In a world full of business complexities and constantly changing expectations, it’s essential for a brand to know who and what they are. Some brands do know exactly who they are, their values, their consumers’ expectations, and their biggest brand challenges. However, that knowledge doesn’t come from sitting back and letting the world happen. It comes from taking proactive steps to ensure brand longevity and prepare for potential market, consumer, or world changes. One of the first steps you can take is to conduct a brand audit.
A Famous Flop
Take Netflix, for example. In the mid-to-late 2000s, Netflix was a direct-mail alternative to the brick & mortar movie rental stores like Blockbuster. Notably, one brand took brand evolution to heart and reflected early and often. Can you guess which one? Through changing technologies and consumer expectations, Netflix evolved with its target market through its product and brand promise. From mailing DVDs, they went to online rentals and then to streaming. And now, in an age where streaming is saturated, they’ve differentiated once again with their original content.
Netflix has and continues to reflect on its brand constantly. As you know, it’s paid off. Blockbuster adapted too late. No longer were consumers wanting a friendly neighborhood video rental service. Nor were they buying into Blockbuster’s brand promises of ‘convenient’ and ‘easy.’ Their brand was never quite able to catch up to the product and brand quality of Netflix, and you know the rest of the story. Making sure your brand is ready for potential industry changes or how consumers perceive you is essential to your continued success.
What is a Brand Audit?
A brand is a complex beast shaped by numerous internal factors like work culture and talent and important external factors like the market and competition. Finding out the what, who, and why of your brand is where a brand audit comes into play. Through a thorough internal and external research and discovery process, a brand audit can analyze how your brand interacts in the marketplace and the benefits and negatives associated with your current positioning.
The Nitty Gritty
Every brand audit is different in its own unique way. Some brands require a deeper dive into the consumer. Some require extensive background on the market. And some require a significant amount of market speculation. There are no hard and fast rules for a brand audit, but there are a few things you can expect a brand audit to cover.
The performance of your brand
To understand where a brand needs to go, we first need to understand where it’s been. This step is a process where no stone is left unturned. A good brand audit will find both the good and the not-so-good moments, feelings, and stories associated with your brand.
Discover where your brand is resonating. And where it’s not hitting the mark
Brand audits give any business a chance to find out what is currently working and what isn’t, both in messaging as well as the values and assumptions at the core of the brand. Maybe something you’ve always held as true isn’t something that audiences value or isn’t communicated in a way that resonates. This deep dive into your brand's core can reveal some of the measures you’ll need to take to stay on track.
Plain and simple, target audiences are tricky. The audience you are targeting now may not be the best demographic fit for your services or product. Brand audits give you a chance to better define your audiences and paired with targeting methods. They can ensure that you’re hitting the right target every time.
Aligned strategic objectives to fulfill consumer’s expectations
Once you know your target audience, a brand can begin to strategize how to best meet their expectations. Be it campaigns, updated service requirements, product sourcing objectives or anything in between, brand audits help you figure out what moves to make next and why.
My Company is Doing Just Fine. Why Should I Care?
Because you know that success doesn’t happen by sitting back and hoping for the best. It comes from careful preparation and mindful decision-making. We care about our partners’ future success and are ready to help you take the first step in the auditing process.
Download this free DIY Brand Audit Checklist and get to work.
DIY Brand Audit Checklist
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