What is a brand audit and why do you need one?
All the great reasons why you should do a brand audit
If you’re wondering, “Why isn’t my business growing?” This blog might just be what you are looking for.
As your business grows and evolves, sometimes your brand direction needs a bit of refocusing to make sure it’s still performing at its peak. Certain aspects of your business might have become outdated, ineffective or inconsistent and that’s where a brand audit could help.
There might be other areas with new potential to explore, and don’t forget that the way we market our businesses is always changing and adapting. To make sure your business and brand are in alignment and continuing to be as effective as they can, every now and then you should do a little health check to measure its impact.
The purpose behind a brand audit is plain and simple: to gain a fundamental understanding of where your brand stands in its current state.
So what is a brand audit?
Think of a brand audit as that little health check for your business. It is a detailed examination of the various elements that make up your brand, and a review of how those elements are performing. A brand audit helps to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your business’s current brand, as well as identifying any specific areas for improvement or new routes to market that will help your business gain competitive advantage.
Is it time your business audited its brand?
The majority of businesses go through the process of auditing their brand when they have a vested interest in making a change within their organization. Maybe they’re rebranding or refreshing their current look. This would be a perfect time to take a look at your current brand and see where it has shifted since its inception. Perhaps an organization is unhappy with its internal communication and employee relations. A smart CEO or CMO might take that opportunity to judge what their brand stands for, who they are as a company and what they need to do from a communications standpoint to fix the internal problems or issues.
The power of a brand is much stronger than most realise. A strong brand empowers and inspires employees. It’s the foundation on which a strong organisation can be built. If the foundation is cracked in certain areas, it would be in the homeowner’s best interest to audit the situation and put the proper processes in place to fix it. The same goes for companies and their brands.
Here are a few situations where I would recommend getting a brand audit done on your business.
- your business is new and you’re in the process of establishing your brand goals and direction
- your business has grown considerably in recent times
- you’re feeling unsure of your brand direction
- your business growth is starting to stagnate
- you don’t feel like your brand is strong at all
- you are considering rebranding your business
- You are looking to launch something new
Regardless of where your business is at, getting a brand audit at regular periods will help keep your brand at its most impactful.
What does a brand audit cover?
Doing a brand audit from scratch can be time consuming but if you have an outline of what to look for, the brand audit process can be relatively painless. An extensive brand audit should look at the following categories:
- Brand Values
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP), brand promise, or brand essence
- Product / Service positioning
- Corporate Identity – logos and other brand elements
- Collateral-brochures, print materials, trade show displays, etc.
- Social Media
- Content Marketing and other assets – blogs, white papers, case studies, articles, books, etc.
Systems and Infrastructure
- Corporate identity/brand standards
- HR policies/on-boarding process
- Sales processes/touch points
- Internal systems
- Customer service systems
What are the benefits of doing a brand audit?
In today’s increasingly complex market, there is a hyper-focus on return on investment (ROI). Of course, ROI isn’t just a tactic to keep the bean counters satisfied—weighing the financial benefits of your branding decisions throughout the process will help guide difficult decisions.
One way you can demonstrate ROI is by conducting a brand audit before and after any significant change to the business. This will show where the brand helped improve systems and close gaps.
If you’re looking to justify a rebrand or a significant shift in direction or focus in your organisation, don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions surrounding your brand today, such as:
- How many deals do we lose every month to a company with a stronger brand?
- How many prospects do we turn off because of a lack of consistency between our website and marketing efforts?
- How many new clients/projects would you have to win to justify the costs of a rebrand?
For most services firms (for example), one or two clients would be more than enough to justify the investment.
For a deeper look at developing a brand strategy that is right for you, contact us directly to have a conversation.