How to Prepare for Brand Management Interviews

Extracted from a Quaker Oats Presentation (Oct ¶00)

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Agenda
What is the goal of recruitment? What do Brand Companies want? How to handle Marketing Case questions? How to get ready for the process?
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What is the goal of recruitment? 3 .

How do we identify true interests and aptitude? ‡ Identify understanding of and interest in brand management and marketing concepts ‡ Identify competencies - Top performers are more likely to exhibit these competencies more often and more completely for better results ‡ Understand past performance - Your past performance is the single best predictor of future performance 4 .

What competencies do marketing companies want? ‡ Leadership ‡ Teamwork ‡ Creativity ‡ Cultural Fit with the organization ‡ Understanding of Marketing Concepts 5 ‡ Communication Skills ‡ Analytical Abilities ‡ Ability to Learn ‡ Strategic and Conceptual Thinking .

How to get ready for the questions? ‡ Prepare for behavioral questions Capitalize on your strengths Prepare examples of how you have exhibited the desired traits Tell your story. not a text book philosophy Know your weaknesses and be ready to respond when they are be probed y Prepare for marketing case questions 6 .

but we do expect that you understand marketing concepts ‡ We really want an opportunity to understand your potential in a brand management career  How you apply your skills and competencies to solving marketing problems  How versatile your skills are ‡ We are not looking for one specific answer. we µre trying to understand how you think 7 .What are Marketing Companies expecting from case questions? ‡ We don¶t expect that you had a past in marketing.

then narrow Think strategically. product. then tactically Use the 4 P¶s (price. category) ‡ Be concise and focused 8 . promotion.How to handle Marketing Case questions? ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Approach each question with a framework Think broad. competitor. company. placement) or the C¶s (consumer.

located in the baby food section of the grocery channel Gerber dominates the baby food category with Beechnut a distant second 9 . there are a only a few products available. from Gerber. from the Quaker Oats company? Currently.New Product Launch ‡ How would you develop and potentially introduce a new product. a toddler snack.

Launch 10 .New Product Launch ‡ Identify if consumers want and need this product?  Try to segment the market  Understand the competition  Where are the opportunities in the market? ‡ Determine the target and 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 the proposition. the 4 P¶s? ‡ If financials make company hurdles.

11 .New Product Launch Should Quaker introduce a toaster pastry? Should we extend one of our equities into this category? How would you assess? Quaker Chewy Granola Bars are #1 granola bar. behind Kelloggs Nutrigrain Bars. Quaker Fruit & Oatmeal Cereal Bars are now #2. Kellogg¶s Pop Tarts brand is the dominant leader of Toaster Pastries.

How would you figure out whether or not to defend? Samples received show that the product offers more oatmeal per pouch. but the flavors are not as good tasting Quaker Instant Oatmeal is the dominant brand in the instant oatmeal category 12 . Quaker Instant Oatmeal.Competitive New Product Launch ‡ Malt-o-Meal has just launched an Instant Oatmeal brand at a reduced price vs.

targeted to MBA students? How would you approach it? 13 .Create a new product ‡ Develop a new energy drink.

Where is the problem? What¶s happening with the consumer base?  Determine relationship between sales. and market share situation. profits. profit and share  Identify the category size and trend + or ±  Identify the competitive situation  Strength of other players  Recent changes from other players ‡ Attempt to strengthen the problem area 14 .Business Situations ‡ Understand the sales.

but sales are declining. What is going on? What can you do? 15 .Business Situations ‡ Your brand¶s market share is up. The company wants brands that grow or at least are more profitable.

How?  Alter product  Increase usage  Create new use  Leverage brand into other categories  Sell into new distribution channels 16 . What now? ‡ Why? Shrinking market or changing preferences? ‡ How quickly has this happened? Are competitors impacted too (broader than your category)? ‡ Choose: exit or grow category or maintain at more profitable levels ‡ If Grow.Category is declining.

Business Situations ‡ Your brands sales are declining and the category is growing. What is happening? 17 .

What now? ‡ Why is category growing?  Consumer preferences?  Competitive moves (new products. new positioning.Market share is declining. price) ‡ Action 18 . price)? ‡ Why is your brand not growing?  Consumer ± right target?  Competitor ± right position?  4 P¶s (product. promotion. placement.

What do you do? 19 .Business Situations ‡ Your competitor just announced a superiority claim over your product.

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 20 .

Unexpected ‡ ³For Me´ Relevance  Holds an emotional ³kernel´ of truth or insight  Touches the heart or tickles the spirit ‡ Ownable .World Class Advertising ‡ Commands Attention  Arresting  Engaging  Surprising. competition  Only your brand can say it  Only your brand does say it 21 .differentiates the brand vs.

Tell me about a great advertisement ‡ Evaluate advertising using your heart first. the target and the positioning Describe how the execution commands attention. observe the strategy ‡ Answering the question Describe the ad. and ownable 22 . is ³for me´. then your head React with your gut Then.

General Marketing Questions ‡ Tell me about an example of great marketing  One that holds a strong. relevant positioning and delivers against the 4 P¶s 23 . relevant position in people¶s minds and is well-marketed through the 4 P¶s ‡ Tell me about a bad example  One that has a confusing positioning or holds a significant gap or inconsistency in the 4 P¶s ‡ Tell me about a well-marketed web site  One that holds a strong.

what would it be like? ‡ If you created an advertisement for yourself for this position.Other questions ‡ If you were a web site. what would it be like? ‡ Why do you want to work for my company? ‡ Why do you want to go into brand management? 24 .

How to get ready for the process? ‡ Practice     Find your own best approach/framework for case questions Don¶t let limited information throw you Practice with small groups Don¶t rest on internship laurels ‡ Visit the channel ‡ Observe yourself responding to marketing with your gut ‡ Be concise and focused in your answers ‡ Research the companies you are targeting 25 .

after all of that preparation and practice« ‡ Be true to yourself  Relax  Be yourself  Have fun  Find the fit that is right for you 26 .How to get ready for the process? Then.

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