To get started, I am going to pose three questions to help you see your brand through a different lens. You might discover your brand is in need of a good, strong Brand Audit. Think about it as the kind of regular check up. You know, the kind you get from your doctor. The prognosis will inform you whether your brand is in good shape (or not). You’ll find out whether your brand issues are getting in the way of your business success (or not). Here goes:
PLEASE NOTE: If you answer ‘no’ (or, hmmm, I’m not sure), then it’s time for some serious brand therapy and, of course, a Brand Audit. Here goes:
Q1: IS YOUR BRAND 100% IRRESISTIBLE TO YOUR AUDIENCE?
Q2: IS YOUR BRAND DOING EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESSFUL AND PROFITABLE?
Q3: DO YOU HAVE UNRESOLVED BRAND ISSUES THAT ARE GETTING IN THE WAY OF YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS?
Q4: ARE YOU CRAVING TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU REALLY STAND IN THE MARKETPLACE?
Q5: DO YOU SENSE YOUR COMPANY HAS GONE OFF THE BOIL AND YOU NEED TO RAMP UP YOUR IMPACT AND REPUTATION?
OK. First, let’s look at the facts:
FACT 1: STRONG BRANDS MAKE MORE MONEY
The stronger your brand, the more powerful your organization and the better you can inspire, captivate and engage your audience. After you do your own brand audit, your brand emerges with a clarity and ability to make more meaningful emotional connections in a world with a low attention span.
FACT 2: STRONG BRANDS NEED A REALITY CHECK
Do you know there are thousands of snippets of dialogue, conversations and clues going on inside your brand every second? Today it’s critical, more than ever, to understand the tone of these conversations, tap into the underlying and invisible clues, issues and intentions, and then turn them around so you can create a more synergistic and congruent brand dialogue that will provoke and captivate your audience. It provides the foundation for creating powerful, highly effective marketing programs.
FACT 3: BRAND AUDITS PRODUCE BIG BENEFITS
1 Impacts the bottom line because the money’s in the brand.
2 Your marketing efforts effortlessly kick into high gear.
3 Lands a clear spot in the psyche of your target market.
4 Differentiates your brand as a desirable (i.e. a client attraction magnet.)
5 Creates immediate emotional connections with your target.
6 Creates a highly enhanced image for your organization overall.
7 Presents you as an innovative and memorable marketplace leader.
8 Re-energized brand storytelling resonates and hits home (like never before.)
9 Gives you a distinct competitive advantage (while competitors still scratching their heads).
10 Easily attracts raving fans who champion your cause.
11 Provides an enhanced sense of proud ownership across the board
12 Your credibility factor soars and generates buzz.
13 Aligned and authentic energy has a powerful ripple effect.
THE BEST PART ABOUT THE BRAND AUDIT?
IT BUILDS AN INTUITIVELY AND EMOTIONALLY CAPTIVATING BRAND So this is about enhancing your marketing programs. Creating a bigger and bolder brand; and then watch as your organization becomes more visible, credible and more profitable.
5 CLUES: HOW TO KICKSTART YOUR OWN BRAND AUDIT
1 Check for the kind of invisible clues that your brand is emitting on a daily basis. Start with looking at the language you are using, and what you are asking your audience to do. Is there total clarity, transparency? Or are you muddying the message?
2 What’s the overall attitude or tone of your brand? If we’re looking at your website’s home page, is it welcoming and friendly in tone, or is it keeping me at arm’s length?
3 What kind of score would you give the energy levels of your brand? Is it high energy or is it just very low energy — on simmer, so to speak!? You know yourself the kind of energy that attracts you in other people, right? It might be bright, fun, relaxed and optimistic, for example. If that resonates with you, then make sure your energy levels reflect fun, relaxed and welcoming.
4 What’s the feeling people get when they visit your site or business? Today, the most important piece in marketing and branding is connecting and engaging with other people. Living and working in a vacuum is not going to win you any points. This is about building community, and community means people — and building meaningful connections with them.
5 Is your marketing message about your business all about you? or is it showing your readers/visitors that you understand their issues, their problems, and you have the exact solution to their problem? The biggest problem I discover when I do Brand Audits? It’s finding the ‘same old, same old’ in print and online. It’s seeing business after business just talk about themselves, forever! So here’s the deal. In your own Audit, take a serious look at how much you are raving on about you and what you offer. Then, scratch that all out, and start again. Think now about what it is that you offer, deliver and the main benefits. THAT’S what your audience wants to know, and when they get that message from you, their reaction is going to be: I need to speak to that person, right now.