A brand audit is a thorough analysis of your brand’s performance. It looks at how your company is performing compared to its competitors, what kind of experience your customers are having, and whether your values and your messaging are aligned. An audit will make sure you’re clear about who your target customer is, what story your company’s marketing and communication are telling that customer, and whether your brand is reaching those customers effectively. Finally, it allows your team to combine all of this information into a clear strategy that fits with your brand’s goals.
When you conduct a brand audit, you’ll start by coming up with a list of all the data points you want to consider. Then you’ll identify your primary goals, and create a plan based on those goals. Then, you’ll collect and analyze data, and then use those insights to find solutions and plan for the future. The data points you look at include getting the opinions of your customers and employees, as well as members of your target demographic who aren’t customers, through focus groups and surveys. You should look at your marketing materials and your website. Then, evaluate analytics data like your bounce rate, conversion rate, and where traffic is coming from. Finally, look at your social media pages, both qualitative engagement data and the story you’re telling about your brand. Your marketing team can do this yourselves, or you can hire an outside expert.
How can a brand audit benefit your business?
Performing regular brand audits is essential for both successful and struggling businesses. Taking the time to look at all of your company’s communications, the analytics data you collect regularly and survey data from employees and customers lets you find connections you might have otherwise missed. A brand audit can provide many different benefits for your business.
Identify strengths and weaknesses
A brand audit allows you to step back from the day-to-day responsibilities of running and expanding your business. It gives you more time to analyze where your business is doing well and where it’s struggling. For example, if your visual marketing is stronger than your written marketing, you may discover a better response to your Instagram posts than to your emails. Depending on your goals, you might respond by either making your emails more visual or improving your written communications.
Prepare for rebranding
If you’re planning for a complete rebrand or even just an update to your website, a brand audit can clarify your goals. Starting with a solid understanding of what your brand’s message is now gives you a better understanding of what you’d like to change and how to do that effectively. It can also show you why changes in certain areas might be necessary.
Catch up with growth
Fast growth is great for your business. However, it can also mean that your company outgrew or drifted away from its original brand image while expanding. Maybe one type of product was much more popular than another, and that shifted your brand’s focus. Maybe you never really solidified a brand strategy at all. Either way, a brand audit is a great opportunity to step back. This gives you insight into where your brand’s communication and messaging may need to be updated.
Understand your position in your market
A brand audit can give you insight into how your company is viewed compared to your competitors, especially if you take time to survey both customers and members of your target demographic who aren’t customers. This non-customer group can provide valuable information about brand awareness and where you might be losing interest from potential customers.
Understand your competitors
When you perform a brand audit, you’ll evaluate your own messaging along with that of your competitors. You can get a sense of how your competitors present themselves and communicate with potential customers. Strategic comparison lets you find areas where you can differentiate your business more effectively.
Find and fix problems
If your sales are stagnating or declining, or your website isn’t getting much traffic, a brand audit can give you the data needed to figure out why. The holistic view that comes from looking at your website analytics and your marketing materials at the same time can allow you to make insights that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Align internal and external branding
Whether your business is new and doesn’t have a clear direction yet or you feel that your external marketing isn’t expressing your core values, a comprehensive review of your branding can bring all of your messaging into alignment. An audit gives you the chance to compare how your employees and your customers see your brand. Additionally, it identifies the messaging problem if those perspectives are very different. If your internal messaging isn’t giving your employees an accurate sense of what you want your values and mission to be, those employees won’t convey them to customers effectively.
Understand customer experience
In addition to gathering data on how customers perceive your brand, an audit is also a good time to test how your website looks and functions from the customer’s end. Confirm that making a purchase feels easy and logical. Also look into whether problems like slow shipping times are causing frustration. This allows you to address those issues.
Grow your business
Performing an effective brand audit helps you achieve your ultimate goal of growing your business. Gathering and reviewing comprehensive data shows you what’s working and where your business’s weak points are. The insights that come from a brand audit allow you to put out a coherent. This is consistent messaging to your customers, potential customers, and employees. This sets your company up for long-term success.
To get the most benefit from a brand audit, your company will also need to follow up on the insights you gain by updating your branding and continuing to evaluate how well those changes go. Since you should audit your brand at least every few years, make a tentative plan for when you’ll perform your next audit. While you can complete a brand audit internally, working with an outside professional can lead to better results. Someone who isn’t part of your company can provide a more objective view and see things that an insider might have missed. To get an expert outside perspective, schedule a free consultation with a BrandCraft brand strategist today.