A brand is your business’s most important asset. Your brand isn’t just your logo; it’s how your business strategy comes to life and impacts the customer experience. Every interaction your business has with the world — from your customers to your employees — stems from the brand.
A brand audit lets you understand how your customers view and interact with your business. It empowers you with insights that outline the strengths and weaknesses of your brand and uncover growth opportunities.
Your organisation must be fully aware of the ecosystem that is your brand. A brand audit is a great way to understand better how to protect, nurture, structure and develop your brand for sustainable growth and success.
Why is a brand audit important?
A brand audit helps you recognise your business’s strengths and weaknesses. It will highlight opportunities for improvement and point out new ways to help your business stay relevant and move forward.
A brand audit provides a thorough analysis of your brand’s performance. It looks at your positioning compared to your competitors, your customer’s experience, and whether your core values and messaging are aligned.
How does a brand audit benefit your business?
A brand audit will clarify your core audience and the story your marketing and communications are telling that audience. It will assess if your brand connects effectively with the people that matter the most to your business.
In addition, it allows your team to combine all this information into a clear strategy that supports your business goals.
Ensuring your brand strategy is aligned with your business strategy through a brand audit provides reassurance that you’re moving forward and building an impactful brand.
Your brand is a vital business asset. It is, therefore, essential to regularly check that it’s in good health. Performing regular brand audits is necessary for both successful and struggling businesses.
A brand audit gives you clarity and insights. It identifies strengths and weaknesses, providing focus areas for the business.
Take time to reflect
Taking the time to look objectively at the elements of your brand and their perception among employees and customers will allow you to find connections you might have otherwise missed.
Brand audits help identify and review established patterns within a business or industry to guide innovation and brand experiences — an opportunity to look at things differently.
We live in an unprecedented time of challenges. Keeping up with the pace of change can be exhausting, let alone staying ahead. In a world of millisecond actions and reactions, pauses and moments of reflection are few and far between within businesses.
As a result, we’ve become obsessed with short-term tactics and tend to look at the horizon less and less.
Brand audits enable you to pause for reflection. They provide an opportunity to step back from the day-to-day, reactive tasks involved with running and growing the business and managing the brand, allowing you to analyse where your brand is doing well and where it may be struggling.
When should we undertake a brand audit?
In preparation for rebranding
A brand audit can clarify your goals if you’re planning a complete rebrand or even just an evolution of your presence. A solid understanding of your brand’s current positioning, value and core message clearly defines what needs to change and how to do that effectively.
Catch up with growth
Fast growth is excellent for a business. However, it can also mean companies outgrow or drift away from the original brand strategy and cohesive identity while expanding.
During periods of fast growth, product or service offerings can change considerably. For example, maybe one product or service was much more popular than another, shifting the brand’s focus.
Mergers or acquisitions could result in non-structured brand architecture, and company values or culture may have evolved.
The brand proposition has fragmented in some way or becomes diluted through inconsistencies, not addressed whilst growing. It’s common to discover that a structured brand strategy didn’t exist initially, which needs resolving to ensure long-term success.
A brand audit is an excellent opportunity to step back and assess before moving forward.
Understand your position in your market
A brand audit provides insight into how your company compares to your competitors. A brand audit evaluates your positioning and messaging and your competitors. It shows how your competitors present themselves and communicate with potential customers.
Strategic comparison lets you find areas where you can effectively differentiate your business.
Find and fix problems.
If your business feels like it’s stagnating, sales are declining, or you’re just uncertain about how to move forward, a brand audit can give you the insight needed to figure out why.
By taking a holistic view of your brand and understanding your vision for the business, stress points, inconsistencies or vulnerabilities can be identified and fixed.
Align internal and external branding
Whether your business is new and has yet to define a clear direction, or you feel that your external marketing needs to express your core values, a comprehensive review of your branding will help to align your messaging.
An audit allows you to compare how your employees and customers see your brand. Additionally, it identifies the messaging problem if those perspectives are very different.
If your internal messaging isn’t giving your employees a real sense of what you want your values and mission to be, those employees won’t convey them to customers effectively.
Understand customer experience
Customers’ experience with your brand can mean the difference between loyal and lost customers. Including customer experience as part of the brand audit is the best way to understand what you’re doing right and where to make corrections or innovate.
Grow your business
Performing an effective brand audit helps you achieve your ultimate goal of growing your business. Gathering and reviewing comprehensive data shows you what’s working and where your business’s weak points are.
The insights from a brand audit allow you to create a coherent action plan and ensure your brand supports your business strategy.
Brand audits pull your team together. A brand audit allows your team to come together, objectively point out missteps, and commit to doing better together in the future.
Consistent messaging to your customers, potential customers, and employees is essential. This sets your company up for long-term success.
To get the most benefit from a brand audit, your company will also need to follow up on the insights you gain by updating the necessary elements of your brand identity and continuing to evaluate how well those changes go.
Since you should audit your brand regularly, make a tentative plan for when you’ll perform your next audit.
While you can complete a brand audit internally, working with an outside professional can lead to better results. Someone who isn’t part of your company can provide a more objective view and see things that an insider might have missed.
You can schedule a free consultation with a Bright Collie brand strategist today to get an expert outside perspective.