Brand audit: A step-by-step guide to doing it yourself & template

You’ve spent a lot of time and energy building your brand. You want it to stand out from the crowd, but you also want it to stay true to your original vision. How can you do both? It’s time for an audit! A brand audit is a step-by-step process that allows you to evaluate your business objectively and identify areas for improvement. By identifying gaps between where you are now and where you want your brand to be, an audit can help propel your brand forward to new levels of success. And best of all? A brand audit is easier than ever before, thanks to today’s technology – keep reading as we break down each step of this process.

DEFINE YOUR END GOAL

The next step is to define your end goal. This should be a succinct statement that sums up what you want to achieve with the brand audit.

For example, if you are looking for a way to boost sales in a specific category, then maybe your goal would be “Increase sales of my ____ by 20% by 2020.”

If the purpose of this exercise is simply to gather information on weaknesses and opportunities within the current structure of your brand, then maybe your goal would be “Gather data which can help us improve our marketing efforts in the future.”

COLLECT FEEDBACK FROM DIFFERENT PARTIES

Now that you’ve got a brand audit, it’s time to get feedback. In this step of the process, you’ll want to collect input from different parties: friends and family, coworkers and competitors, industry experts, customers and even your audience.

You’ll also want to ask for feedback from your employees—and not just in an HR seminar kind of way. Ask them how they feel about the brand and its messaging. Do they understand what it represents? Would they recommend it to others? What could we improve about our branding?

Finally (and most importantly), don’t forget about your vendors! They’re integral members of your business ecosystem, so be sure to include them in this step as well.

GATHER ALL THE NECESSARY MATERIALS

The first step in creating a brand audit is gathering all the necessary materials – your content and external resources. Collecting these items will give you a better picture of what makes your company unique and help you understand how other people perceive your brand.

In addition to collecting this type of information internally at work, find ways to get feedback from outside sources too! For example, interview customers on their experiences interacting with brands like yours; ask employees what they think drives success within organisations like yours; talk with suppliers who provide goods/services needed by most companies like yours…

As part of this step, collect your own content from any websites or social media pages that are relevant to your business. This could include newsletters, white papers, infographics and eBooks containing information about your products or services. You can also collect images and videos from these sources if any assets represent the essence of what you do best (e.g., photos showing how innovative a product or service is).

CONDUCT A SWOT ANALYSIS OF YOUR BRAND

Next, you’ll want to conduct a SWOT analysis of your brand. A SWOT analysis is a tool for identifying strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and what you need to do to improve your brand.

A SWOT analysis can help you identify the following:

  • Strengths — things that are working well in your business or organisation;
  • Weaknesses — areas where improvement is needed;
  • Opportunities — potential opportunities that could lead to growth; and
  • Threats — obstacles that may prevent growth or success.

CLICK HERE for my DIY Brand Audit Workbook

AUDIT YOUR BRAND AND ITS NEEDS FOR IMPROVEMENT

An audit is a methodical examination and review of all aspects of your business. A brand audit is a special type of audit that focuses on the strength, weaknesses and current state of your branding.

A brand audit report includes:

  • An overview of the purpose of the audit
  • A summary that highlights key findings from each section and provides recommendations for changes (e.g., “Our logo is outdated”)
  • A full analysis with details about each aspect being examined

CREATE AN ACTION PLAN FOR IMPROVING YOUR BRAND

Take a look through all the information and assess where your efforts are needed the most. Create 3-5 tangible action points and give each timeline for when they need to be done by.

For example, you might find that your photography choices are inconsistent across all your materials. Therefore, you will need to define what style and/or story you want to tell through your choice of imagery and how to make this consistent.

Or you might find that your messaging isn’t as clear as it should be, and your employees are a little confused as to what you need to be known for. So, in this case, it’s important to go back to your brand’s foundation and story and make sure it is still relevant and look at how to make this clearer and amplify this part of your message.

YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR BRAND WITH CAREFUL PLANNING AND ANALYSIS

If you have a small business or are interested in starting one, it’s important to know how to evaluate your brand. Branding is how consumers recognise what makes your product unique and exceptional compared with others on the market.

The branding process starts with understanding your audience and what they want from your product or service. It also involves understanding how they perceive competitors’ brands so that you can differentiate yourself from them. The more clearly defined this is before launching any marketing strategy, the better results you’ll see once advertising begins.

CONCLUSION

The brand audit is an important step for any business owner and can be done independently. This article has given you all the tools needed to conduct a thorough brand audit on your own, from gathering information to analysing and creating action plans based on the results of your analysis.

We hope that it’s been helpful for you!

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