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									Olin Marketing Association
   Marketing Boot Camp
          Presented by:
         Catherine Borda
          OMA President

        Michelle Chevalier
       Weston Career Center

        September 15, 2006

•   Welcome & Overview
•   Marketing Careers
•   How to Manage your Internship Search
•   Behavioral Questions
•   Review of Marketing Frameworks
•   General Marketing Awareness Questions
•   Second Year Student Marketing Panel

                                2           OMA Marketing Boot Camp
Marketing Careers
MBA Marketing Careers

•   Brand/Product Management

•   Consumer Insights/Marketing Research

•   Trade/Customer Marketing

•   Business Development

•   Marketing/Brand Consulting

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Brand/Product Management

 • Most common marketing function for MBAs

 • Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry created the
   function and is the dominant industry for brand

 • Very much of a general management job – crosses
   multiple functional areas within a company (brand
   manager is the hub, other functions are the spokes)

 • Combines analytics, creativity, innovation, strategy, and
   tactical execution

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Consumer Insights/Marketing Research

• Marketing researchers are counterparts to brand managers

• Focus on understanding consumer needs, analyzing industry
  and competitive trends, designing / executing / analyzing
  research studies

• Blend of qualitative and quantitative research as well as
  secondary and primary research

• Career can be on the “client side” (i.e. within a CPG company)
  or “supplier side” (i.e. within a syndicated data supplier such
  as ACNielsen or custom provider such as IPSOS)

• Great career path for people who are analytical and also enjoy
  the psychology of marketing and consumer behavior

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Trade/Customer Marketing

 • In most CPG companies, this function sits between brand
   management and sales

 • Customer marketing managers are responsible for taking
   national brand strategies and making them relevant and
   meaningful for a retail customer

 • For example, an Olin alum works for Colgate-Palmolive on the
   Target account. He is responsible for developing promotions
   that will drive sales of Colgate products at Target

 • Very focused on partnering with the retailer

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Business Development

 • In some companies, business development = sales; in
   other companies, it is more focused on identifying
   strategic opportunities for the company to pursue

 • Often found in the international marketing area of the
   company (i.e. Olin alum at Wrigley looks at potential
   acquisition targets – both brand and company
   acquisitions – across the globe)

 • Could be considered more strategic in focus; however,
   not typically an entry point into the company for new

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Marketing/Brand Consulting

 • Marketing consulting firms focus on branding, market
   research, CRM, pricing strategy, etc.

 • Tend to hire people with previous marketing experience
   (so often not a first job out of B-school)

 • Need to be a big-picture thinker, have a passion for
   marketing, but also desire the variety that comes with

 • Firms include: McKinsey, Kurt Salmon, Zyman Group,
   and many other boutique firms

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How to Manage Your Internship Search
Behavioral Questions for
 Marketing Interviews
The Basics

    Interviews will typically start off very conversational
                 by using these questions.

•Walk me through your resume

•Why Marketing/Brand Management?

•Why this company?

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The Basics

    The STAR format should be used to answer
           questions whenever possible

          •   Situation
          •   Task
 ANSWER   •   Action: specifics are key, demonstrate how YOU made a difference
 ON A&R   •   Results: quantify success and highlight key learnings

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Marketing Skills

   Six key marketing skills – demonstrate throughout the
   interview in as much detail and in as many examples as
        1.   Leadership
        2.   Teamwork
        3.   Analytical
        4.   Creativity
        5.   Flexibility / Adaptability
        6.   Communication
        7.   Results Oriented

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1. Leadership

  Definition: Creates a vision and enrolls/empowers others to achieve results.
  Mobilizes people to take new direction, and delivers significant results
  through others.

  Marketing Relevance:
          •   Marketing drives the business: provides strategy and direction
          •   “Hub of the wheel”
          •   Voice of the consumer
          •   Project management

  Strong Interview Stories Include:
          • Any situation where you were in charge of a group of people and moved
            something forward
          • How you motivated those who did not report to you
          • How you were able to influence the decisions of higher-level stakeholders

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2. Teamwork

  Definition: Demonstrates cooperative and flexible behavior, builds and
  maintains productive relationships, solicits feedback, identifies needs and
  focuses on meeting/exceeding expectations. Expresses point of view in a
  non-threatening manner, works to resolve conflict fairly.

  Marketing Relevance:
           • Building trust and rapport with other individuals on your product teams
           • Demonstrating an ability to foster teamwork early on to prove yourself as
             a good team player and having the potential to become a respected

  Strong Interview Stories Include:
           • Supporting others; responsiveness; respect
           • Working cooperatively in group settings, particularly where there are
             strong differences of opinion
           • Building a shared vision and shared goals
           • Resolving group tensions

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3. Analytical/Decision Making/Problem Solving

  Definition: Thinks through alternatives, issues, well organized manner,
  anticipates potential problems, makes timely, sound decisions, recognizes
  impact of decisions, pinpoints key issues and relevant solutions.

  Marketing Relevance:
          • Especially important when you move to a new business and need a good
            understanding of the category and the marketplace
          • Take a complex situation in the marketplace and figure out a strategy to
            address it

  Strong Interview Stories Include:
          • Your approach to a complex situation or issue. Key is not the answer, but
            the approach --
            how did you come to your conclusion?

                                        17                               OMA Marketing Boot Camp
4. Creativity

  Definition: Adds or enhances new processes or ideas to increase or improve
  the business or work environment.

  Marketing Relevance:
          • Sometimes you have to find a new way to tackle an old problem
          • Solutions are not always readily apparent

  Strong Interview Stories Include:
          • A situation in which you developed a unique and resourceful solution to a
            difficult problem
          • Discuss the source of your idea: what triggered it? How did you come up
            with it?

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5. Flexibility / Adaptability

  Definition: Transitions quickly and effectively to different tasks. Shift
  priorities and modify actions to meet changing job demands at short notice

  Marketing Relevance:
          • Driving a brand requires the ability to juggle multiple tasks effectively
          • As circumstances and market conditions change, must be able to quickly
            reprioritize and address issues

  Strong Interview Stories Include:
          • A situation in which you adjusted quickly to a significant change in team
          • Response to unexpected change within an organization
          • How you handled a decision without having all of the information in hand

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6. Communication

  Definition: Organizes and expresses thoughts clearly. Expresses ideas in a
  way that builds commitment. Seeks first to understand, and then to be
  Marketing Relevance:
          • Brand management requires dedication of resources to your projects, it is
            necessary to communicate in a way that enhances your teams commitment
            to your priorities
          • Strong written and oral communication is essential as a brand manager
  Strong Interview Stories Include:
          • A situation in which you needed to communicate important information to a
            large group while making an impact
          • How you communicated difficult information to a group

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Marketing Frameworks
The Most Common Marketing Frameworks

• 4Ps of Marketing

• 3Cs of Marketing

• Porter’s Five Forces

• Segmentation/Targeting/Positioning

• New Product Launch Process

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4Ps (The Marketing Mix)

   Product                Place                 Promotion             Price
  Physical Good         Channel Type           Promotion Blend       Flexibility
       Service        Market Exposure            Salespeople:    Level Over Product
      Features           Middlemen
                                                     Kind            Lifecycle
   Quality Level    Kinds and Locations           Selection      Geographic Terms
   Accessories            of Stores                Training          Discounts
    Installation      Transporting and                              Allowances
                           Storing               Advertising:
    Instructions                                  Targets
                        Service Levels             Kinds
                    Managing Channels            Media Type
 Product Lines or                                  Copy
     Extensions                                Sales Promotion
    Packaging                                      Publicity

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                         Market Positioning of XYZ Company

      Customers                     Competitors                    Company

 •Customer Base                    •Major competitors        •Core Strengths and
    New/existing                     Traditional            Goals
    Loyal/                           Unexpected            •Sources of
        switchers                        substitutes          Advantage
 •Profitability by                 •Competitors              •Impact of Strategies
  Customer Segment                  Strengths and             on Market
    How much do                    Weaknesses                Positioning
        they purchase?                Profits               •Relative Importance
    At what price?                   Costs                  of Proposed
 •Target Customers                 •Market Share of           Marketing Initiatives
    Who are they?                  Competitors               to Others Within the
    What are their                                           Company

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Five Forces

                                             Barriers To Entry
                                    • Economies of scale
                                    • Capital costs
                                    • Cost advantage of existing
                                    • Barriers to exit
                                    • Patents

           Supplier Power                     Market Rivalry                      Buyer Power
   • Number and size of suppliers      • Number and size of               • Significance of the purchase
   • Switching costs/product             competitors                        relative to cost structure
     differentiation                   • Industry growth rate             • Switching costs
   • Availability of substitutes       • Product differentiation          • Purchase volume
   • Possibility of forward              factors                          • Threat of backward
     integration                       • Industry margins/pricing           integration

                                    • Relative price/value of the
                                      substitute compared to industry’s
                                    • Cost of switching to substitute
                                    • Buyers’ propensity to switch

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Segmentation/Targeting/Positioning (STP)

          Segmenting                           Targeting                       Positioning

•Divides market into distinct        •After evaluating different      •The place the product
 groups of buyers with                segments, you must decide        occupies in the consumers’
 different needs,                     which and how many               minds, relative to competing
 characteristics or behavior          segments to serve                products
  — Geographic: division by          •A target market consists of a   •May be positioned based on
       state, country, location,      set of buyers who share          attributes, usage occasions,
       etc.                           common needs or                  users, against a competitor,
  — Demographic: division             characteristics that the         away from a competitor, or
       by age, gender,                company decides to serve         based on product classes
       income, family size,                                             — Positioning statement:
       education, etc.                                                       To (target market), X is
  — Psychographic: division                                                  the brand of (frame of
       by social class, lifestyle,                                           reference) that
       or personality                                                        (benefit/ point of
       characteristics                                                       difference) because of
  — Behavioral: division by                                                  (product attribute)
       knowledge, attitudes,
       uses, or responses to a

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New Product Launch Process

   For more information on the stage-gate process, visit:

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 General Marketing
Awareness Questions
Most Common Marketing Case Questions

 • Product that is marketed well/poorly?

 • Product that is innovative?

 • Good/Bad commercial?

 • How would you market this product (sample produced)?

 • Sales have been flat, but your market share is increasing. What’s
   going on?

 • Sales are declining, but your category is growing. What’s going on?

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How to Prepare

 • Practice
    – Find your own best approach/framework for case questions
    – Don’t let limited information throw you
    – Practice with small groups

 • Visit the channel (go to the grocery store, Wal-Mart, Target,
   Walgreens, etc.)
 • Be concise and focused in your answers
 • Research the companies you are targeting
 • Then, after all of that preparation and practice…be true to
    –   Relax
    –   Be yourself
    –   Have fun
    –   Find the fit that is right for you

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Additional Resources
For More Information…

• Vault Guide to Marketing & Brand Management
• Vault Guide to Consumer Products Employers
• Vault Gold Employer Surveys
• American Marketing Association
• Brandweek
• Advertising Age
• Kellogg on Branding (book by Tybout and Calkins)

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Career Panel and Q&A
Categories of Case Questions
New Product Launch: Go/No Go
There are two main types of new product launch questions:
   1. Should we launch this product or not (go/no go)?
   2. If I’m tasked with launching a new product, how do I do it?

To determine whether or not to launch a product, consider the
• Always start with the consumer. Do consumers want/need
  this product?
• Assess the opportunity:
         - Size of the market
         - Competition
         - Estimate of your market share
         - Ease of entry
• Assess the financials
• Once you have thought through all of the above, and
  assuming everything is in your favor, move forward with
  the launch

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New Product Launch: Process

Once you want to proceed with the launch process, here are the
  things to consider:
•   Determine the target market
•   Determine the positioning
    – What is the differentiated point of difference that is meaningful to this target?
    – What core competencies are needed to deliver the proposition? Do we have
      them? Can we get them?
    – What do the financials look like?
•   Determine marketing strategy for new product
    – Price – Set to reflect positioning (premium, popular, or value) and drive profit
    – Product – Which attributes to offer (flavor, size, etc.)? Offer what consumers
    – Promotion – How will you create awareness and trial for product? Advertising,
      coupons,        sampling, product demos, etc.
    – Placement - Where will consumer buy it? Grocery, Mass Merchandisers, Club
      Stores,             Convenience Stores, the Internet…
•   Proceed through the stage-gate process

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Sample Questions

•   How would you develop and potentially introduce a new product, a toddler
    snack, from the Quaker Oats company?
•   Develop a new energy drink targeted to MBA students? How would you
    approach it?
•   If you were to launch a new product, what are the most critical issues to
    ensure its success?
•   You are charged with marketing in the U.S. a candy bar that has been very
    successful in England. What things should you consider in bringing the
    product to the U.S. market?
•   You are the Brand Manager of Kingsford Charcoal and you are launching a
    new type of charcoal. Should you use the Kingsford brand name? What
    issues would you consider in making this decision?
•   You are a Brand Manager at Kraft and your boss stops by your office to tell
    you his kids were going crazy at a weekend picnic over beets. He wants to
    know if Kraft should enter the beet market. How would you approach this
•   Give me an example of a recent new product launch that you think was
    done well.
•   You are a Brand Manager looking to introduce a new product. Who would
    you need to work with?

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Defending Against a Competitor

•   Assess the threat to determine whether or not you need to defend
    – Does the new product meet a consumer need?
    – How strong is the competitor? Will they spend to support the launch? Are they
      smart marketers?
    – Where will they take volume from? Are they targeting you or your competitor?

•   Should you decide it is necessary to defend, here are some
    strategies to consider:
    – Reinforce equity with advertising. Remind consumers why your product is better
      than new competitor – don’t give them a reason to try.
    – Product upgrade to provide new benefit – never give consumers a product based
      reason to switch (example – Downy recently launched Premium Care which
      reduces wrinkles, Snuggle has added wrinkle reduction claim to packaging).
    – Load consumers. Provide price incentives so consumers will be stocked up with
      your product when competitor launches.

•   Track new competitor’s performance after launch

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Sample Questions

•   Malt-o-Meal has just launched an Instant Oatmeal brand at a
    reduced price vs. Quaker Instant Oatmeal. How would you figure
    out whether or not to defend?
•   You are the Brand Manager of Fresh Step Cat Litter. You learn
    that 2 new competitors are entering your category: Arm &
    Hammer Cat Litter and EverFresh Activated Charcoal cat litter.
    What should you do?
•   You are a brand manager and a major competitor is introducing a
    new product form. How do you assess the threat? How would you
•   You are the Brand Manager of Kingsford Charcoal. Gas grill usage
    is substantially increasing which is causing charcoal usage to
    decline. What should you do?
•   You’re the Brand Manager on an established cookie brand. You
    just found out that a large consumer brands company that does
    not currently produce cookies is about to buy your #1 competitor.
    You know that the established company will have substantial
    resources for promotions and advertising, presumably to support
    your competitor’s cookie brand. What do you do?

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Declining Sales/Market Share is Declining

• Why is share or category declining (general category
  decline or a share decline on my brand)? Different reasons
  lead to different strategies to reverse decline:
   – Substitutes (ex – Bleach usage declined when Tide with Bleach
   – Change in consumer habits (ex – consumption of high fat foods might
     decline as consumers become more health conscious)
• If share is declining, determine why (explore 4Ps):
   – Price – Has my price changed relative to competition?
   – Product – Has the quality of my product changed? Any competitive
     product upgrades/new products?
   – Promotion – Have my promotions/advertising changed or decreased?
     Any new competitive promotions/advertising?
   – Place - Have I lost any distribution? Have competitors gained
• Determine strategy to reverse share decline:
   –   Price change
   –   Product upgrade/new product launch
   –   New advertising/increased promotions spending
   –   Distribution drive

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Sample Questions

• Tropicana’s sales are declining and the category is
  growing. What is happening?
• You have just been named Brand Manager of Pine
  Sol. Your sales are declining considerably. What
  questions should you ask to understand what is
  going on?
• What would you do to reverse the above decline?
• What would you do to reverse the above decline if
  you could not increase your promotional budget?

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Declining Sales/Category is Declining

•   If category is declining, first determine why the category is
     – Shrinking market?
     – Changing consumer preferences?
•   How quickly has this happened? Are competitors impacted too
    (broader than your category)?
•   Make the choice to: exit the category, attempt to grow it, or
    maintain it at more profitable levels
•   If you choose to grow, how will you do it?
        Alter product
        Increase usage
        Create new use
        Leverage brand into other categories
        Sell into new distribution channels
•   For example, to increase category usage, encourage consumers to
    use your product more frequently or use more per usage occasion:
     – Clorox Bleach – “For whiter whites, use a full cup,” Alternate uses (cleaning trash
       can, pouring down the drain, etc.)
     – Hidden Valley Ranch – Recipe dissemination, Hidden Valley Singles launch

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Sample Questions

•   Gatorade’s market share is up, but sales are declining. The
    company wants brands that grow or at least are more
    profitable. What is going on? What can you do?
•   You are the brand manager of a product whose sales have
    been flat for the last five years. However, the brand's
    market share has been growing by 5% per year for the last
    five years. What is happening to the brand? What would
    you do about this trend?
•   You are the Brand Manager in a mature, declining category
    and your market share has been declining over the past 18
    months. What would you do to reinvigorate the category
    and your market share?

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Competitor Claim

• Understand the risk
  –   Assess threat of competitor/brand
  –   Assess strength of claim with your consumer target
  –   Assess marketing support behind claim
  –   Is the claim legal? Do you respond legally?
• Assess responses and implication?
  –   Product – match claim, introduce other?
  –   Price – Change value equation?
  –   Promotion – Divert attention? Increase loyalty?
  –   Place – Other channels?
• Respond

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Sample Questions

• You are the brand manager on A.1. Steak Sauce
  and a competitor recently added a taste
  superiority claim on their label. What do you do in

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When determining the pricing strategy for your brand,
 consider the following:
• Positioning: Always choose a price that reflects your brand’s
  positioning. If a premium-quality positioning is sought, a premium
  price is likely to enhance the positioning. Conversely, if your brand
  is a value brand (Joy, Luvs, Budget Gourmet Frozen dinners), your
  price must reflect this positioning.
• Elasticity: Elasticity tells you how responsive your brands sales are
  to changes in price. Use elasticity to analyze how pricing changes
  will impact your brand’s volume and profit.
• Cost Structure: Always consider costs when analyzing pricing.
  Clearly, a brand must ensure revenues exceed costs and the brand
  is profitable (an obvious point, but often forgotten).

                                     46                         OMA Marketing Boot Camp
Sample Questions

•   You are launching a new product and you have to
    determine its pricing strategy. How will you do this?
•   You are Brand Manager of Chips Ahoy. Your boss tells you
    to evaluate a price increase as she wants to increase the
    profitability of your business. Should you do it?
•   You are the Brand Manager of Tide. Your boss asks you to
    evaluate a price decrease as he wants you to increase
    volume. Should you do it?
•   How would you increase margins more – by raising prices
    to the trade or to consumers?

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Private Label Competition

You have three choices to defend you brand against private
• Build your equity: Use advertising to communicate
  quality/image of branded products to consumers. Establish
  a point of difference vs. private label
   – Example - Clorox Bleach Wannabes campaign

• Manage the price gap: Determine how much of a premium
  you can afford to charge before your brand starts losing
  volume to private label (in essence, what is the value of
  your brand to consumers)
• Introduce a value brand: Larger companies that have more
  than one brand competing in a given category could
  position one brand as a value brand to compete against
  private label. This offers consumers a branded option at a
  lower price
   – Example – A few years ago, P&G repositioned Joy as a value brand.

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Sample Questions

•   You are the Brand Manager on Oreo cookies and
    many of your retailers have growing private label
    businesses. What do you do to maintain and
    grow your sales and market share in this
    competitive environment?

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Evaluating Advertising
When evaluating advertising, describe the ad, the target and
 the positioning and then describe how the execution
 commands attention, is “for me”, and ownable:
• Does the ad breakthrough the clutter? Have stopping
• Does the ad command attention?
   – Arresting
   – Engaging
   – Surprising, Unexpected
• What is your net takeaway from the ad (what does it tell
• Is the advertising message single-minded, easily
  understood, and credible?
• Is this message relevant/compelling to the brand’s target?
  Is this message ownable by the brand or could any brand
  deliver this message?
• Will consumers recall the brand that was advertised?
• Does it have “for me” relevance?
   – Holds an emotional “kernel” of truth or insight
   – Touches the heart or tickles the spirit

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Sample Questions

• Please give me an example of effective
• Please give me an example of ineffective
• Here is a print ad. Please evaluate it for me?

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Other Marketing Questions

•   Tell me about an example of great marketing
•   Tell me about a bad example of marketing
•   Tell me about a well-marketed web site
•   Name the 3 most unique brands you can think of and tell me why you think
    they are unique.
•   Choose any of ______’s brands and tell me how you would change the way
    it is marketed.
•   When you walk down the supermarket aisle, what product jumps out and
    says “buy me” and why?
•   Why are you interested in marketing/brand management?
•   Why do you want to work for Company XYZ? Why do you want to work for
    a food company or a household products company?
•   How do you determine whether or not to do a line extension?
•   A brand is very powerful in one product category of the supermarket. How
    do you determine whether to leverage the brand in another category? (i.e.
    Should Snackwell’s enter the pudding market?)
•   What if you had the opportunity to run the concession stands at the next
    Super Bowl. What would you do (without any limits) to maximize your
•   R&D comes up with a new formula to revitalize your product. What
    questions would you ask to evaluate this improvement?
•   What are the 10 most important questions that you would ask to find out
    about a brand on your first day of work as a brand manager?

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Questions to Ask the Interviewer

•   What are the characteristics of successful people within your
•   What are the different levels of marketing management in your
•   How many people are at each level?
•   What are the responsibilities/accountability associated with each
    level of management?
•   At what level does the copy responsibility for the brand ultimately
•   At what level do you receive profit/loss responsibility? Please
    define what you refer to as “profit/loss.”
•   Is there any sort of plan that ensures a new brand management
    assistant gets exposure to new brands; established brands;
    brands driven by advertising; brands driven by the trade?
•   Please explain the performance evaluation process at the first
    two levels.
•   What is the brand manager evaluated on? Please rank the criteria
    in order of importance.
•   At what level do you become the primary person on the brand
    that interacts with product development people; market
    research; sales; advertising agency?

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Questions to Ask the Interviewer (cont.)
•   How strong do you feel each of the marketing support groups is in
    relation to the others (i.e. art, marketing research, sales,
    promotion services).
•   What is the process for determining the brand’s marketing
•   Who takes part in the budget process? What is each person’s
•   As a new brand manager, what is the average dollar amount of the
    brand’s budget you will first be assigned to; the second brand you
    will be assigned to?
•   For what reasons would you be reassigned brands as a brand
•   What signs do you see that indicate the continued support (or lack
    thereof) of the company introducing new products with aggressive
•   Where do you see the majority of the new profits coming from in
    your company (new-to-the-world brands/categories, new product
    lines, additions to existing lines, revisions in existing lines,
    repositioning, cost reductions)?
•   What do you specifically attribute your company’s success to?
•   Why did you choose this company over other competitor
•   Ask any questions relative to current events that do not put the
    interviewer on the defensive about their company.
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