKS and COCOAVIA®. Mars also provides veterinary health services that include BANFIELD® Pet Hospitals, Blue Pearl®, VCA® and Pet Partners™. Headquartered in McLean, VA, Mars operates in more than 80 countries. The Mars Five Principles – Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom – inspire its more than 100,000 Associates to create value for all its partners and deliver growth they are proud of every day.

Job Purpose/Overview:
The Brand Manager will provide leadership for the strategic direction of the product portfolio including drinks, machines and accompanying solutions including services. The role is the architect behind the brand positioning, points of distinction, strategic product/solution portfolio and innovation roadmap that allows for growth according to the business plan and clear distinction against competition. He/She will recommend product solutions and new offerings to R&D through desired features/benefits that ensures the balance between satisfying customer needs, delivering bold, ownable, meaningful distinction against competition and fits the brand identity/equity/positioning. Included in scope of work is the development and testing of concepts through external agencies that are aligned with the innovation strategy, building the business case for the concept/opportunity, ensuring the value proposition is robust for customers, distributors and end users, and providing the marketing leadership to a cross-functional team from concept through commercialization and launch. This person will be expected to champion product innovation and brand positioning throughout the organization as well as deliver the financial targets for product launches.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Development of a winning strategic positioning – bold, ownable, meaningful – for Mars Drinks, Alterra, Bright Tea, Flavia (machine) brands
  • Ongoing product portfolio management ensuring each product in the portfolio has a clear strategic and growth rationale, delivers on its financial targets, is positioned appropriately internally and externally to win share
  • Development and implementation of a 3-year innovation roadmap and product strategies by brand and product/solution category including fresh claims, a cadence of renovation and innovation to ensure the brand is growing share and has a robust right-to-win vs. competitors
  • Strategic development of new product activation and marketing campaigns by integrating digital and marketing communications, channel activation, Sales and customer engagement.
  • Development and implementation of packaging graphics
  • Recommend brand licensing opportunities, create the business case internally and support the development of a collaborative long-term partnership
  • Development and approval through Legal of product claims that delivers against the brand promise and drives distinctiveness vs. competition
  • Develops the “marketing specification” for R&D on all new products including features, benefits, attributes.
  • Develops the value proposition, business case, financial metrics, claims, positioning for all new product launches.
  • Represents marketing in project planning meetings for new product launches
  • Provides constant surveillance of competitors, trends and incorporates in product plans
  • Build insights that lead to the next generation of platforms and products using both qualitative and quantitative research to identify and validate insights. Identify knowledge gaps and create and/or leverage primary and secondary market research to recommend detailed courses of action. Identify and execute projects through marketing research agencies.
  • Works with Marketing Communications and Customer Marketing to develop an activation plan that delivers against financial targets for all product launches
Context and Scope
  • Development of annual product initiatives and “brand news” in the form of a “brand calendar”
  • Collaborates with R&D to design the “specification” of features and benefits for winning new products
  • Surveillance of competitors to ensure value proposition and positioning is robust and differentiating
  • Positions new products and existing products with claims to Marketing Communications to ensure a cadence of sticky messaging is delivered
  • Works with Marketing Communications and Customer Marketing to launch new products
  • Responsible to a 3-year roadmap of brand “news” including fresh claims, new products
Job Specifications/Qualifications
1. Education & Professional Qualification
  • Bachelor’s degree required in Marketing preferred
  • 8+ years’ progressive marketing experience
2. Knowledge/Experience
  • Industry Experience – Ideally, experience from a leading CPG company, and specifically, within a larger, well-resourced, matrix organization. Also, experience outside CPG, in a faster-paced business fueled by Innovation (e.g., Technology, Wireless, or Electronics). Strong preference for innovation experience and B2B experience.
  • Innovation & Marketing Experience – Experience in brand management as well as preference for additional experience in innovation marketing roles. Able to assess opportunities with the pragmatic lens of business viability and executional feasibility. Experience building market research plans to support project launches and defining objectives for both qualitative and quantitative research. Is able to utilize a wide array of data inputs to develop recommendation for innovation agenda, product portfolio, business plan development.
  • Leadership Experience – Track record of working effectively as a business leader. Proven experience championing broad initiatives, leading cross-functional specialists, and external agency partners in both standard as well as ambiguous situations. Experience presenting to sr. levels of management teams including Market GMs, CMO, VP R&D, CFO and Global President etc.
Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.