What Is a Brand Audit and Why Get One? (infographic)

Companies with strong brands are more profitable and valuable. However, it’s normal for organizations to go through tough times.

Maybe your sales aren’t as high as they used to be or your customers don’t seem to be responding well to your message. If you’ve found yourself wondering where and how your brand went wrong, you’re not alone.

All organizations need to step back every once in a while, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and identify potential areas for growth and change. A brand audit can provide that—and more!

Below, we’ll help you out by giving you an overview of the following details:
  • What a brand audit is
  • Why a brand audit is beneficial for your company
  • How you can conduct a brand audit
  • What you should do once your brand audit is complete

What Is a Brand Audit?

A brand audit is a method of looking at data to determine how you can enhance your business image. It’s essentially a thorough examination of a brand’s effectiveness and performance compared to its competitors.

Brand audits look at two different aspects of your branding: your internal branding and your external branding.
  • External branding incorporates the promise your organization makes to consumers. This type of branding includes things like your logo, website, social media presence, and ad initiatives.
  • Internal branding empowers your team members with tools and resources to deliver on that promise. Examples of this type of branding include your company values and culture, the unique value proposition (the thing that makes your business better than the competition), and positioning.
A brand audit is an excellent way to gauge the overall health of your brand (including its external and internal branding) and identify areas where you’re doing well and where you can improve.

Why Do a Brand Audit?

Brand audits are an essential part of keeping your company healthy. They enhance the well-being of your entire organization by uncovering new growth opportunities. A comprehensive brand audit will also identify new ways to make your brand resonate with existing and future consumers. This, in turn, equates to securing the long-term success and health of your company.

There are so many benefits of doing a brand audit, some of which include:
  • Identifying your brand’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Gaining an awareness of your brand in its market
  • Gauging your competitive standing in the market
  • Aligning your offerings with consumer expectations
  • Understanding the effectiveness of brand management efforts
  • Uncovering new trends and opportunities
  • Mitigating risk

Do You Need a Brand Audit?

Like we said earlier, most companies need a brand audit at least once in their lifetimes. However, there’s a good chance you need a brand audit if one or more of the following situations applies to you:
  • Consumers frequently confuse your brand with less reputable or effective competitors in the same industry
  • Your business has grown substantially (and very quickly)
  • Your brand has evolved and no longer aligns with your mission, name, logo, or language
  • Your business model has evolved with consumer demand
  • You have lost (or lack) customer loyalty
If any of these applies to you, a brand audit is an effective way to better understand your overall standing in your market and within your customer’s minds.

How to Conduct a Successful Brand Audit

There are six main steps to conducting a successful brand audit.

1. Set up a brand analysis template.

It’s easy to get lost in all the numbers, especially if you have a lot of data to sort through. So the best way to stay organized and get the most out of your brand audit is to establish a template and create a very specific list of the data you will assess.

First, create a template that will help you conduct your brand audit. Then, write out a clear checklist of exactly what data you will examine and how you will scrutinize it. Within this list, you should incorporate both external and internal brand elements.

2. Take a close look at your website’s performance.

Is your website converting? Is it meeting customers’ needs? Even if your website is gorgeous, if it isn’t doing these things, it’s not working well for you.

With the help of Google Analytics, you can figure out why it isn’t performing well where you need to put in the most effort to improve. You’ll want to look at key performance indicators like:
  • Web traffic
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Pageviews
These aspects of your website performance will help you determine how many people are visiting your site, which pages are the most (and least) popular, and how many people leave your website once they get there and how long that takes. You’ll also be able to see how many people are converting on your website (aka making a purchase, signing up for a service, giving you their contact information, etc.)

3. Analyze your sales data.

Although you should already be doing this, taking a closer more in-depth look at your sales data can reveal patterns that can provide further clarity into your overall brand health and how it affects your sales.

An intensive analysis of your sales can also reveal whether or not you’ve kept your promises to your team and your customers and how you really stack up against competitors.

4. Monitor and review your social media activity.

Instead of just monitoring the number of likes you get on Facebook or how many followers you have on Instagram, you can get so much valuable information about your customers via social media.

Gathering and reviewing your consumers’ demographic data can help you craft a message that appeals to them by understanding where they come from. A clear communication strategy is key when it comes to social media, so you’ll want to make sure your message is on point with your customers.

5. Analyze your competitors.

Taking the time to observe your competitors and the things they’re doing can really pay off in the long run. Use tools like Ahrefs to get SEO-driven data like:
  • Top keywords
  • Organic traffic
  • Google ranking
This data will help you curate your content, rank for the right keywords, and make the right connections to get in front of consumers who want to fund your brand.

6. Speak to your customers.

Before you can develop (or re-develop) effective messaging, you’ll first need to engage with your customers to find out how they think and feel. Some of the best tools to accomplish this are:
  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
To conduct polls and surveys, you can easily use platforms like SurveyMonkey or TypeForm to create simple surveys in various formats. Whether you’d like to hear from your customers directly with text responses, yes/no questions, or with multiple choice formatting, you can create a customer satisfaction survey that works well for your company.

Your net promoter score (which will help your business gauge the quality of its customer service, especially when compared with competitors’), can empower you to address problem areas, improve the customer experience, monitor loyalty trends, and grow revenue through upselling and referrals.

Many companies use NPS software like SurveySparrow to collect additional feedback from customers to keep them around longer.

What to Do After Conducting a Brand Audit

After completing a brand audit, there are several things you should do to make the most of the data and information you’ve collected.

Sift through the data to determine what’s usable. You’re going to have a LOT of data to work with after you conduct a brand audit so it’s important to know that not all of it will be usable. Take the time to sort through it and pick out the gems that you can act on.

Set goals. Before you make any major changes, decide what’s most important to you and what you’d like to achieve. Do you want more website conversions? Do you want to develop a more unified brand? Whatever it is, make sure to identify that goal before you take action.

Make a plan. Set a timeline for yourself of how and when you’ll carry out certain changes based on the results of your brand audit.

Monitor your efforts. Once your timeline is up, make sure to measure your efforts and track any changes. This will be key to determining if the changes you’ve made are working.

Conducting a brand audit can be a very time-consuming and challenging endeavor. However, reputable tech-enabled design companies can help you complete your brand audit and provide actionable insights to help your brand grow, change, and thrive.

Take a look at below infographic from SuperSide more for insights:

Read next: 4 Elements of a Digital Marketing Strategy
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