Continuing our Jobs In Games special, in association with OPM, today's career profile looks at the role of a Brand Manager with Ubisoft's Rachael Grant.
How would you summarise your role?
I am the brand evangelist for certain Ubisoft products in the UK, and it's my role to ensure that these games are marketed effectively and reach the targeted audience. I began working at Ubisoft on the Imagine DS range for young girls. Since then have managed the Just Dance brand from its beginning, and now am focused on any of the music-related titles that Ubisoft bring out, such as The Michael Jackson Experience and more recently Rocksmith.
What are your main reponsibilities?
Showing off my products internally and externally, and knowing everything there is to know about them. I have to ensure that marketing plans are seen through from inception to action. And ultimately my responsibility lies with marketing the games effectively and efficiently, which hopefully will result in successful sales figures.
How did you get your job?
I previously worked at Eidos (now Square Enix) as first their receptionist, then in PR, and finally in Brand. Working in games was not necessarily something I would have predicted for my future but for me personally I think I fell in love with the games industry from that point onwards, and have continued to learn and grow within the industry. When I came to apply for the job of Brand Manager at Ubisoft, I believe it was down to my enthusiasm for my work and my willingness to learn new things that got me the job.
What special skills or qualifications did you need?
It was obviosuly important that I already had a background and experience within the games industry, and had made some good contacts. In terms of skills needed I think particularly in brand management that both passion and dedication are vitally important.
Describe your average day. What do you do?
One of the things I love about my job is that there is no real formula and things change on a day to day basis. Typically a day will at some point include planning and updating on my products in presentations, showing product so playing and knowing my games, correspondence with our EMEA headquarters, working with agencies, working on creative assets, and generally planning for any upcoming marketing campaign.
What is the best part of your job?
I have been privy to so many new and exciting experiences while at Ubisoft - whether it be doing the mashed potato in Just Dance, learning to play guitar in front of 50-odd retail managers, or taking the Just Dance Disco Bus on tour!
What is the worst part?
Being asked to make tea constantly, when I don't even drink the stuff. I have definitely built up an immunity to embarrassment while at Ubisoft and I can't really decide if imitating Michael Jackson in front of the whole company was a lowlight or a highlight for me.
What tips would you give to anyone applying for a similar position?
I would say that you should get as much experience as you can, unpaid if necessary because meeting people and getting a foothold can be very important. I also think if you are passionate about the work that you do that will shine through and ensure you stand out vs the competition.
What are your long-term career plans?
I would love a more hands-on, direct approach with products and I think its always very interesting to see things from a different perspective and learn new things, so who knows what the future might hold?