It will allow you to take a step back and look at the overall picture, which can inform longer term strategy. Your brand is the impression people have of your business. It also distinguishes your products or services from your competitors. Your company’s attitude and appearance shape your brand, just as your marketing collateral does.
A Brand Audit spots strengths and weaknesses in your brand and uncovers inconsistencies in how customers, prospects, employees and others view your company.
It is based on the point of view that successful brands are built from the inside out and it will help you determine opportunities for improvement and new developments. It will establish a clear overview of your entire organisation and current strategy, something done best by objective professionals outside your company.
The purpose of a brand audit is to ascertain how your business and brand is performing. It delivers value and benefits by enabling you to:
Our number one priority is to understand your organisation – its mission, vision and values, along with your target markets, corporate culture, competitive advantage, key messages, strengths and weaknesses, marketing strategies and challenges for the future. More than that we want to know about your customers. The better we understand them, their wants, needs and desires, the clearer and more accurate we can make your communication with them. Once the brand audit has been completed, an accurate diagnosis can be made about the state of your brand, paving the way for a proper prescription for what the brand needs to be healthier and more successful.
A brand audit is typically a bespoke service and as such there are many different components to an actual audit, all of which may not be relevant or required to conduct an appropriate evaluation of your brand performance. We will only know this after we complete the initial interviews and some early research. As such, it will most likely include most, if not all of the following: Fact finding and research, key management team interviews & internal research, external research & information, investigate the market, target audience, competitive landscape, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, application of current brand identity across all touchpoints and then a complete review.
Finally we compile the results and findings and present you with a written report, complete with our conclusions and recommendations. This physical end product of the audit is an invaluable document. It will contain sound business thinking based on strategic goals which can act as a plan for the growth and maintenance of the whole business, and can highlight unnoticed areas which may not be just underachieving, but actually harming your business. We bring into sharp focus precisely what you are communicating, to whom, where and when. We clearly define your key messages and unique selling propositions and establish if these are currently being communicated.
A word of caution: too many business consultants settle for the easy route and they’ll be polite, or lazy, or short-sighted, or a little bit wary and just tell you the good news: they’ll highlight what you’re doing right (even when you could be doing it better). That’s seldom the whole picture.
What you really need to know about, and can learn most from, is what you’re not doing so well.
Our audits pull no punches: we tell you our findings, our conclusions and our recommendations straight, even when we suspect you won’t like the evidence put before you. We tell you the good stuff, too, of course – and how to strengthen your strengths.
The audit is based on the principle of ‘touch points’: any time your company interacts with the outside world is an opportunity to make a good impression and build awareness of your brand, its image and profile. Essentially it’s a moment of truth. You touch the world with your website, tweets, advertising, point-of-sale, uniforms, business cards … every little thing. However, get your touch points wrong or inconsistent and you hit false notes and create unwanted impressions. Before you know it, your image is heading south.
When you are a business owner, it’s never easy to identify exactly what you are communicating across all your touch points with stakeholders, clients, prospects and other interested parties such as influencers. Many external, uncontrollable factors get in the way: market forces, competitors’ campaigns, emerging rivals, changing fashions, even the weather … it goes on and on. That’s why our brand audits are so helpful.
Most business owners and senior executives are probably too close to their own business to be truly objective. That’s not uncommon, but it is readily addressed by an expert brand consultancy. Only by conducting a Brand Audit can you establish if your brand is communicating the right message and where improvement is needed. It will often reveal new growth opportunities for your brand, and new ways to make your brand resonate with both existing and a new generation of target customers who will represent your brand’s long term future.
We believe our Brand Audit will advance your business, delivering key objectives such as shaping positioning and perception and building awareness, market share, sales and profits.
Strong brands command more money. The stronger your brand, the more powerful your business. A powerful brand can inspire, captivate and engage your audience and consequently dramatically increase your bottom line.
Also, a robust, consistent brand means you spend less money attracting new customers. Your current customers keep coming back to you and you are able to charge a premium price for your goods and services. Equally a weak, disconnected, out of touch brand will gradually see its market decline and become obsolete.
The far-reaching impact of a consistent brand identity and clear communications cannot be overlooked. Even internally if your staff feel part of a coherent team, with a unified look and feel, it will contribute to a professional working environment from which your customers will benefit.