Over time, with different designers and staff contributing to a company’s brand identity, it can lose clarity and purpose. A Brand Audit can tell you where and how your brand may be losing its spark. Then you can create an action plan to rekindle the love!
When Do I Need To Get A Brand Audit?
You need to consider having a brand audit when:
- Your company is losing ground to competitors
- Your company is focus has changed
- You are slipping in the search engines
- Your brand identity has become visually diluted
- Sales are dropping
- Your marketing strategies are not helping sales
- No one knows who you are
What Is Involved In A Brand Audit?
Depending on the size and scope of a company, brand audits can vary greatly. Global companies perform brand audits that can include in-depth market research with both customers and in-house staff, UX testing, SEO audits and a business strategy evaluation.
Small companies can do their own market research by simply interviewing customers and staff. Putting yourself in their shoes can show you how your product helps solve their problems—or not! Other metrics can tell you if your message is reaching them, and if you are targeting the right audience for your product.
For smaller businesses with limited resources for research and testing, there is a lot to be learned from looking at key metrics and the overall branding strategy.
Conducting a brand audit can include:
Overall Brand Identity Evaluation
Brands with a consistent, clear and compelling brand identity are the ones customers fall in love with. People buy from brands they feel a connection with.
When people know who you are and what you stand for, you will attract customers who want what you are offering.
Important strategic elements to look for include:
- Is your messaging clear? Will people know what you do, immediately?
- Do your graphics, logo and color palette represent your company’s personality?
- Are your marketing materials consistent across all platforms?
- Is your social voice consistent with your company’s identity?
- Does your tagline reflect your company’s purpose or value?
- Does your copy compelling people to buy?
Read more about Brand Strategy
An Analysis Of Your SEO Footprint
If your Brand Identity evaluation shows a strong, consistent presence, and you still have a drop in sales, then it’s time to look at your SEO footprint. Your message may not be reaching people.
A full-blown audit involves many components, but with the right tools, you can quickly see why search engines are (or are not!). You can see:
- Your page rank
- Your website traffic
- Where your traffic is coming from
- If your website pages are optimized
- If you are following SEO best practices in your content writing
- If the content you are creating and if it aligns with your marketing goals
- What keywords you are currently ranking for
- What your competitors are ranking for
- What keyword opportunities you could nurture
- If you have duplicate content or 404 errors
- Your bounce rate
Google Analytics provides a goldmine of data and insights into your website’s performance. No matter what the size or your company, you can do this yourself at no cost.
If your budget allows, an SEO guru can use more sophisticated tools to dig deeper into your site’s analytics and show you how your website stacks up against your competition. They can assess the back end of your site to see if there are issues that may be causing penalties, and make recommendations for implementing a better SEO strategy.
Read more about SEO – SEO 101: How it Works
A Deeper Brand Audit
A deeper, more comprehensive brand audit can include a review of your:
- Business Plan
- Marketing Plan
- Media footprint
- Social presence
- User Experience testing (UX)
- Brand collateral
- Promotional materials
- Partner relationships
- Staff training and customer interaction style
- Physical assets assessment (office space, retail space, even vehicles)
Using Market Research
Companies use market research to gather a wealth of information about their brand. This information includes:
- Competitor analysis
- Customer interviews to define target personas
- Management and staff interviews
- Company policies
- Referral sources
- Where new market opportunities may be
Benefits Of Brand Audits
You might be asking yourself – “why conduct a brand audit?” Not only will a brand audit show you where your company is performing well, it will also flag any potential problems. There are many benefits to conducting a brand audit, and these benefits include:
- Developing a more consistent brand identity. This will help build recognition and trust.
- Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your brand. This will help you plan new marketing strategies.
- Recognizing your strengths. This will help you define the unique qualities that differentiate your company in your market.
- Gaining a deeper connection and understanding with your customers. This will help you create products that will improve your customers lives and solve their problems.
- Improves the quality of communication with customers. This will give your customers a better experience with your brand.
- Tracking and measuring online performance. This will allow you to improve your rank, traffic and conversion, so you will see an increase in sales.
- Improvement of internal staff collaboration. This will help all of your employees work towards a common goal.
- Improves staff morale, as they will feel valued and be making a contribution to the brand.
Why Conduct A Brand Audit?
Conducting a Brand Audit can be one of the most important things you can do to build your brand. Over time, with changing staff and rapidly changing technology, your brand identity may go off track and lose its way. This can led to a loss of customer loyalty.
Taking a hard look at where your brand needs more love can help you create an action plan, timeline and budget to keep your brand healthy and on tracking.
Companies often find it hard to let go of current practices. Consulting with a marketing expert can help give you an objective point of view, and bring in new ideas and the resources to conduct a professional Brand Audit. Learning how your brand is perceived by your prospects and clients can guide you in creating a new action plan. Knowing where you stand in the search engines will show you where you need to strengthen your rank. Taking these steps will go a long way to rekindling the fire in your brand!
Learn more about Marketing Consulting Services