How to Perform a Brand Audit



As a company grows, brand consistency often becomes left behind and downgraded. This is the stage in which a brand audit identifies more closely where a brand currently stands in the market, the underlying strengths and weaknesses, and its overall effectiveness.

A brand audit is like taking your brand to the doctor's office for a check-up. The second part will take you through visual identity and messaging, customer perception, and where your brand would stand against competitors. The idea is to attract the areas that have the most potential for significant improvement, and that will undoubtedly stand in alignment with the target audience and market trends.

A good brand audit initiates a creative, innovative process that allows a brand's presence and impact to be maximized through strategic decisions. Whether you are repositioning a brand, striving for increased brand loyalty, or making the message consistent across all your platforms, a comprehensive brand audit, should help you move forward with increased confidence.

What a brand audit is, what it entails, what are the steps, and what to look at when doing one, we have all of this covered in this article. Let's find out how we can conduct a brand audit for your brand and create a more robust, more cohesive brand strategy.

What Is a Brand Audit?

A brand audit examines how a brand is performing in its market currently; it is a check on the brand strategy and positioning. It examines the company, and studies or analyses the brand to identify the company's brand strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A full brand assessment or audit principally aims to achieve the following:

Assess Brand Identity and Consistency

Evaluate the brand's visual elements (logo, colors, typography) for consistency across all touchpoints.

Analyze the brand's messaging, tone, and values to ensure alignment with the desired brand identity.

Evaluate Brand Perception and Reputation

Understand how the brand's identity is perceived by customers, employees, and stakeholders through surveys, social media monitoring, and reputation analysis.

Identify gaps between the intended brand image and the actual brand perception.

Analyze Brand Performance and Market Position

Review sales data, market share, and customer loyalty metrics to gauge the brand's performance.

Conduct a competitive analysis to understand the brand's position relative to its competitors.

Identify Areas for Improvement and Growth Opportunities

Uncover areas where the brand is underperforming or failing to meet customer expectations.

Pinpoint potential growth opportunities by analyzing market trends, customer needs, and competitor strategies.

The process of a brand audit commonly involves collecting data from various sources, which may include, but not be limited to, information from customer feedback, market research data, internal documentation, and competitor analysis. These results are then analyzed to create an all-inclusive brand audit report, coupled with workable recommendations for improving the brand strategy, messaging, and visual identity, among various other performance areas.

Why perform a brand audit?

Here is the list of the main reasons for performing a brand audit.

Learn About Customer Perspective and Positioning

1.  Understand customer attitude and behavior toward the brand

2.  Receive a third-party objective review of brand positioning

3.  Discover values and characteristics identified with the brand

Assess Brand Health and Competition

1.  Assess overall performance of brand in the marketplace and competitive status

2. Learn about competitor activity (new products, extensions, markets, etc.)

Discover Strengths, Weaknesses and Improvement Areas

1.  Determine major strengths and weaknesses of branding and marketing strategies

2.  Identify inconsistencies, holes and gaps in the customer experience

Streamline and Prioritize Marketing Activities

1.  Establish what marketing collaterals are working and what to discontinue

2.  Focus on the most critical brand touch points – stop wasting time and money on those that aren’t

Allow for Data-Driven Decisions

1.  Obtain detailed information to support branding and marketing decisions

2.  Track ad and marketing campaign success over periods of time

Overall, a brand audit provides an objective view of the current brand status and allows companies to learn where they stand in the marketplace, prioritize and streamline marketing activities and discover strategic brand improvement areas to stimulate growth.

What are the steps involved in conducting a brand audit?

So, we are all prepared with the groundwork, here are the major steps in brand audit process.

Step 1: Establish a Brand Audit Template

1.  Establish goals and scope of the brand audit

2.  Identify what to look at (internal, external, customer experience)

3.  Prepare a checklist/plan to direct the review

Step 2: Look at External Marketing Collaterals

1.  Branding such as logo, color, packaging, etc. for uniformity

2.  Marketing support collateral (brochure, ads, website, social media)

Step 3: Interview Customers

1.  Existing customers to gauge brand perception and experience

2.  Non-customer segments from target markets to gauge brand awareness

3.  Methods – survey, online survey, social media polling

Step 4: Evaluate Website and Social Media

1.  Website analytics (traffic sources, bounce rate, conversions)

2.  Social media awareness, reach and sentiment analysis

3.  User testing for usability

Step 5: Audit Sales and Performance Data

1.  Sales data to determine trends, best products/services

2.  Brand performance indicators (market share, customer retention)

Step 6: Assess Internal Perception of Brand

1.  Employee survey to determine alignment with brand positioning

2.  Cultural assessment – do employees embody the brand?

Step 7: Evaluate Competition

1.  Analyze rivals' branding, marketing, and positioning strategies.

2.  Determine your brand's strengths, weaknesses, and comparisons.

Step 8: Compile Findings and Create an Action Plan

1.  Analyze all data to determine strengths, shortcomings, and opportunities.

2.  Create suggestions and a strategy to solve concerns and capitalize on possibilities.

Step 9: Implement and track progress.

1.  Implement the action plan for brand enhancement or repositioning.

2.  Continuously evaluate brand health measures and change as needed.

The goal is to look at both internal and external brand features, collect quantitative and qualitative data, and then create a strategic plan based on the results.

How to measure the effectiveness of a brand audit?

You must compare the performance of your brand before and after adopting the brand audit checklist's suggestions in order to determine how effective a brand audit was. Consider the following important measurements and techniques:

Brand Awareness and Recall

Track brand awareness, recognition, and recall among your target audience by your social media presence, conducting surveys or using web analytics tools.

Track data such as website traffic, social media mentions, and search volume for your brand.

To determine whether awareness has increased, compare these indicators from before and after the brand audit.

Brand Perception and Reputation

Keep an eye on how consumers regard your brand on social media, in reviews, and other online platforms by using sentiment analysis tools.

Monitor measures like as internet reputation scores, customer satisfaction ratings, and net promoter score (NPS).

Gains in these indicators may point to a favorable change in the public's view of the brand following the audit.

Brand Consistency and Visual Identity

Make sure that your brand's visual components—such as your logo, colors, and typography—are applied consistently throughout all touchpoints by conducting an internal audit.

Keep an eye out for instances of brand abuse or discrepancies, and keep track of adherence to brand rules.

After the audit, a decrease in these occurrences might show enhanced brand governance.

Analysis of Competition and Market Position

Comparing your market share, sales, and customer loyalty indicators to those of your rivals should be done on a regular basis.

After putting audit suggestions into practice, keep an eye out for any improvements in your brand's positioning, brand promise and distinction in the marketplace.

Engagement of Employees and Brand Alignment

Employee comprehension and alignment with the brand's values, message, and overall identity may be evaluated by conducting surveys.

Track KPIs such as internal brand image, staff advocacy, and brand ambassadorship.

Enhancements in these domains may signify efficacious internal branding endeavors resulting from the assessment.

Return on Investment (ROMI) for Marketing

Before and after the brand audit, figure out the return on investment (ROMI) for your marketing efforts and projects.

Monitor KPIs such as marketing ROI overall, conversion rates, and cost per acquisition.

A higher return on investment (ROMI) might show how well the brand audit optimized your marketing efforts.

You may evaluate the effectiveness of your brand audit and ascertain whether the adjustments you've made are really enhancing your brand's performance, perception, and general company success by monitoring these indicators on a regular basis throughout time.

Metrics to Indicate a Successful Brand Audit

Conducting a brand audit is a comprehensive process that helps you understand the current state of your brand and identify areas for improvement. But how do you measure the success of a brand audit? Here are some key metrics to indicate that your brand audit has been effective.

Improved Brand Awareness

One of the primary goals of a brand audit is to increase brand awareness. Post-audit, you should see a rise in recognition and recall of your brand among your own target customers and audience. This can be measured through:

Increased website traffic: More people visiting your site indicates greater interest and awareness.

Higher social media engagement: An uptick in likes, shares, comments, and followers suggests that more people are becoming aware of and interacting with your brand.

Brand search volume: More people searching for your brand name online indicates higher awareness.

Enhanced Brand Perception

A successful brand audit should improve how your target audience perceives your brand. This can be measured through:

Customer surveys: Collect feedback on how customers perceive your brand before and after the audit.

Net Promoter Score (NPS): An increase in your NPS indicates that more customers are likely to recommend your brand to others.

Social listening: Monitor online conversations to see if there is an increase in positive mentions and a decrease in negative ones.

Consistency Across All Touchpoints

Brand consistency is crucial for building trust and recognition. Post-audit, you should see a more unified brand presence across all platforms and materials. This can be evaluated by:

Visual identity alignment: Ensure your logo, colors, typography, and imagery are consistent across all channels.

Message consistency: Check that your brand messaging aligns across your website, social media, marketing materials, and customer communications.

Customer experience: Ensure that the brand experience is consistent at every touchpoint, from online interactions to in-store experiences.

Increased Customer Engagement

Higher engagement rates indicate that your brand is resonating with your audience. Measure engagement through:

Email open and click-through rates: An increase in these metrics suggests more compelling and relevant content.

Content interaction: More comments, likes, and shares on your content show that your audience is engaging more with your brand.

Time on site: An increase in the average time users spend on your website indicates more interest and engagement with your content.

Growth in Market Share

A successful brand audit can help you capture a larger share of your target market. This can be tracked through:

Sales growth: An increase in sales figures post-audit indicates that your branding efforts are paying off.

Customer acquisition: More new customers indicate that your brand is attracting fresh interest.

Competitive positioning: Monitor your market position relative to competitors to see if you’ve gained ground.

Improved Financial Performance

Ultimately, a successful brand audit should positively impact your bottom line. Key financial metrics to monitor include:

Revenue growth: Increased revenue suggests that your brand is more effective at driving sales.

Customer lifetime value (CLV): A higher CLV indicates that customers are spending more with your brand over time.

Return on investment (ROI): Calculate the ROI of your branding initiatives to ensure that the resources invested in the brand audit are yielding positive returns.

Stronger Employee Engagement

Employees who are proud of and aligned with the brand can be powerful brand ambassadors. Measure this through:

Employee surveys: Gauge employee sentiment regarding the brand before and after the audit.

Internal brand alignment: Ensure that employees understand and embody the brand values in their daily work.

Reduced turnover: A lower employee turnover rate can indicate stronger brand alignment and satisfaction.

Common Mistakes in Brand Audits

Conducting a brand audit is essential for understanding and improving your brand’s position in the market. However, it’s easy to make mistakes that can undermine the effectiveness of the brand audit framework. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:

Lack of Clear Objectives

One of the most significant mistakes is starting a brand audit without clear objectives. Without specific goals, it’s challenging to measure success and know what to focus on.

Set clear goals: Define what you want to achieve with the audit, whether it’s improving brand consistency, understanding customer perceptions, or identifying new market opportunities.

Ignoring the Competitive Landscape

A brand audit should not occur in isolation. Failing to consider the competitive landscape can result in a skewed understanding of your own brand’s position.

Analyze competitors: Include a thorough competitor analysis in your audit. Understand their strengths, weaknesses, and how they position themselves in the market compared to your brand.

Overlooking Customer Insights

Neglecting to gather and analyze customer feedback is a critical mistake. Customers provide valuable insights into how your brand is perceived and where improvements are needed.

Collect customer feedback: Use surveys, focus groups, and social media listening tools to gather customer opinions. This feedback should be a core component of your brand audit.

Focusing Solely on Visual Identity

While visual identity is an essential aspect of branding, it’s not the only one. An audit that focuses solely on logos, colors, and typography misses other critical brand elements too.

Broaden your scope: Include an analysis of brand messaging, customer experience, and internal brand alignment. These elements are just as important as visual consistency.

Inconsistent Data Collection

Inconsistent or incomplete data collection can lead to inaccurate conclusions. It’s essential to gather comprehensive and reliable data for a successful brand audit.

Standardize data collection: Use consistent methods and tools to collect data across different channels and touchpoints. Ensure that the data is reliable and comprehensive.

Neglecting Internal Brand Alignment

Internal brand alignment is crucial for delivering a consistent brand experience. Ignoring this aspect can lead to discrepancies between your brand’s external and internal perceptions.

Engage employees: Include employee feedback in your audit. Ensure that your team understands and embodies the brand values, as this will reflect in their interactions with customers.

Failing to Take Action

An audit is only useful if it leads to actionable insights and changes. Many companies make the mistake of conducting an audit but failing to implement the findings.

Develop an action plan: After completing the audit, create a clear plan to address the identified issues. Assign responsibilities and set timelines for implementation.

Not Reviewing Regularly

Brand audits should not be a one-time event. Regular reviews are necessary to keep the brand aligned with market changes and evolving customer expectations.

Schedule periodic audits: Make brand audits a regular part of your business strategy. This ensures that your brand stays relevant and continues to meet customer needs.

Overlooking Digital Channels

In today’s digital age, neglecting digital channels can result in a significant gap in your brand audit.

Include digital presence: Evaluate your brand’s performance on digital platforms like social media, your website, and online reviews. These channels play a critical role in brand perception.

How to Ensure Data Accuracy During a Brand Audit

Ensuring data accuracy during a brand audit is crucial for obtaining reliable insights and making informed decisions. Accurate data forms the foundation of a successful brand audit, guiding the entire process. Here are key steps to ensure data accuracy.

Use Reliable Data Sources

The quality of your data sources directly impacts the accuracy of your audit. Using reliable and reputable sources ensures that your data is trustworthy.

1.  Official Records and Reports: Utilize official business records, financial reports, and verified market research studies.

2.  Customer Feedback Platforms: Use established platforms for collecting customer feedback, such as SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics.

Standardize Data Collection Methods

Standardizing your data collection methods helps maintain consistency and accuracy across different channels and touchpoints.

1.  Consistent Surveys and Questionnaires: Use standardized surveys and questionnaires to collect data from customers and employees.

2.  Unified Metrics: Establish unified metrics and benchmarks for evaluating different aspects of your brand, such as brand awareness and customer satisfaction.

Regular Data Validation

Regular data validation is essential to ensure that the information collected is accurate and free from errors.

1.  Cross-Check Data: Cross-check data from multiple sources to verify its accuracy.

2.  Data Cleaning: Regularly clean your data to remove duplicates, errors, and inconsistencies.

Engage Multiple Stakeholders

Involving multiple stakeholders in the data collection process can help validate the information and provide a more comprehensive perspective.

1.  Employee Input: Collect feedback from various departments to get a holistic view of the brand’s performance.

2.  Customer Insights: Engage different customer segments to ensure diverse perspectives are considered.

Use Advanced Analytics Tools

Leveraging advanced analytics tools can enhance data accuracy by automating data collection and analysis.

1.  Data Analytics Software: Use software like Google Analytics, Tableau, or Power BI to analyze large datasets accurately.

2.  AI and Machine Learning: Implement AI and machine learning algorithms to identify patterns and insights that may not be immediately apparent.

Regular Updates and Reviews

Regularly updating and reviewing your data ensures that it remains current and relevant.

1.  Periodic Audits: Conduct periodic mini-audits to ensure that your data is up-to-date.

2.  Continuous Monitoring: Implement continuous monitoring systems to track key metrics in real-time.

Ensure Data Security and Privacy

Maintaining data security and privacy is crucial to prevent data breaches and ensure the integrity of your information.

1.  Secure Storage: Use secure data storage solutions to protect sensitive information.

2.  Compliance with Regulations: Ensure compliance with data protection regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.

By following these steps, you can ensure that the data collected during your brand audit is accurate, reliable, and actionable, providing a solid foundation for your brand strategy.

You can improve your brand strategy and market presence by making sure your data is accurate, avoiding frequent mistakes, and putting the lessons you've learned from successful B2B branding examples to use. We at Bolder are experts in carrying out thorough brand audits that yield informative data. Our team of professionals is prepared to assist you in reaching your business objectives and increasing the visibility of your brand.

Are you prepared for brand audits? Contact us right now, and let's collaborate to develop your brand.

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