Audit. There’s a certain stigma surrounding that word. But it’s not something to fear. In marketing terms, a brand audit is a useful tool to analyze how your brand stacks up in the marketplace compared to its stated objectives, and it’s important to do one to see how your business is performing.
Brand Audit Framework
The first question to ask surrounds a brand’s purpose, position, promise and values. An honest assessment of these elements will help you determine if your communications are aligned with your brand strategy and vision.
Your Brand vs. Marketing Objectives
Does your brand contribute to your business objectives? Answering this question will help you become clear on what you want to achieve. A critical part of this assessment is to identify your target audiences and their behaviors, needs and challenges. Next, you measure how effectively your brand is reaching those audiences and how they perceive you.
Then, you can determine if you need to invest more into reaching these targets and what you need to accomplish both in the short- and long-term.
Gather Audience Input
Gaining a mix of qualitative and quantitative feedback gives you a complete picture into how your audiences view your brand. The goal is to understand their world by talking to them and observing them. You can test your assumptions to see if they’re on or off base, but you need to find truth through data.
View Your Industry Landscape
It’s important to consider the competition when auditing your brand. It’s not just about you and the stakeholders, but also how you fit among your industry in the stakeholders’ eyes. A good audit tells you how you’re positioned and what sets you apart. In the end, you will see what changes are needed to better leverage your brand in a way that differentiates you from the rest.
Web, Social & Sales Metrics
In B2C businesses, 81% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase. In B2B industries, that number is even higher. What’s coming in and out of your website is a good place to start, and we also look deep into SEO and audience behaviors when it comes to a company’s website. Social media data is useful to determine behaviors and to complement results that may be found in focus groups or surveys. Who are the influencers talking about your brand and what value do they bring? Are your social media communications speaking to your audiences in an effective way?
Social media is a two-way conversation, and it’s important to look at both sides when performing a brand audit. Analyzing sales data provides a lot of insight into the customer journey, and the good news is it’s likely readily available. Examining sales data within a brand audit can reveal strengths and weaknesses – where to double down, where to make changes.
Use The Results To Take Action
A brand audit is a vehicle that needs to drive effective action. Take your findings and create realistic tasks and a timeline of expected results. After your new plans are in place, you can continue to monitor progress and adjust as needed. It’s important to keep in mind that branding is a living thing, something that changes and needs to be continually cared for.
Download this free DIY Brand Audit Checklist and get to work.
DIY Brand Audit Checklist
Complete your own service business brand audit.