Brand Man

It has come to me as quite a surprise when I learned last week that a role of a product manager can trace its origin to the role of a brand manager which was outlined in an internal Procter & Gamble memo more than 80 years ago. Neil McElroy, the author of this memo, later in his life first become president of Procter & Gamble and later also US Secretary of Defense, so the worldview he held and outlined in the memo has obviously brought him lots of success (and by making Procter & Gamble brand oriented company, an immense success to Procter & Gamble, too).

Brand person, according to McElroy, should take full responsibility for his or her brand including taking care of sales, advertising, and every other aspect influencing the success of the brand on the market. After analyzing the brand's weak and strong points, the brand person should come up with a plan for corrective actions and make sure that the plan is also implemented, its result measured, and learnings made. Comparing McElroy's memo and Horowitz's Good Product Manager/Bad Product Manager post makes clear that both of them have the same role in mind.