How to audit your current brand
Updated: Apr 1
Your brand delivers an experience with each interaction with the marketplace. It's important for you to understand how your market feels about that experience - both your internal market (your stakeholders) and your external market (your customers and prospects). Understanding if the market responds to the key elements of your brand strategy - the emotional benefits that your brand delivers, the three things that your brand means to your market, your brand personality traits, your promise, and your story - will enable you to understand whether you're communicating effectively and which areas need improvement.
1. Create Brand Summary
Branding is crucial for products and services sold in huge consumer markets. It's also important in B2B because it helps you stand out from your competition. It brings your competitive positioning and value proposition to life; it positions you as a "certain something" in the minds of your prospects and customers.Think about successful consumer brands like Disney, Tiffany or Starbucks. You probably know what each brand represents. Now imagine that you're competing against one of these companies. If you want to capture significant market share, you must start with a unique and strong brand identity or you won't get far.Successful branding also creates "brand equity" - the amount of money that customers are willing to pay just because it's your brand. In addition to generating revenue, brand equity makes your company itself more valuable over the long term.What can you brand? You can brand almost anything. Branding something intangible can be very challenging, but the point is that you can brand a concept, an action, a product, a service or a company, because a brand is an experience.
2. Brand Summary for Audit
The first step in your brand audit is to summarize your brand. Later, you'll compare this interpretation to the results of your internal and external surveys.If you're not sure how to answer some of these questions, you may want to take more time to fully define your brand strategy before conducting your brand audit.If you're unable to complete your brand summary yourself, put together a team to fill in the blanks. Brand Being Audited:Primary Value Proposition:Secondary Value Proposition:Most Powerful Emotional Benefits Conveyed to Customers:The Three Things Your Brand Should Mean to Your Customers: The Five Human Personality Traits that Describe How We Want the Market to View Our Brand, Your Brand Promise, Your 25-Word Brand Positioning Statement, and Your Brand Story.
3. Audit Brand Internally
How do your employees and stakeholders view your brand? To gain a better understanding, conduct an internal brand audit. This will help determine whether the people in your company clearly understand your brand strategy. The survey complexity and the number of participants will depend upon your company situation. You'll want sufficient detail to evaluate the true perception, along with a sample large enough to ensure that the results are relevant.
4. Brand Communications
You may also wish to audit your marketing materials to determine whether you're consistently conveying your brand promise and personality. Here is a list of items you may wish to audit:
Corporate Identity, Logo, Colors, Stationery, Business envelopes, Mailing labels, Other printed identity, Website, Design, Functionality, Content quality, Printed literature, Company brochure, Product/service data sheets, White papers, Case studies, Reference lists, Hard copy newsletter, Presentation Materials, PowerPoint template, Product demo, Product sample, Folders, Product Packaging (If you're B2C), Packaging, Imagery, Templates, Proposal template, Email templates, Sales letter templates, Interactive Tools, Email newsletter, Company blog, RSS feed, Videos, Social media, Other Tools, and ROI calculator. List each item and notate whether it's consistent with your brand promise and your brand personality.
Brand Operational Interactions
You may also wish to audit your operations to ensure that your brand is supported by your people.Below are some suggestions.Telephone, Main answering system, Responsiveness of each department, On-hold messaging, Employee voicemail, Email responsiveness, Email signatures, Email stationery, Personal Interactions, Sales representatives, Other employees, and Survey Questions. You don't need to collect a survey from every recipient. Instead, you're aiming for a "statistically valid sample size," or the number of responses you need to be able to confidently apply those results to your entire group of customers.
For each group, determine your results. If your audit matched your brand summary, congratulations! Keep up the good work. If not, continue to determine how you can strengthen your brand. Then apply it to the materials and messages you use in the market, along with your operational requirements (because your brand is an experience - not just a logo or creative). Contact Houze Of PoP to have a consultant walk through these steps with you. #brand #branding #brandaudit #business #clientsatisfaction #customerengagement