What is a brand audit? It can be incredibly difficult to determine the position and worth of your business from the inside; it is not a type of reflection that always occurs naturally or spontaneously, but in order to ensure that you don’t head recklessly forward in what is potentially the wrong direction, a thorough examination, or brand audit, of your position in the market place and of your future goals is necessary.
A brand audit is aimed at asking and answering these questions, and this article goes a little deeper into the whos, hows, and whys of the process.
What does an audit entail?
Brand auditing can involve covering a vast array of material, essentially your whole business, from logo to packaging. You need to pay special attention to how your brand is perceived from the outside; look in detail at customer experience, and the external perception of customer support and after purchase support. It may be the case that internal impressions and external experiences do not match, in which case careful action must be taken in order to bring the two closer together.
Other specifics deserve attention as well. Social media is constantly updating its aesthetic, and keeping up with this is imperative in order to avoid appearing outdated. The same goes with apps, logos, and websites.
Font, colour, and border styles go in and out of style, and customers expect to see brands match these trends to a certain extent. This doesn’t mean changing the core of your brand entirely, but it may necessitate tweaking small things.
The big picture
In addition to the specifics like customer experience and website aesthetic, the audit should also look at the big picture. Your brand may have had a clear idea of what it wanted to achieve when it started, but has that ideology lost focus?
Has the marketplace changed, does your original target customer base still exist, or have market trends shifted? All of these need in-depth assessment to make sure you’re still offering a desired and viable product or service.
Look at the competition
This should have been done as part of your initial market research, and should be constantly monitored, but taking an in depth look at what the competition is doing is an important part of the audit process.
Examine the leading competitors using the same metrics used to judge your own business, and see what you can learn from them, both from their successes and as a way of avoiding their blunders.
Who should do it?
Who you get to do your brand audit depends on how big your brand is, and whether you think you have the capabilities of carrying one out yourself.
External companies will be able to bring a fresh perspective, and potentially provide valuable insights which would not have occurred to someone deeply integrated in the organisation.
You can of course attempt to carry out much of the audit yourself should you lack the resources to outsource, but generally a branding or design agency will have the experience to to be more more thorough.
If you’re looking to discuss a brand audit further, we’d love to be the agency for you. Head to our contact form or call our friendly team today on +44 (0)1225 466 080.