3 minute read
What is the purpose of a brand audit?
“The purpose behind a brand audit is plain and simple: to gain a fundamental understanding of where your brand stands in its current state.”
When and why should we audit our 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 their 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 realize. A strong brand empowers and inspires employees. It’s the foundation on which a strong organization 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 with companies and their brands.
So how can I effectively audit my company’s brand if I want to enact real change?
Example - How to Perform a Brand Audit
Doing a brand audit from scratch can be a real pain, 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
Brand Audit: Before and After
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 a rebrand. This will show where the branding exercise helped improve systems and close gaps.
Do the math.
If you’re looking to justify a rebrand in your organization, 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 consumer businesses, you may want to form focus groups or perform a click testing campaign. For a deeper look at developing a brand strategy that is right for you, contact us directly to have a conversation.