Your brand is your most valuable asset.
But sometimes, your brand needs to be evaluated to see if and where there is a need for change. That is where performing a brand audit comes into play. Think of this as a health check that every business should perform for sustainable success.
What is a Brand Audit?
An in-depth examination of your brand to identify what you’re doing well, current position the market compared to your competition and areas for potential growth. A brand audit consists of looking at two main pillars: your external and your internal branding.
- External branding communicates your company’s promise to your customers and target market.
- Internal branding gives your employees the tools and resources needed to follow through on that promise.
It’s important that your brand’s message resonates with your employees—it’s much easier to fulfill your brand’s promise with a team that fully believes in it. In turn, your team becomes your very own brand ambassadors.
External branding is…
- Website Appearance & Functionality
- Visual & Verbal Identity
- Social & Digital Presence
- Advertising & Marketing Initiatives.
- Company culture & values
- Unique Messaging & Position
- Marketing Workflows.
By looking into both of your brand pillars (along with those of your competition) you can quickly identify what areas you are performing well in and others where you can improve.
How to Tell if You Need A Brand Audit?
Well, if you’re reading this post, you’re likely in need of some kind of brand analysis. Consider running a brand assessment if any or all of these apply to you:
- You decided to pivot and redirect your business focus
- You see a loss in brand identity and awareness
- You recognize a need for more brand cohesion
- You suspect a loss in or lack of customer loyalty.
What are the Benefits of Doing a Brand Audit?
Conducting a brand audit can better help you understand where you stand within your market and in the minds of consumers.
5 benefits of performing a brand audit:
- Identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your brand
- Discover consumers’ positive and negative perceptions of your business
- Align your offerings with customer’s expectations
- Determine where you stand next to your competition
- Redefine your brand strategy
Steps To Conducting A Brand Audit
If you are wondering how to conduct a brand audit, the following brand audit checklist will provide you with the necessary steps needed, along with providing an overview of your brand’s overall health. The general steps in a brand audit are:
- Set up a brand audit framework
- Examine your website analytics
- Analyze your sales statistics
- Dive into and review your social data
- Observe your competitors
- Get answers from your customers
1. Set Up a Brand Audit Framework
It helps to have some sort of brand analysis template or framework to guide you in the process of auditing your brand. Define your framework with a checklist of what’s to be examined and the methods you will use. It helps to organize your list to incorporate both internal and external brand elements.
2. Examine Your Website Analytics
You could have the most stunning website design in the world, but if it’s not converting or serving your targeted audience the way it should, it’s crucial that you understand where and why it isn’t performing. A digital brand audit involving a web analytics platform is essential. Making use of a platform like Google Analytics will provide rich analytics data, both historic and in real-time to use for assessments and understanding your target audience better.
3. Analyze Your Sales Statistics
This should be something you’re already doing regularly, however, as part of your brand audit it can provide a ton of insight regarding customer and industry trends. Here you’ll take notice as to whether or not you’ve stayed true to your brand promise in delivering what it is that customers want, as well as if you’re up to speed with competitors and their offerings.
Social media contains a wealth of information on your customers that you can’t get anywhere else. What’s truly insightful is the realization that your target customers may not be the customers interacting with your social channels. This valuable demographic data helps you better understand your audience and reevaluate your social communication strategy. It’s easy to get caught up in social vanity metrics such as follower count, or even likes, but if you’re not appealing to your ideal buyer on social, then there’s an issue in your branding strategy.
5. Observe Your Competitors
To get a full look at the competitive landscape, you’ll need to find out how well your competitors are performing from a brand perspective. What content are they writing about? Is their brand getting noticed? Are they forming any brand partnerships? Some of this work will be manual, but there are Search engine Optimization tools you can use to dive deeper into various elements of a brand.
Competitor analysis tools like Moz provide Search-Engine-Optimized-driven data while helping you monitor your niche and research your competitors. Get information on organic traffic and keywords they’re ranking for, as well as how you rank in comparison.
6. Get Answers From Your Customers
To best speak to your customers, you’ll need to find out what they think and say about your brand. Get inside the minds of your customers to find out what motivates them, what makes them tick and what influences their decisions. Polls, surveys and the Net Promoter Score (NPS) are all helpful tools and tactics you can use to obtain valuable customer information when it comes to your brand analysis.
What to do After Conducting a Brand Audit
- Determine how to use the data and information (sometimes data is helpful, but there may not be a reason to act).
- Decide specific goals to focus. What do you want to see come out of these changes? Whether it’s an increase in conversions, a more cohesive looking website, you need to have a clear goal in mind so you know what you’re working toward.
- Create an action plan to carry out your brand audit and a timeline of when to do so. This will provide you with an idea of what and when to measure your efforts. Then continuously track and monitor.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! We hope you found this post helpful.
If you’re interested in a rebrand or brand refresh, but feel like it’s too much to handle for your internal team right now, we’ve helped many companies big and small launch new brands, with the help of our trusted Branding Services.