Just Where Does Your Brand Stand?
A brand audit is a thorough examination of a brand’s current position in an industry compared to its competitors and the examination of its effectiveness.
Before deciding to conduct a brand audit, ask yourself these questions
1. How well is your business’ current brand strategy working?
2. What are your company’s established resource strengths and weaknesses?
3. What are your external opportunities and threats?
4. How competitive are your prices and costs?
5. How strong is your business’ competitive position in comparison to its competitors?
6. What strategic issues are facing your business?
5 Steps to Build a Brand Audit
It’s essential that you conduct a brand audit before embarking on any kind of branding program and in your annual business wrap-up. Have the strategies and tactics you’ve previously implemented grown your brand? Has your brand veered off course in any way? Without the answers to these questions, you could be moving in the wrong direction.
After your brand program is in place, the beginning of each new year is the perfect time to evaluate your brand, review your brand goals for the next 12 months, and ensure you’re on track to reach those goals. A brand audit offers a snapshot of your brand’s performance and strategic direction at any given moment in time. It enables you to identify what’s going right and what’s going wrong as well as real and potential opportunities and threats to your brand.
Following is a high-level overview that will help you audit your brand prior to implementing a new or annual branding program.
1. Affirm Your Brand Values and Brand Promise to Consumers
What do you want your brand to stand for in consumers’ minds and what do you want its promise to consumers to be? Make sure your brand values and brand promise align with your business goals for the foreseeable future.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Have you segmented your audience in the most effective manner to ensure your brand adds the appropriate value to specific consumers? What do they want and need from a brand like yours? Are you delivering it? Are you effectively communicating your brand value to each segment?
3. Analyze Your Brand in Relation to Competitors
Where is your brand positioned in the marketplace relative to its competitors? Is your brand occupying the right position? Are you communicating that position effectively to your target audiences? Identify your brand’s differentiators, strengths, and weaknesses to ensure it’s positioned correctly.
4. Review Your Brand Internally
There are no brand advocates that are more powerful than your employees, so it’s critical that you review brand perceptions and expectations from the executive level all the way down to ensure all employees understand, believe, and advocate the brand. Look for gaps and areas of confusion and fill them.
5. Don’t Forget Third-Party Stakeholders
A thorough brand audit shouldn’t just review consumers, competitors, and employees. It should also include a review of how other stakeholders perceive your brand and their expectations for it. Investors, journalists, and vendors matter, too. Be sure to gather their opinions, published comments, and so on.
The more information and data you can collect, the better your brand audit will be and the better positioned your brand will be to support your business goals during the next 12 months.
Click here to learn how to conduct a customer analysis.
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