Get “Top 20 Rebranding Mistakes to Avoid
and 13 key Questions to Ask Before You Start” eBook

Strong brands are more profitable and increase company value. They enable you to command a premium, ensure customer preference in buying decisions, build customer loyalty which reduces cost of sales and fend off competition.

If your profits are falling and sales are not performing a brand audit will help give you insights into your brand’s impact and performance in the marketplace and, most importantly, why it’s not delivering. 

 

A brand audit is effectively a health check of the brand to identify and address problems areas with a net result of helping you turn things around and grow your bottom line.

Brands are like living entities with life cycles. They start with much excitement and promise, grow and then eventually plateau. It’s at this mature stage of evolvement when they potentially start to loose relevance as customers move on to the latest hot new thing. 

A brand audit health check helps you monitor this cycle so you keep your brand fresh and relevant and know when to reinvigorate or revitalise before sales start to slip. Take a look at the Auditing Analysis Accelerator™ Programme here. It’s a step-by-step process empowering you to audit your brand so you can grow your business and become more profitable.

 

What is a Brand Audit ?

A brand audit is a thorough examination of a brand’s current position in the market compared to its competitors and a review of its effectiveness. It helps you determine the strength of your brand together with its weaknesses or inconsistencies and opportunities for improvement and new developments.

 

 

Why do a Brand Audit ?

Strong brands make more money. The stronger your brand, the more powerful your business. A powerful brand can inspire, captivate and engage your audience and consequently dramatically increase your bottom line. However, even strong brands need a reality check or health check to keep them on track. 

A robust, consistent brand means you spend less money attracting new customers. Your current customers keep coming back to you and you are able to charge a premium price for your goods and services. A powerful brand also encourages referrals, be they online in the social engagement arena or offline in physical form, and are consequently a critical part of the brand and its profitability.

Equally a weak, disconnected, out of touch brand will gradually see its market shrink, failing sales and ultimately put you out of business.

A comprehensive brand audit will often reveal new growth opportunities for your brand, and new ways to make your brand resonate with both existing and a new generation of target customers who will represent your brand’s long term future.

 

A brand audit will help identify both the company and the customer viewpoint in terms of:

• Business / brand resource strengths

• Value of the brand

• Awareness of the brand in the market

• Deficiencies of the brand

• New trends and market opportunities

• Outside threats

• New product development and future channels of profitability

• Competitive standing in the market

• Perception, image, reputation and attitude to the brand in the market

• Effectiveness of brand management efforts

 

AAA-eProduct-Promo-Start-Today-800x700px

 

What are the Deliverables of a Brand Audit ? 

Essentially a brand audit will reveal how the customer perceives your brand, how your brand compares to the competition and how your brand has performed. The outputs will typically support the following:

• Improve and refocus brand management efforts and congruency

• Enhance internal staff brand awareness

• Sharpen marketing communications both on and offline

• Provide insight into your brand architecture, business structure and brand portfolio

• Evaluate and refocus your brand positioning

• Ensure your brand collateral is congruent and delivers return on investment

• Provide direction for your brand into the future

• Secure and grow the value of your brand/business through consistent implementation of recommendations derived from brand audit findings

…and more

What’s Involved in a Brand Audit?

When initiating a brand audit its important to define your brand audit objectives. A brand audit is typically a bespoke service because there are so many different components to an actual audit, all of which may not be relevant or required to conduct an appropriate evaluation of your brand performance. Depending on the level and depth of the work required, you can either conduct your brand yourself or engage a specialist branding agency with the expertise to conduct the brand audit health check on your behalf.

The depth and extent of a brand audit is largely determined by the size of the brand, organisation, market, timescales and budget together with the size and power of your brand relative to the business and market in which you operate. 

 

Key questions for reflection when considering a brand audit include:

• How profitable is the business at present ?

• How well is the current brand strategy working ?

• What are the company’s resource strengths and weaknesses ?

• What are its external opportunities and threats ?

• How competitive are the business’s prices and costs ?

• How strong is the business’s competitive position in comparison to its competitors ?

• What strategic issues are facing the business ?

 

The following is a list of the typical elements of a more extensive brand audit. However a brand audit need not include everything but a more abbreviated selection of those listed.  An audit of a global brand like Coca Cola, Guinness or Wavin will be very different to a national brand like the GAA or artisan brands like O’Egg or McConnells Gourmet Smoked Foods.

 

Strategy Review

• Business plans

• Marketing plans

Brand positioning

• Brand plans

Creative briefs

• Media plans

 

Market Research & Review

Brand positioning research

• Brand asset review

• Brand extension research

• New product/service concept testing

• Pricing

Brand logo recall and recognition testing

• Brand equity measurement: awareness, preference, usage, value, accessibility, relevance, differentiation, vitality, emotional connection, loyalty, associations, personality, culture

 

Communications & Brand Collateral Review

• Website

Online engagement: blogs, social media, video content, e-newsletter, apps etc.

Packaging

• Merchandising

Sales collateral

Advertising and promotion materials

Vehicle livery

Direct marketing

Press kits

• Press releases

• Sponsorships

Business cards, letterheads etc.

• Internal communications

• Intranet site

• Employee training programs

• Employee orientation

• Manager training

• Sales force training

• Flagship locations: premises, offices, stores, etc.

 

External Information Research & Review

• Competitor analysis

• Industry analyst reports

• Customer interview & comments

• Business stakeholder and partner interviews and comments

• Marketing stakeholder interviews

 

Employee Research & Interviews

• Corporate/senior management 

• Marketing personnel 

• Sales force 

• Customer service employees 

• Front line customer contacts

• General employees 

 

Human Resource Reviews

• Mission and vision statements

• Common objectives

• Organisation charts

• Departmental objectives

• Recruitment criteria

• Individual competency benchmarks

• Succession planning specifications

• Planning, resource allocation, systems and processes

 

    

AAA-eProduct-Promo-800x700px

Should I Get an Audit of My Brand?  

Is your brand profitability shrinking, plateaued or growing ?

 

Can you answer the following questions in relation to your brand with authority ? 

• Vision: Who is your brand and what is it striving to become ? Where is it going ?

• Values: What does it stand for ?

• Concept: What business is your brand in and what niche does it fill ?

• Differentiation: How is your brand unique ?

• Promise: What hopes, needs and desires does your brand satisfy ?

• Solution: What problems does your brand solve ?

• Benefit: What are your core brand strengths and advantages ?

• Position: How is your brand versus your competitors perceived in the market ?

• Motivation: What compels people to buy and use your brands products and services ? 

• Expression: What characterizes the way you sell and provide your service ?

 

Are your answers truly representative of how your brand is perceived, performs and delivers in the market place or are you surmising ? Assumptions are dangerous ! 

 

Do you really know what your customers think of your brand together with their needs, wants, loves, hates and aspirations ? You need to know these answers and more in order to grow your brand.

 

If you are struggling to answer these questions or understand your brands performance in relation to some of the information in this article then our Auditing Analysis Accelerator™ Programme is the perfect solution for you. It’s a step-by-step process empowering you to audit your brand so you can grow your business and become more profitable.

 

We’d love to help you address your brand challenges and support you in growing your business and brand. Want us to audit your brand for you? Get in touch E: brand@personadesign.ie or T: +353 1 8322724

 

Remember: Brands don’t kill brands, people do through mismanagement, carelessness and neglect. Nurture and respect your brand and it will deliver ongoing profitable returns.

Got a question or need some help with your brand?

We’re thrilled! Send us a short note and we’ll be in touch.
We do our best to read every message within 48 business hours. We’re kind of obsessive about customer care so if you don’t hear back, that means we didn’t get your message so please do send it again.

“I recently organized a large Business Forum for business owners and stakeholders entitled ‘After the Storm – New Business Opportunities’ to highlight the challenges and changing face of doing business in 2013. I was delighted to engage Lorraine Carter to speak at the Forum as I have seen first hand her expertise in Branding and Design.

More importantly I know Lorraine as a Professional Speaker who delivers not only excellent content but is passionate about the positive financial impact of great branding and design.

Lorraine’s talk entitled ‘Brand Your Way Out of Recession’ was extremely well received. Her clarity, eloquence and use of storytelling evoked clear examples of how both big, medium and even small businesses have reached the top with successful use of effective branding and design.

I’d recommend Lorraine as a Speaker at your next event or conference. She is an expert in what she does but more importantly she is an expert who knows how to speak about it!”

Sharon Cahir | Author Solicitor Lawyers and Leaders Coach and Trainer

“I have had the benefit of working alongside Lorraine Carter with mutual clients and will happily do so again.

Lorraine understands the power of brands for businesses in a way that makes practical sense to businesses. Her dedication to her craft is a great credit to her along with her attention to her clients and the details that matter.

Lorraine understands how to work with people who don’t work with brands on a daily basis and above all Lorraine has a bottom line value orientation. I look forward to continuing working with Lorraine and her team at Persona Branding & Design.”

Dave Gribben Enable Better Business

SHS-500px

“The Maguire & Paterson brand was established in 1882 and therefore the rebranding and new packaging had to be managed in a very sensitive and caring manner.

Persona Branding & Design worked very effectively with the M&P management team ensuring that the findings of consumer research were correctly interpreted and factored into the brand revitalization and new range designs. We found their ability to steer us of significant benefit.

Persona Branding & Design also ensured that we kept our focus on core objectives and diplomatically challenged us at various stages on our thought process, ensuring that any brand preferences did not stray from the core objectives.

We would have no hesitation in recommending Persona Branding & Design and we would be very pleased to speak with any potential client(s).”

Neil ScaifeHead of Commercial Control | SHS Sales & Marketing Ltd

Rubicoin-500px

“Lorraine Carter creates meaningful and immaculately designed brands based on a deep subject matter expertise.  She, through Persona Branding & Design, provides a world class professional services for all sized enterprises.

Her understanding of target markets results in memorable and distinctive work that empathises with end customers. Lorraine brings a uniquely positive energy to every meeting that leaves her clients engaged and delighted.

Emmet SavageFounder and CEO | Rubicoin

“Lorraine Carter is a true marketing professional. She is highly creative and has delivered impactful, innovative brand solutions for my business for almost a decade.”

Rita AhernManaging Director | Food Matters

Connemara-Seafoods-500px

“Persona Branding & Design supports our company with an excellent level of creativity in all areas of branding, design and marketing. They listen, understand and interpret our needs perfectly with a formidable proficiency in execution. It is only fair to say that our company expectations of original briefs have always been exceeded.”

Andy MulloyManaging Director | Connemara Seafoods Ltd

Caterhire-500px“I have worked with Persona Branding & Design for more than 8 years. They have become an invaluable extension of our team, working with us in a flexible, intelligent and pragmatic way.

Once commissioned, they became part of the business extending their expert opinion and brilliant creative solutions in total harmony with our requirements which has achieved great results. This is important since it is often the detail that can make or break a business relationship.  Their work philosophy is the best contract a client can hope to receive.”

Gavin DivillyManaging Director | Cater Hire Ireland Ltd

Wavin-500px“Persona Design successfully applied their extensive branding experience from consumer goods directly to an important industrial B2B product range within our organisation. This was pivotal in the formulation of our brand communications strategy which also included design, packaging, point of sale material and brand promotional plan, all of which contributed to a very successful commercial outcome.”

Michael O’DonohueCountry Director | Wavin Ireland Ltd

“Lorraine is an excellent start to finish project manager with tremendous creativity and ability to work budgets and timelines effectively.”

Kelley SpillaneSenior Vice President | Castle Brands

Country-Crest-500px“I can’t say enough about the excellent work that Persona Branding & Design has done for us. They didn’t just look at our design requirements but challenged us to really look at the fundamentals of our brand and our target market.

They fully engaged with our team and questioned our thinking, providing strong guidance when needed to keep us all on track. Not only is their work exceptional but it’s an absolute pleasure to work with them too.

The end product has evoked huge comment from customers and buyers alike as to its thought provoking branding, design and uniqueness, thus putting Country Crest into a whole different zone of marketing.”

Tony Doyle Commercial Director | Country Crest

“Lorraine Carter from Persona Design recently presented at our Dell Social Media Event on the importance of Brand for Corporate and Self. Lorraine provided great tips, many of them thought-provokingfrom her vast experience in developing brands, as an individual, for customers and the importance of building relationships.

I would highly recommend Lorraine as a trusted advisor on Brand Development and Management.”

Joan ByrneSaaS Portfolio Manager EMEA | Dell Inc

Zed-Candy-500px“Persona Design has always exceeded the objectives of our briefs. Their level of interaction and creative rigour offering a range of fresh concepts is brilliant.

Apart from being great people to work with, Persona Branding & Design offers an unbeatable combination in their level of service, lateral thinking, attention to detail, strategic focus and commitment to all projects undertaken. They are a key asset within my company and I would be delighted to personally recommend their services.”

Donal KavanaghSales & Marketing Director | Zed Candy Ltd

“Persona Design are very talented brand consultants and packaging design experts. They are knowledgeable, creative and highly dependable. My company has hired them for a number of projects and we have always been very pleased with the results.

In fact, several of their projects for us have won prestigious awards. I highly recommend Persona Branding & Design.”

Mark Andrews IIIChairman of the Board | Castle Brands Inc

Robert-Roberts-500px“Persona Branding & Design has adroitly managed several of our most important brand design briefs over the past couple of years and in doing so brought a high degree of creativity plus in depth knowledge in dealing with packaging and print suppliers that was vital for the completion of the successful end product.

Their attention to detail and open book costing consistently ensures no surprises on design or origination quotations.”

Gerry MurphyMarketing Director | Robert Roberts Ltd

“I was delighted to be a participant in Lorraine’s Master class on Branding, Packaging and Design. Lorraine has extensive experience is this area and her third party examples of clients she has worked with really drove the message home on the importance of one’s brand and how powerful it can be.

She is passionate in her message and delivers it with conviction. I strongly recommend her as a trainer, speaker in the area of branding, packaging and design as she is truly an expert.”

Margaret Hoctor Personal Coach | Trainer | Mentor and Facilitator

Wavin-500px“Persona Design has worked with Wavin on the creation and development of the new branding and marketing collateral for the launch of a new range of premium products.

They worked closely with our commercial team during this period to deliver a fantastic launch, on time and within budget. I would highly recommend Persona Branding & Design to anyone who is looking for a company that adds value through innovative ideas.”

Brendan MurphyCommercial Director Wavin UK & Ireland | Wavin UK Ltd

“Lorraine is a highly experienced and expert marketing professional. That’s just one way of putting it. She is an expert public speaker and her passion for subject matter shines though when she presents on a subject that is obviously close to her heart. Highly professional and credible, she is always looking for the best way to apply her talent for her clients best interest.

Her firm is highly successful in delivering strategic marketing projects for their prestigious client base. I have no hesitation in offering my highest recommendation for Lorraine and her team at Persona Branding & Design”

Paul C DwyerGlobal Cyber Security Expert

“Lorraine’s depth of knowledge in branding is immense. I have attended some of her courses and also see first hand the benefits Persona Branding & Design can bring to a business. I am always happy to recommend Lorraine.”

Ruaidhri PrendergastTechnology Sales Engine | Tech Marketing | Sofware | SaaS | FinTech | Hardware | 10x Return on Investment | Co-Founder | Ingenuity

“I have known of Lorraine’s high quality work for a number of years and in late 2008 I finally had the opportunity to work with her in developing a brand and marketing strategy for an upcoming awards ceremony.

Lorraine patiently guided the team through the process and was excellent in identifying the nuances, do’s and don’ts of our target market. We started out thinking a brand was just a logo but now know better!

Before this however, Lorraine had sat down for coffee on an number of occasions with my colleague and I on a different venture and was very generous with her time and sharing her knowledge. I aim to call on Lorraine many times in the future and look forward to it.”

Ian Lawlor New Business | Lotus Investment Group

“I’d be happy to recommend Lorraine Carter and her company, Persona Branding & Design, to any client who wants an enthusiastic and passionate business partner to produce compelling brands built on a sound strategy.”

Tim HealyMercator Marketing Research

“Lorraine is both highly creative and strategic. Her professional and flexible approach combined with her attention to detail resulted in exceptional work which perfectly met the clients needs. A pleasure to work with. I’d happily recommend her for any brand project!”

Alayne RooneyMarketing Consultant

Top-20-Tips-EBook

Get Free Articles each week that give you proven brand strategies for growing a profitable business and becoming a brand influence. Free Bonus Gift “Top 10 Rebranding Mistakes and 13 Key Questions To Ask Before You Start”