A brand audit tells you what’s so now …
What’s an audit? According to dictionary.com – an official examination and verification of accounts and records; or the inspection and examination of a building or other facility to evaluate or improve its appropriateness, safety, or efficiency …
When it comes to branding, a brand audit is a review of your current brand–printed and online; identifying communication channels and target audiences; and providing an analysis of what’s working and what’s not. It’s an examination and evaluation with the goal to improve the brand’s effectiveness.
If you’re thinking about a rebrand … begin with a brand audit
When you’re ready to begin a journey, you must have a starting place. When the decision is made to refresh, restage or reinvent the brand program to market more effectively, a brand audit provides the foundation, the starting place.
A brand audit brings an objective assessment and analysis to all current marketing tools and tactics. Media plans, outreach, and touch points for all audiences are reviewed, analyzed and summarized to show the best opportunities to build a stronger brand program.
It’s similar to the first work done for search engine optimization … where traffic and keywords are analyzed, along with page visits and inquiries. A brand audit is the first phase in brand optimization.
Once you know what’s in place, who the audiences are and where to effectively connect with them, you can decide what fits, what’s out of sync, where the opportunities are for increasing visibility, and what actions will move the organization and brand forward.
A brand audit will check:
Your current communication tools: including how your brand integrates online and offline, in traditional media and new media
Your target audiences: are they defined as audience personas? do you know how each fits into the sales process and what role they play? do you understand what information they need to make a buying decision?
Your place in your market: what do you offer? how do you fit against your competition? what are perceptions or mis-perceptions about your organization or what you offer? what makes you unique? where do your audiences find the “wow!”?
Your touch points with your audiences: what’s the context/touch point when your target audiences choose to engage? what do you have in place? what’s working? what’s missing? what’s out-of-sync?
Your most effective tactics: where are you getting the most response? the most return on your marketing? what is the sales cycle to reach that decision point, that leads a prospect from interested to buyer?
Other areas to review include:
Changes in your industry or category. Past marketing successes or failures. Website analytics to show how audiences are finding you. Trends in your industry. Feedback from your front line people and your sales team.
A brand audit is not a plan, it’s the foundation of a good plan. It’s a way to take a benchmark measurement of what’s in place now, what’s so. Without knowing where you are now, how can you know where to go? (to paraphrase an oft-used quote from the Cheshire Cat)
Is it time to evolve, shift, change-up your marketing?
Then it’s time to start with a brand audit. An audit will give you the time and insight to recognize opportunities–what’s working that you can leverage; where gaps are in communications; how trends are influencing your audiences and their expectations; what’s extraneous that can be eliminated.
A fresh start to a restaged brand program, or a complete rebrand. What fun!
Hmmm … I think I know someone you can call if you’re ready to talk about an audit as the first step towards a rebrand. Call me toll-free, 866.363.4433. Or drop me an Email.
- Meanwhile, you can download our Brand Audit worksheet to use as a reference.
- Or take a look at a successful rename and rebrand on our website, from Enterprise for Employment and Education to Job Growers Incorporated.
- Consider a rebrand, we give you five reasons in this post.
- Wondering if it’s time for a rebrand? We offer five reasons to rebrand so you can test yourself. Download our rebrand guidelines.
- Visit our website to see examples of a brand refresh or rebrand.
When you’re ready for a new direction and better results, it’s time to optimize
Whenever you’re ready to look ahead at new possibilities, whether it’s time to update or reinvent, it’s a good time to look at how to optimize what you’re already doing and build a program that’s focused for the future.
In our free e-book, 10 Steps to Optimize Your Brand, we outline best practices that will generate bigger response from your marketing investment. From focusing on your audiences where they choose, to addressing the importance of your online brand, you’ll learn what it takes to plan, implement and manage a program that delivers bigger results.