Consider this: your brand had been doing well initial years of its inception, but recently things have taken a fall. There’s a dip in inquiries, your brand’s market share is decreasing, and there are minimum repeat customer purchases. You wonder what exactly is the reason customers are no longer attracted to your once-vouched brand. You want to seek answers to your brand’s debilitating performance and hence are in a fix.
The solution – is a brand audit.
An inside-out review of your brand to help you determine factors impacting your brand’s business and scope; brand audits are usually conducted periodically depending on your business needs. However, most brands tend to have audits conducted once every three years.
In this article, we share with you the scope of a brand audit to help you determine exactly what it is and why your brand really needs one.
What is a brand audit?
A brand audit is a comprehensive analysis of your brand. Its main aim is to assess your brand’s position in the marketplace and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.
A brand audit covers three main areas:
- Internal Branding -this includes your brand values, your mission and company culture.
- External Branding – this includes how your business is viewed by your Target Audience and if your brand messaging is still aligned with the brand’s mission, vision and ethos. Channels evaluated will include logo, print and online advertising, social media presence, content and email marketing.
- Customer Experience – This includes your sales process, customer support and customer service policies.
A brand audit helps determine your brand’s strategy and execution. It ensures that your brand is positioned the way you want it to be. This in turn encourages brand recall and builds positive brand equity amongst your customers as your brand becomes recognizable and well-thought-of.
Different industries have varying methodologies to conduct brand audits, but regardless of the criteria you choose, a brand audit should help:
- Analyze your brand’s performance
- Determine your brand’s strengths and weaknesses
- Analyze your target audience
- Adapt your strategy to the expectations of your customers
- Identify your competitive advantage in the market
Why do you need a brand audit?
A brand audit is an indispensable part of your business and marketing strategy. If you are better informed of your customers’ preferences, positioning your brand will be easier. Here’s exactly why you need a brand audit:
To determine audience receptivity
By conducting a brand audit, you can better learn what your customers like and dislike about your brand. In this way, you can identify areas for improvement that will help your brand connect well with your audience.
To establish cohesive brand goals
A brand audit helps you see the performance of your brand’s goals and whether or not it’s delivering the desired results. This process helps you reassess your goals and make necessary changes to keep your brand relevant and successful.
To set yourself apart from your competitors
When you conduct an effective brand audit, it helps set you apart from your competitors and makes your audience see why they should come to you from amongst the plethora of options available to them in the market. It highlights your brand values and reinforces them for your customers.
To bring in new business
A brand audit can help improve your business by addressing the audience’s pain points. This can attract new clients and customers who are willing to invest in a brand that promises a viable solution to their issues.
What does a brand audit cover?
A brand audit can be seen as an extension of a SWOT analysis of your brand, but it dives deeper into brand strategy and look at facets like long-term brand loyalty and retention.
Below are some of the parameters it covers, but are not limited to only them.
Surveys are integral to gauging customer reception and sentiment. For brands, surveys provide an opportunity to understand how the audience are perceiving their overall product and messaging amongst competing products and services. It provides you with the opportunity to improve upon the areas which your customers deem important such as targeting the right market and improving the brand image.
SWOT analysis identifies your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The assessment of brand keywords is an essential aspect of SWOT analysis. It discovers the utility and performance of keywords. It categorizes them into navigational, transactional, and informational, depending on their role in the user journey. SWOT analysis also helps with a content audit and determines which content types are driving the most engagement. Is it blog posts, newsletters, ebooks, or case studies? Or is it more visual content like videos, infographics, and carousels?
Target Audience Analysis
A target audience analysis helps improve your product’s user experience by incorporating fresh analysis through a UX Audit. It helps you understand why your brand’s product needs to receive the desired traction. It provides actionable recommendations to counter the product’s shortcomings and improve the user experience.
It also enables you to draw out a user journey map where it plots out how the user discovers you, what they expect from you, what they find in your content, and how they leave- are they delighted or disappointed? This can be through a physical store experience, the online customer journey experience or a combination of both online and offline.
Competitor analysis is an important step in formulating a successful business strategy. By engaging in this type of research, you will gain a competitive advantage and be able to draw in loyal customers. Having a thorough competitive analysis as part of your initial business plan ensures that you stay ahead of the competition.
Brand Pillar Alignment:
Brand pillar alignment is all about brand consistency. It measures how well your brand fulfils its brand promises i.e the claims it makes to your customers regarding the brand utilities and offerings. Brand pillar alignment is strengthened by having clear crisp brand messaging related by employees who are on the same page when it comes to understanding and communicating your brand messaging.
Should brand audits be conducted in-house or outsourced to branding agencies and specialists?
Conducting a brand audit cohesively is no easy feat.
It requires a good amount of market research skills and not to mention the time it takes to conduct it effectively. If you are looking for audit results that will help you make intelligent and profitable decisions for your business, outsourcing your brand audit to a reputable branding agency is probably your best bet. Entrusting it to the hands of people with the expertise can free up your time and headspace to work on other things.
Reach out to us for a chat for more information on our brand audit packages.