As your business grows and changes, and as the landscape of your industry changes, it makes sense to conduct periodic brand audits. Your brand is your business’ biggest asset so make sure it’s on-track and in-step with changes in the industry.
A brand audit can be a valuable exercise to undertake to make sure your business stays relevant but can also be very useful if you wish to pivot or make changes to your business or brand. When undertaking a brand audit, it’s important to take a step back and look at the “big” picture of your brand as this will then inform both your long-term and short-term strategies.
A brand audit is like a health check-up for your brand and it should evaluate areas of your business such as your position in the marketplace, strengths & weaknesses, how your brand is performing, and how well your brand is aligned with your strategy. A brand audit should cover both internal and external branding as well as your UX (also often referred to as your user or customer experience).
Examples of internal branding include your unique selling proposition, brand values, company mission/vision, and product or service. Examples of external branding include your logo, website, social media, advertising and marketing (both print and digital). The UX refers to the overall experience of your customer as they interact with your product, service or business.
There are plenty of brand agencies you can employ to conduct a brand audit on your behalf but, if you are a small-to-medium-sized business, it can be very beneficial to undertake your own brand audit as the learning experience can be invaluable.
- Set parameters
Before you can start to measure anything, you need to understand the parameters of what you are measuring. So, collect your vision and mission statements, identify your core audience/target market, quantify your product or service, and clarify your unique selling proposition.
- Check your marketing collateral
Compare your digital presence with your other marketing collateral? Is it consistent and effective for your target market? Do you have an up-to-date brand kit with different versions of your logo and the relevant colours. Is your messaging consistent across all your platforms? Does your message engage with your target market? Do you have templates relevant to your brand credentials?
- Review your website
Is it up-to-date? Does it reflect your brand values? Are your core messages/products/services/offer clear? How old is your website and has it been maintained? Are all links and plug-ins working correctly and how long does it take to load? Review your Google Analytics to determine where your website traffic is coming from? Do you have a high bounce rate? If so, it might be time for a new website? Do you have a Facebook pixel installed and is it working properly?
- Review your social media
Are you posting regularly and at the times when your audience is online? Are you using templates that are consistent with your brand values? Are you posting a variety of content and how is this affecting your engagement rates? Use your platform analytics to understand your audience or followers – are they your target market? Analyse your audience to better understand how they engage with your product or service.
- Conduct a competitor analysis
Benchmark your business against your competitors. This can be done manually or you can use a brand agency to conduct an in-depth analysis on your behalf. Understanding the activities of your competitors can help you understand where your brand sits in the bigger picture of the market and can highlight opportunities for your brand to become an industry leader.
Of course, an audit is of no benefit if it doesn’t also help you determine some goals for the future and provide you with a path forwards. So, take all of the information you’ve gathered in the above five steps and use them to create an action plan for your business. You may need to revisit your target audience, vision or mission statements or re-think your product or service offering. Try to write “action” goals – both long-term and short-term – so you have a set of clear actions you want to implement with achievable goals to work towards. And, make sure you monitor your progress regularly to ensure you stay on track.
Today’s world is an ever-changing landscape so don’t be afraid to circle back and conduct this brand audit on a regular basis. Would you like help with developing your brand? We have marketing specialists who can help with conducting audits, preparing brand credentials, setting up templates and much more!