Before you can begin building your prosperous and successful future, you must first analyze the health of your current brand, as it is right now.
By performing a Brand Audit, you will determine what is working, what is not working, what needs to be improved, what needs to go, and how your business should evolve.
This research and discovery phase will clarify your strengths, expose your weaknesses, and reveal your opportunities.
You will learn where your brand is positioned in relation to the competition, how your customers feel about your company, and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
It’s essentially a health check of your business, and is the first critical step of developing your brand strategy.
If you’ve been wondering how you can improve your efforts, reach more potential customers, get more sales, or increase brand awareness, a brand audit is just what you need.
After you have completed your brand audit you will be left with a list of actionable insights you can begin to implement while developing your brand strategy.
At first, a brand audit might seem overwhelming and an unnecessary use of time, effort, and energy.
After all, the amount of data you need to analyze is huge.
You will need to dive deep and look at every aspect of your brand, both online and offline.
But please trust me, this is a critical step in the branding process.
If you don’t know where your brand is currently positioned, you won’t know how to build a foundation and plan for the future.
To begin the brand auditing process, here are 8 Top Reasons why you should perform a brand audit.
1: Analyze the Performance of Your Brand:
By completing a brand audit you will dive deep into all aspects of your business and brand. This will provide you with extremely valuable data and metrics about the health of your brand.
If you have not focused on your brand’s performance in some time, you may be surprised by some of the positives and negatives it will reveal.
2: Discover Your Strengths and Weaknesses:
Do you know where your brand is working and where it is failing? Chances are you’ve been so caught up in the normal day-to-day responsibilities of running the business, that you just cross your fingers and hope what you’re doing is working.
By completing a thorough audit of your brand you will uncover weaknesses that should be immediately revised, or eliminated completely. You will also discover where your biggest strengths lie, so you can then double down on those.
3: Align With the Expectations of Your Customers:
Increasing brand equity is all about how well you communicate your brand’s value with the consumer. If it’s been a while since you’ve analyzed your target demographic, a brand audit will reveal changes in the expectations and perceptions of your customers.
With this new found information, you can successfully update your messaging to engage with your target demographic.
4: Re-evaluate Your Position in the Competitive Marketplace:
Proper positioning of your brand is critical to the performance and success of your business. How you were positioned just a few years ago may not be the best place for your business now, Especially if new competition has entered into your category.
When you review the competitive landscape with fresh eyes, you may uncover some small changes that you can easily implement and position your brand for greater growth.
5: Find New Opportunities:
An audit of your brand will obviously show you how your current business is performing. But it may also uncover new opportunities that were previously unavailable to you.
Oftentimes we are too close to our own trees and tend to work in a silo. This may cause you to miss some incredible opportunities to introduce a new product or service and expand your business to a new audience or market.
6: Update Your Visual Identity:
While completing your brand audit you will not only be analyzing your brands performance and metrics, but also how it looks.
Your brand’s visual identity is usually the first representation of your business to the consumer. Perhaps your logo has become outdated, or your color palette is triggering the wrong emotions, maybe the original typography you chose for your brand does not work well in digital format.
Whatever the case may be, a brand audit will uncover these visual mistakes and provide you the opportunity to fix them now before it’s too late.
7: Re-engage Your Employees:
Your brand starts within your organization. The employees that walk your hallways are your best brand advocates, and should live and breathe the brand. After all, they are the individuals who are connecting with your customers.
If you have not consistently articulated the brand internally, then they may have become disengaged with your brand, or even worse, confused about the brand purpose, values, mission, and vision. A brand audit allows you to re-engage your employees, and ignite a fire that will push your team to better performance.
8: Establish New Goals and Expand Your Brand’s Vision:
Have you met the original goals you set for your business? If so, congratulations.
But why stop there? A brand audit combined with a brand refresh provides you with the opportunity to reach higher, to go further, and to make a greater impact. Don’t hold back, you’ve already proven you can accomplish what you set your brand vision towards, so now take it further.
Now that you understand how completing a brand audit will help you improve your brand’s performance, and what new opportunities it may uncover, let’s review how to conduct a proper brand audit.
Your brand audit should be divided into 3 segments; an internal audit, an external audit, and a visual audit.
Analyzing each of these 3 segments will provide you with specific information about the quality of your current brand.
You will then have a nicely organized list of items you will need to address during your brand refresh.
1: Internal Audit.
In this segment you will investigate and review your current brand purpose, values, mission, vision, company culture, and employee engagement.
2: External Audit.
This will include analyzing your messaging, your tagline, and how you communicate with your audience. It will also include in depth audits of all your SEO, your Social Media channels, Events, PR Activities, and Content Marketing.
3: Visual Identity Audit.
Your visual identity is the look and feel of your brand, and everything that is presented to the consumer visually. This includes your logo, brand colors, typography, imagery, your website and all your visual consumer touchpoints.