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A brand audit helps companies determine their strengths and weaknesses by reviewing their overall performance. Conducting a brand audit is a great way to improve your business’s efforts, reach more potential customers, increase brand awareness, and get more sales.

What is a Brand Audit?

Business professionals conducting data meeting.

A brand audit is a detailed analysis that reviews performance and market positioning. Primarily, it is utilized to identify areas of improvement.

This analytical strategy considers your:

  • Target market advertising
  • Marketing strategies
  • Goals
  • Customer experience
  • User experience on your websites

The purpose of this strategy is to discover, change, and improve possible hurdles that are stopping your brand’s growth.

Most companies conduct a brand audit when their website traffic is low, sales are dropping, or the email open rate has reduced. However, companies shouldn’t wait until something goes wrong to conduct an audit.

Implementing regular audits can help you stay ahead of the problems. Take initiative and gather helpful information about brand performance before it declines. Conducting periodic brand audits before visible problems arise can help you develop effective brand strategies and solutions. It will also help businesses to:

  • Understand the brand’s market performance against the competition
  • Discover the brand’s internal and external strengths and weaknesses
  • Understand how customers perceive the brand
  • Enhance brand awareness
  • Improve sales
  • Lower churn
  • Find gaps in marketing strategies
  • Improve marketing communication tactics
  • Plan corrective strategies

The outcome of a successful brand audit is to highlight the areas that need improvement, set goals, and achieve them within a specified timeframe. You can hire a branding specialist that offers these services, or you can utilize in-house specialists, such as your marketing officer.

Internal Brand Audit

A brand audit consists of two parts: internal and external. Businesses can conduct one part or combine both. Incorporating both can be time-consuming but offers the most extensive view of the company. The following components are examined when conducting an internal audit:

  • Brand value
  • Brand identity
  • Mission
  • Brand voice
  • Company culture
  • Brand attributes
  • Unique Selling Point (USP)
  • Product or service
  • Brand positioning
  • Ideal consumers
  • Competitor analysis

External Brand Audit

To get the best results, consider incorporating external brand auditing too. This strategy helps companies understand how customers, prospects, and competitors perceive them from the outside. Businesses should consider the following components:

  • Brand logo
  • Print and online advertising and marketing
  • Visual elements
  • Public relations
  • Website and blog
  • Social media
  • Marketing materials
  • Brand identity
  • Event display
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

How to Conduct a Brand Audit?

team conducting brand audit

Follow these five steps to understand your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, create opportunities for improvement, gauge your brand’s performance in the competitive market, and develop new strategies to match your customers’ expectations.

Step 1: Create an Audit Framework

Creating a framework is the first step in the process. First, define your mission and strategic objective. Your mission and strategic objectives should help define and focus the audit on the areas that need improvement. Refer to your marketing plan to help determine which areas of your brand you would like to enhance. These can include your brand’s mission, vision, USP, and positioning.

Additionally, the framework should address how the audit will be conducted and the actions taken to address any issues.

Step 2: Assess Your External Marketing Materials

External marketing materials can take various forms, such as your business’s logo; product packaging; television, radio, print advertisements; and business cards. The aim is to add value to your brand and boost the client’s experience.

Review all your marketing materials and compare them to your online presence, such as your social media profiles, website, and content. Evaluate if your online and mainstream marketing materials have the same design, colour, and tone of voice standards. Also, assess each piece of marketing material individually to understand if it targets your audience effectively.

Step 3: Collect, Organize and Review the Data

Data analyst working on computer.

After deciding what you will be measuring, it is time to start collecting data. Data collection, organization, and review can be time-consuming but crucial to improve your brand.

For instance, you can collect this information from a website and social media interactions, employees, customers, or non-consumer individuals in your target demographic. Formulate your questions, collect the answers, and organize them in a way that you can analyze easily. For example, use spreadsheets for quantitative data and documents for qualitative data.

Review Your Business Website

Review your web analytics programs to understand the performance of your website. First, study where your traffic is coming from. If it is from a limited number of sources, then you should try to diversify. Then, examine whether your website attracts your target market because traffic is only valuable if it comes from your target customers. If not, you need to adjust your strategy. Also, analyze the channels that drive traffic to your website. Continuously diversify your traffic sources to mitigate against sudden changes in algorithms.

While reviewing your web analytics, analyze your bounce rate to understand whether your visitors leave your site right away or continue to view other pages.

high bounce rate can indicate that your website may have some unappealing qualities that deter viewers. Consider revamping the visuals or information on your website to improve viewer retention.

Another important part of website analytics is conversion rate. Examine your conversion rate to understand if you are attracting the right kind of traffic and which types of content are working best. A high conversion rate indicates successful marketing and web design. Conversely, a low conversion rate means that visitors find your website’s design hard to navigate or your offer is too expensive or invaluable.

You can examine your website analytics using Google Analytics. It is a free website monitoring tool that provides historical and real-time data. You can also use ad tracking software to help you understand your audience’s behaviours and better define their interests.

Review Sales Data

Examining your sales data in conjunction with your audit helps identify problem areas or opportunities to capitalize on. Additionally, your sales information will help you evaluate the performance of your business and its goals to help you improve or develop new strategies that refine your sales performance. It also provides insights about your top-performing and underperforming products or services, sales forecasting, market opportunities, and sales activities.

Survey Your Customers

Customer taking survey on laptop.

There are numerous ways to get qualitative data from your customers to complement all your hard data. You can use a combination of email surveys, phone surveys, online surveys, and social media polls to get their feedback. This information will give you answers you can’t find in your metrics, understand how your customers perceive and speak of your brand, and discover specific areas that discourage your customers from making a purchase. Here are some questions you can include in your surveys:

  • How would you describe this brand?
  • What problem(s) does this brand solve?
  • How does this brand make you feel?
  • What does the brand’s logo make you think of?
  • How would you rate the brand’s website on ease of navigation?
  • Why did you decide to do business with this brand?
  • What makes this brand different from others?
  • What are the brand’s strong points?
  • What are the brand’s weak points?
  • How good is the brand’s customer service?
  • How can the brand serve you better?
  • How likely are you to recommend this brand to your friends and family?

You can’t expect all your customers to fill out your survey form. That’s why you need to select a random sample to gather feedback. You can hire a research firm to carry out your surveys for you, or you can do it in-house using free online survey tools.

Review your Social Media Data

Conduct a social media analytics audit to examine marketing performance, customer engagement, and brand perception. For example, utilize demographic information to gauge your audience on social media. This can help you create better marketing strategies that effectively target that audience. Additionally, perform sentiment analysis to gain an overview of the public opinion regarding your brand and product.

Survey People in Your Target Demographic who Aren’t Customers

To gain a broader perspective on brand awareness, survey people in your target demographic who aren’t customers. You can utilize the same or similar survey methods mentioned above. In your survey, include questions such as:

  • Have you ever heard of this brand?
  • What do you think about this brand?
  • Have you ever used this brand?
  • How does this brand make you feel?

Survey Your Employees

Your employees oversee creating the customer experience that represents your brand. If they don’t understand your brand clearly, they can’t convey it to your customers effectively. Use anonymous surveys to ask them the following:

  • What is our brand’s vision?
  • How would you describe our brand?
  • What problem does our brand solve?
  • How do you deliver on our brand’s promise?
  • What keeps you from delivering on that promise?
  • What is one thing you would do to improve our brand?

Step 4: Evaluate Your Competitors’ Brands

The final step includes investigating your competitors’ marketing and advertising materials (SEO, rankings, content, traffic, emails, price tracking), websites, social media presence, and customer service. Additionally, monitor your competitor’s customer reviews. This can help you gain more insight into consumer needs and trends, which can be implemented into your branding and marketing strategies.

Incorporating competitor analysis as part of your digital audit will help you study the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, identify opportunities in the market that you are missing, and make data-driven decisions to increase your competitive advantage.

Step 5: Monitor Your Progress

Business professional looking over annual report data.

When you implement changes, set actionable targets and a timeline of expected results. Then, monitor your progress in the areas you have acted in, such as brand awareness, customer feedback, conversion rate, sales, ROI, and social media engagement. Finally, review the results to ensure the changes have the desired effect.

Final Thoughts

Conducting a brand audit is crucial to staying up to date, making continuous progress, and beating the competition in a constantly evolving world. First, collect as much data as possible to make more accurate business decisions. Then, highlight the action areas, make the necessary changes, add a timeline of expected results, and monitor your progress and results.

Published by Owen Carter on December 17, 2021

Owen Carter

Owen Carter

Owen is a marketing specialist. He works with advertisers and publishers directly, enhancing their marketing campaigns. Owen understands the importance of having the right tools for the job. He got his start designing and implementing a proprietary platform at a major performance marketing organization. During his free time, Owen enjoys rereading company emails and looking for mistakes.

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