Master’s Program

Creative Brand Management

Vivian Tran (Creative Brand Management, 2023)

Business-, people-, and leadership-savvy, our Creative Brand Managers lead client and agency teams to meet business objectives through creative solutions.

Representing the voice of the client, they build and nurture relationships with their client-side counterparts and understand the account or business on the macro and micro levels. Comfortable with multitasking, they see projects through from start to finish and lead creative teams to harness their creativity in service of solving business problems.

If you want to be an Account Manager at ad agencies, in-house agencies, design agencies, or strategic/new product consultancies, or maybe one day have a C-suite role within an agency, transition to the brand side, or start your own business, the Creative Brand Management concentration is for you.

You might be a Creative Brand Manager:

If this sounds like you:

  • You enjoy leading teams to do extraordinary things; are great with people and enjoy building relationships
  • You prefer your work to be varied and can multitask without breaking a sweat
  • You take pride in prioritizing your to-do list and seeing projects through to completion
  • You can be both in the weeds and in the clouds; you can see the week’s to-dos and the five-year bigger picture
  • You have a competitive streak and love to win
  • You enjoy being around creative spaces, projects/work, and people

If a day in the life of an account manager sounds fun:

  • Leading and managing teams
  • Building and maintaining client relationships 
  • Understanding your client’s business—position, category, and competitive set; their financial and business objectives
  • Understanding business and marketing strategy 
  • Building a case for, presenting, and selling creative work 
  • Managing the development of creative work from assignment through production
  • Growing the account/business financially 
  • Setting measurement programs and goals 
  • Understanding the relationship between creative and media
  • The Task: Increase growth and engagement with “in-the-know millennial foodies,” letting them know about Omsom’s new product line, Omsom Saucy Noodles.
  • The Problem: Instant noodles are historically seen as a “value” buy with little nutritional value. People struggle to see the significance of another noodle brand.
  • The Solution: Reclaim instant noodles and celebrate Omsom Saucy Noodles as the graduated, elevated premium noodle that can be eaten whenever, however.
  • The Team: Led by Vivian as the Creative Brand Manager and creative executions by Kendall Boron (Art Direction, 2023), Mark McColey (Copywriting, 2023), and Francis Phan (Experience Design, 2023)

Creative Brand Management at the Brandcenter

Studying Creative Brand Management at the Brandcenter prepares you to hit the ground running as an Account Manager at ad agencies, in-house agencies, design agencies, strategic/new product consultancies, or in a brand marketing role within a company or organization.


You will not only perfect your craft, but you will also work collaboratively with your classmates across concentrations.

Here’s what you’ll do on all-concentration team projects as a Creative Brand Manager, as well as what your teammates will do:

What each concentration does on all-concentration team projects


  • Focus on a client’s business, category, and competitors
  • Lead internal, cross-functional teams
  • Ensure creative work meets business objectives; evaluate ROI when possible


  • Using business insights from creative brand managers and consumer/cultural insights from strategists, develop creative ideas to solve business challenges, engage consumers, and bring brands to life
  • While copywriters generally focus on writing and art directors generally focus on visual design, most AD/CW teams collaborate on all creative aspects


  • Develop and design digital products and/or physical experiences where brands and people interact
  • Focus on the user experience for the product or experience they’re designing
  • Provide guidance and ideas regarding new/emerging technologies


  • Focus on consumers and culture
  • Lead research efforts (develop a research plan, conduct field research, and analyze results)
  • Turn research data into insights; develop strategic direction and work with creative partners to create concepts/work inspired by strategic direction

Here’s what your sixty weeks will look like:

Semester 1 (Fall) / Weeks 1-15

  • The Business of Branding (All concentrations)
  • Creative Thinking (All concentrations)
  • Strategic Thinking (Strategists + Creative Brand Managers)
  • Research Methodologies
Semester 2 (Spring) / Weeks 16-30

  • Brand Analytics
  • Accounting
  • Brand Design for Brand Managers
  • Craft for Brand Managers
Summer Between Your First and Second Years / Internship

A summer internship is not required, but we’ll give you the tools to help you land a great one at agencies and companies doing some of the industry’s best work. See Placement for more about internships.

Semester 3 (Fall) / Weeks 31-45

  • Brand Experiences (All concentrations)
  • Persuasion for Creative Brand Managers
  • Advanced Brand Management
Semester 4 (Spring) / Weeks 46-60

  • Innovation (All concentrations)
  • Applied Brand Management
  • Advanced Portfolio for Creative Brand Managers


Here are the prerequisites for creative brand management applicants and for all applicants:

Prerequisites for Creative Brand Management Applicants

Creative Brand Management applicants should be able to:

  • Build, work in, and lead teams, contributing ideas and caring about the output of a project
  • Demonstrate an interest and skill set for understanding business situations and making informed business decisions
  • Be interested in business and markets, especially looking for trends on where things might be going
  • Show mental toughness during challenging situations
  • Have a knack for building relationships with others and striking up conversations with just about anyone
  • Be good at talking, thinking on your feet, and making compelling arguments
  • Have an interest in entrepreneurism and the idea of working to help a business grow

Creative Brand Management applicants should have:

  • Completed a college-level math/statistics or accounting course (We don’t expect you to be an accountant, but you should be comfortable with learning about basic business math.)
  • Proficiency in Google Suite, Office Suite
  • Leadership experience or a desire to lead
Prerequisites for All Applicants

All applicants should be curiouscreative, and collaborative.

All applicants should be able to:

  • Think creatively and critically
  • Enjoy working and fully participating in teams
  • Manage time effectively and meet project deadlines
  • Relate to others and embrace open communication

All applicants should have:

  • Experience collaborating in a group
  • An enjoyment of creating/making
  • Professional ambition and drive
  • A bachelor’s degree

Creative Brand Management Lead

Headshot of Kevin Rothermel

Kevin Rothermel

Professor, Strategy & Creative Brand Management

Student presentation deck of a Chick-fil-A dashboard project by students training to become account or brand managers
Student presentation deck of a Chick-fil-A dashboard project by students training to become account or brand managers

Brand Analytics / Emilee Lampert, Paige Majdic, Alexandra Reid, Angel Song (Creative Brand Management, 2021)

  • The Ask: Identify KPIs and business objectives that can be measured and quantified through a brand analytics dashboard for Chick-fil-A.
  • Dashboard Overview: The dashboard was created to address two key business objectives using appropriate metrics, based on research takeaways.

Ready to apply for Creative Brand Management?


Apply for our two-year, full-time master's program for art direction, copywriting, creative brand management, experience design, and strategy.

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Explore the concentrations

Art Direction

Art Directors create and curate the visual expression of a brand.


Copywriters craft words to tell stories that create ultimate impact.

Experience Design

Experience Designers use the principles of human-centered design to develop digital products and physical experiences where brands and people interact.


Strategists use their powers of curiosity about people, culture, and brands to drive strategy for advertising and brand communications.