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.
• 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
• 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
• Online engagement: blogs, social media, video content, e-newsletter, apps etc.
• Sales collateral
• Advertising and promotion materials
• Vehicle livery
• Direct marketing
• Press kits
• Press releases
• 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.