Your brand is your most valuable asset.
But sometimes, a brand needs to be evaluated to see if and where there is a need for change. That is where performing a brand audit comes into play. If you’re in this boat right now, you’re not alone. It’s probably unheard of for a company to go through existence without requiring a brand audit at some point. So, if you’re currently considering a brand audit, don’t stress—it’s completely normal.
In this post we’ll be answering these burning questions and aspects of brand auditing:
Let’s get to it!
A brand audit is an in-depth examination of your brand to identify what you’re doing well, areas for potential improvement and your current position in the market alongside competitors. A brand audit consists of looking at two main pillars: your external and your internal branding.
It’s important that your brand’s message resonates with your employees—it’s much easier to fulfill your brand’s promise with a team that fully believes in it. And in the best case scenarios, your team can then become your brand ambassadors.
Brand development is an ongoing thing, and a brand audit is a way to look at data to determine how to elevate your business image and increase brand awareness.
Think of this as a health check that every business will need to perform at least once in its existence. How else will you know if the hard work that went into building your brand is paying off or not?
External branding is made up of your:
Internal branding includes your:
By looking into both of your brand pillars (along with those of your competition) you can quickly identify what areas you are performing well in and others where you can improve.
Well, if you’re reading this post, you’re likely in need of some kind of brand analysis.
Consider running a brand assessment if any or all of these apply to you:
Conducting a brand audit can better help you understand where you stand within your market and in the minds of consumers.
5 benefits of a brand audit are:
If you are wondering how to conduct a brand audit, the following brand audit checklist will provide you with the necessary steps needed for carrying this out, along with checking in on your brand’s overall health. Use this list to create a framework that best works for your business.
The steps in a brand audit are;
It helps to have some sort of brand analysis template or framework to guide you in the process of auditing your brand. You can download a brand audit template here.
If you want to know how to conduct a brand audit, first step to take is to build a framework around how you will conduct the brand audit process.
Particularly if you’re going about this internally, you need a guide to follow so that the data you collect can be put into action—it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers, so focus in on the data that actually means something to your brand.
Define your framework with a checklist of what’s to be examined and the methods you will use. It helps to organize your list to incorporate both internal and external brand elements.
You could have the most stunning landing page design in the world, but if it isn’t converting or serving your customers the way it should, it’s crucial that you understand where and why it isn’t performing.
A digital brand audit involving a web analytics platform is essential. Making use of a platform like Google Analytics will provide rich analytics data, both historic and in real-time to use for assessments and understanding your target audience better.
You should also invest in user testing to see how customers perceive and interact with your website and/or app. A great tool is UserTesting (they nailed that company name right on the head), which offers video captures of key moments like confusion during tests. And wherever there’s user confusion, there’s drop-off.
Take note of any confusing pages and see if they line up with your analytics data.
By conducting user testing, you’ll gain insight into pages and sections of your website that may be affecting your brand (and your bottom line). This data can help you plan and execute corrective strategies you can then implement to optimize your website.
We’ve even got a blog on remote user testing tips to help you get started.
This should be something you're already doing regularly, however, as part of your brand audit it can provide a ton of insight regarding customer and industry trends.
Here you’ll take notice as to whether or not you’ve stayed true to your brand promise in delivering what it is that customers want, as well as if you’re up to speed with competitors and their offerings.
An in-depth look at your sales data will reveal customer buying patterns and help you redirect your focus. Do you notice any irregular dips in sales? How about a change in the buyer locations? All of these points should be analyzed to understand your brand health and how it affects your sales.
Social media contains a wealth of information on your customers that you can’t get anywhere else. What’s truly insightful is the realization that your target customers may not be the customers interacting with your social channels. Actually, this is way more common than you might think.
This valuable demographic data helps you better understand your audience and reevaluate your social communication strategy. It’s easy to get caught up in social vanity metrics such as follower count, or even likes, but if you’re not appealing to your ideal buyer on social, then there’s an issue in your branding and social strategy.
To get a full look at the competitive landscape, you’ll need to find out how well your competitors are performing from a brand perspective. What content are they writing about? Is their brand getting noticed? Are they forming any brand partnerships?
Some of this work will be manual, but there are tools you can use to dive deeper into various elements of a brand.
Competitor analysis tools like Ahrefs provide SEO-driven data while helping you monitor your niche and research your competitors. Get information on organic traffic and keywords they’re ranking for, as well as how you rank in comparison.
After all, people often stumble upon brands by doing a Google search for topics they’re interested in learning about. If your competitors are showing up for these keywords and you aren’t, there’s a problem.
From a more creative standpoint, observe the use of competitors’ brand colors and other identifiers. Is the usage cohesive? If you were to see the color on its own would you instantly recognize the brand as we do with Coca-Cola or National Geographic?
It’s important that you keep up a consistent visual identity to solidify your brand. That means from your website design to your marketing emails, your branding must be consistent to establish authority and trust among your customers and over competitors.
To best speak to your customers, you’ll need to find out what they think and say about your brand.
Get inside the minds of your customers to find out what motivates them, what makes them tick and what influences their decisions. Polls, surveys and the Net Promoter Score (NPS) are all helpful tools and tactics you can use to obtain valuable customer information when it comes to your brand analysis.
Platforms like TypeForm and SurveyMonkey are easy to use, allowing you to create a survey in minutes. Both offer a variety of survey formats such as text responses, multiple choice and yes/no questions.
As for insights into your customer loyalty and brand advocacy, you’ll want to measure your NPS. This is measured by asking customers how likely it is they’ll recommend your product or service to friends and family via an opinion score.
The NPS opinion scoring system is on a scale of 0-10 with 0 being “very unlikely” and 10 being “extremely likely.” Customers are then categorized based on their score:
Promoters: 9 or 10
Passives: 7 or 8
Detractors: 6 and below
NPS software like SurveySparrow is a useful and simple tool to collect actionable feedback from your customers.
TIP: NPS scores are a great way to find out the “health” of your customers, particularly if you are running a subscription based service. The lower the number, the more attention and possibly incentives they may need in order to keep them around for longer. With any subscription or recurring business model, you’re always looking to increase the customer lifetime value (CLTV) of your customers.
If you want to learn more about how to craft a brand that your audience will love (and that will increase your CLTV), check out our video below!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! We hope you found this post helpful.
If you're interested in a rebrand or brand refresh, but feel like it's too much to handle for your internal team, say hello to Superside! We've helped brands big and small launch new brands into the world, with the help of our brand identity design services. You can learn more about the work we do there.
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