Written by Barbara Bogue
So you’ve been in business for a while now but new leads are dwindling… you need new clients! What are you doing wrong? How can you jumpstart your marketing and breathe some fresh air into your awareness strategy to shake some new interest out of the woodwork?
Maybe the market has changed and your offering needs tweaking. Maybe there is a new competitor on the horizon who’s stealing your thunder? Maybe it’s the end of a season and you need help planning your product roadmap for the future. Or perhaps you hope to develop an inspiring new direction for your sales organization for the new year.
Whatever the case, you may be due for a brand audit.
What is a brand audit?
Marketing professionals can offer you the services of a brand audit. This involves a thorough analysis of your company or product brand, as reflected by your logo, website, collateral, and customer experience–all the outward-facing elements that reflect on your reputation and the public perception of your product or service. A brand audit can be sort of like a report card. And like a report card, there is a comparative aspect to a brand audit. Where do you rank on the curve, if you will, made up of other competitors in your space.
Why do competitors matter?
Businesses compete on lots of different levels. Not all companies that sell “widgets” let’s say, are created equal. Do you sell primarily to a local geographic area with a physical storefront? Or do you sell on a national scale with a wide-reaching web presence? Are you highly specialized or do you offer a wide variety? All of these aspects are relevant to your brand audit because the ultimate goal is to make you stand out as unique and superior when compared to your competitors. So you must to be careful that your audit is comparing apples to apples. When considering your brand it's necessary to understand the value proposition you are offering and what makes you unique.
What does a brand audit look like?
Brand audit reports can take on several forms. From a design perspective, I like to look at the outward visual aspects of the brand – the brand assets – and evaluate if they are reflective of what the current market needs. Does the brand stand out? Does it speak to the buyers or have they shifted in some way in terms or age or style or other demographics? Is the brand memorable and communicating a perceived value? Your brand audit should be able to answer these vital questions and recommend some suggestions for improvement.
Depending on the scale and focus of your brand audit it might include all or any of the following:
• Logo & business system
• Brand positioning
• Value proposition
• Product pricing
• Tagline or campaign slogan
• Colors or other design elements
• Company “voice” and copywriting style
• Sales pitch deck
• Storefront, signage, merchandising
• Vehicles & uniforms
• Lead-gen tactics
• Communications, email, newsletters
• Direct mail
• Employee & customer onboarding
• Press and social media
• Internal communications, training
Who is involved in a brand audit?
Again, the extent of your brand audit depends on the goals you are trying to meet. Larger companies often have a lot of “cooks in the kitchen” or various department players, all with some sort of impact on the brand. This may require a more extensive audit process involving various stakeholders through interviews, meetings and information gathering techniques.
Possible organization stakeholders might include:
• Corporate Strategy
• Market Research
• Communications & Design
• Sales & Marketing
• Human Resources
• Product Management
• Customer Support or Service Techs
What do you do with a brand audit?
Your brand audit is your formula to move forward. From the conclusions outlined in the audit, your organization can build the plan for the future to meet your overall goals.
>> Designers can refresh or revise the logo and design of the brand assets to better differentiate the brand and resonate with the right buyers.
>> Product teams can develop an agile roadmap for a more competitive future product.
>> Marketing teams can develop new messaging, website, collateral and more to reflect a new, revitalized brand.
>> Human resource recruiters and managers can focus on hiring the right people and developing the rock-stars who will make your brand successful.
>> Media reps will have new stories and lead-generation assets to share that will drive awareness and bring in new customers.
A brand audit may be just the ticket
When looking to refocus and improve your bottom line, a brand audit may be just the ticket. The brand audit will help you develop that all-important roadmap that drives all the functioning departments and individuals in your company to make it successful in the long term. With a refreshed brand thanks to your brand audit, you’ll soon feel that breath of fresh air and feel that spark of rejuvenated clients, revenue and buzz you’ve been hoping for.
Look out world. Here you come!
Hi. I'm Barbara Bogue. The name [double b] came from my initials. Here I share tips and advice on marketing, design and copywriting.
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