A brand audit is useful for companies as it serves to assess how they are positioned in the market. With this exercise we can learn how a customer recognizes or remembers the brand and what place the brand occupies in the market in general. This type of audit gives the opportunity to observe the panorama in which the company or brand finds itself. In a brand audit we can review data to identify areas where your business can improve your brand positioning and overall performance.
There are three aspects that should be considered in a brand audit:
The internal brand: Consider the culture of the company and the education of the employees so that they understand and share the values and the mission of a company. A good way to be able to analyze this area is by providing employee surveys, with this tool is possible to capture the internal culture of the brand and how they perceive it.
The external brand: This refers to what the brand shows in its products, services and the message it tells its customers. Logos, advertisements, websites, email campaigns, and social media are components of what is known as external branding.
The customer experience: This includes customer service and how they interact or participate in the content offered by the brand. This aspect shows how well or poorly customers experience the brand through the sales and customers service processes.
There are important steps to consider for the audit to be successful:
- Establish a framework for the audit
You must be clear about everything you want to know, what you plan to review and learn. Making this clear will allow you to focus on areas that may be affecting your brand positioning. This is the right time to review the previously established marketing plan, as it leads us to remember the original purpose of what we want to communicate to the public about the brand. You should consider things like the target customer, offers, social networks, webpage, price ranges and the competition. While the audit is being carried out, it should be possible to collect as much information as possible on how the brand is communicating abroad.
- Review external marketing
An analysis of what your customers see should be done. This includes logo, brand colors, brochures, flyers, advertisements, business presentations, packaging and everything that works with the brand and how its seen by the public.
- Work on a customer survey initiative
Surveys are a very useful tool to find out how customers perceive the brand. Examples include customer focus groups, email, social media, phone calls and online surveys. All with the purpose of collecting the feeling of how customers see the brand. Ask questions about how customers interpret and respond to your brand to identify where you can adjust marketing materials.
- Analyze your website
The content of the web page must be reviewed periodically and data on how the user interacts with it must be analyzed.
Analyzing how they navigate, where they click, if its is truly addressed to your target group and if it provides interaction that converts to sales are essential details in this part of the audit. This web analysis should help you know if pages need to be rewritten, redesigned, or rearranged to guide visitors to your best products or content. During this audit, look for ways to increase traffic or conversions. Optimizing the page, considering the most common searches, helps improve the visibility of the business when people are looking for the brand's services.
- Analyze social networks
Use this analysis of how people interact on brand networks. With this exercise you get to know if your social media marketing strategy is reaching your target market. Reading comments, reviewing followers, and seeing the actions that the public takes on the pages allows you to know if you are reaching the right people.
- Review sales data
The brand audit should review sales data in relation to your company's brand. The audit seeks to know when and how customers buy. It should be analyzed when there are increases or decreases in sales and if these are related to any marketing strategy or initiative. In this way you will be able to know what language and communication motivates the purchase of your product the most.
- Analyze demographics
Once you have reviewed what was described above, you will have data on who buys your product. So, to conduct this part of the audit you must survey the customers that make up that demographic. You must know what they think of the brand and what motivates them to consume it, that will help you to identify strategies to increase your number of customers.
- Conduct an internal employee survey
That the employee feels passion for the company's mission is key for the brand to be able to project itself correctly. This survey helps them sell more effectively and produce more assertive marketing materials to the target audience. Surveys can show you exactly what employees know and feel about your brand and mission and how leadership can improve company culture.
- Research the competition
Observe and evaluate your competition to see how they are alike and how they are different. Check out their logo, website, social media, and brand materials. In this step you can apply some of the questions used before to capture your brand information and thus find out what your customers think of your competition compared to your brand.
What is next?
After reviewing each of these aspects, analyze what you learned about your brand. Look for trends in the data and information you've collected from surveys to see if they match your expectations. This is where you start to understand what your brand does well, what you need to stop doing, and how you can improve.
Now it's time to create a good, detailed action plan in which you can implement changes that you want to make for the benefit of the brand. It should start with something basic and an order that helps you achieve it. Prioritizing what results in the greatest impact is vital. Creating a newsletter, improving social networks, updating logos among other actions can take time and frustrate the team, so it is important to prioritize. Include metrics for your goals to help you track progress.
Monitoring the process is something you should keep in mind. If your goal was to increase your sales by 15% in a certain number of months, you should track that data regularly to see if it's working. Most likely in the audit process you have learned some new strategies and you will want to periodically assess their effectiveness and conduct future brand audits as needed.
When a brand is well built and manages to convey the right feelings, your customers will be loyal because they will consider that what you offer is of quality and that it is good for them. Then they become ambassadors of your brand and all brands look for that.
Our team of experts at Strategic Minds knows every aspect that should be part of that brand audit and we can help you conduct one so that you achieve better results and continue to grow.