A brand audit is an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s existing brand. It gives an unbiased look at management and marketing effectiveness by looking at brand communications, customer perceptions and competitive positioning – critical steps in determining a brand’s equity. A comprehensive audit will identify brand growth opportunities including the potential benefits of brand repositioning and extension. Ultimately the process should result in recommendations to improve brand positioning, marketing effectiveness and overall brand equity.
What are you saying about your brand? Are your communications consistent with your actions? Do people remember your logo and tagline? Is there an emotional connection and loyalty around your products and services? The goal is to determine where your brand stands in the marketplace. You have to know where you are in order to determine how to get to your destination.
Through a marketing audit you will evaluate your promotional materials, internal and external communications, pricing, packaging and more. By standardizing your message on your website, business cards, press releases, company correspondence – even your employee training programs – you are building a solid brand foundation that is focused on organizational values and vision.
What are your customers saying about your brand? Does it live up to their expectations? It’s important to ask customers for the whole truth – the good, the bad, and the ugly. You want to get better, right? Don’t be afraid to ask.
During this process you will evaluate customer perceptions such as product awareness, relevance, and loyalty. These elements are critical to a product or service’s ultimate success. Customer feedback gives you an honest look at the message you are currently delivering, and how it differs from the message your organization is trying to send.
What are your competitors saying about their brand? It’s important to understand the successes and failures of your competition’s branding to pinpoint the similarities and differences from your own. This level of understanding creates actionable items that can be used to differentiate your brand in ways that appeal to your current and potential customer base. Additionally, you may uncover opportunities in market segments that have been underserved by your competition.
To build a more successful brand, it is critical to understand every element of your current brand position. A brand audit shows exposes your true brand effectiveness, and gives the fuel you need to propel your organization to new heights.
Craig Johnson is the chief strategist and co-founder of Matchstic, a premier brand identity house. His Atlanta based branding agency helps organizations create passionate brands that are memorable, relevant, and lasting. Specializing in brand development through process driven solutions, Matchstic’s services include: brand audit, brand positioning and strategy, brand and product naming and brand identity development. Matchstic’s brand architects forge positive change and accomplish business objectives through creative thinking and smart design.