What is the purpose of a brand audit?
The purpose behind a brand audit is plain and simple: to gain a fundamental understanding of where the brand stands in its current state.
When and why should we audit our brand?
The majority of business go through the process of auditing their brand when they have a vested interest in making a change within their organization. Maybe they’re rebranding, or refreshing their current look. This would be a perfect time to take a look at your current brand and see where it has shifted since its inception. Perhaps an organization is unhappy with their internal communication and employee relations. A smart CEO or CMO might take that opportunity to judge what their brand stands for, who they are as a company and what they need to do from a communications stand point to fix the internal problems or issues. The power of a brand is much stronger than most realize. A strong brand empowers and inspires employees. It’s the foundation on which a strong organization can be built. If the foundation is cracked in certain areas, it would be in the home owners best interest to audit the situation and put the proper processes in place to fix it. The same goes with companies and their brands.
Who should perform our brand audit?
Every organization is different. There is no once-size-fits-all approach. Regardless of whether you assemble an in-house team or hire an outside agency, you need one important element if you hope to perform a successful brand audit: honest objectivity.
Brand Audit Example
An extensive brand audit should look at the following categories:
- Brand Values
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP), brand promise, or brand essence
- Product / Service positioning
- Corporate Identity – logos and other brand elements
- Collateral-brochures, print materials, trade show displays, etc.
- Social Media
- Content Marketing and other assets – blogs, white papers, case studies, articles, books, etc.
- Corporate identity/brand standards
- HR policies/on-boarding process
- Sales processes/touch points
- Internal systems
- Customer service systems
Brand Audit: Before and After
In today’s increasingly complex market, there is a hyper-focus (and rightfully so) on return on investment (ROI). Of course, ROI is not just a tactic to keep the bean counters satisfied-weighing the financial benefits of your branding decisions throughout the process will help guide difficult decisions.
Once way you can demonstrate ROI is by conducting a brand audit before and after a rebrand. This will show where the branding exercise helped improve systems and close gaps.