THE BRAND AUDIT

Brand Audit / Brand Strategy / Brand Collateral / Brand Consulting

Define the problem - The brand audit

Darwin’s experience in generating compelling new brand identities and implementing them with full rollouts and the creation of brand guidelines and style guides enables us to offer a unique service. The Brand Audit.

In conducting one of our Brand Audits, we establish a clear overview of your entire organisation and current strategy, something done best by objective professionals outside your organisation.

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.

IF ALL YOU GET IS GOOD NEWS, IT’S PROBABLY BAD NEWS

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.

REACH OUT AND TOUCH THE WORLD … PROPERLY

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, stationery … 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.

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.

INSIDE TRACK

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.

WHAT HAPPENS IN A BRAND AUDIT

The audit involves a visit to your premises where we conduct interviews with all key members of your management team. We also require a complete set of company documentation at this meeting, from business plans, marketing plans, research, customer surveys, through to business cards, stationery, advertisements, brochures and any other collateral. We’ll even take photographs of your brand in action. Essentially any part of your company that comes into contact with your prospects and customers we will document.

After this initial visit we then conduct our own independent research, compile the results and present you with a written report which will cover areas including but not limited to:

• Strategic Objectives
• Vision
• Core Values
• Key Messages
• Unique Selling Propositions
• Brand Positioning
• Brand Values
• Brand Personality
• Current brand perceptions
• The Market
• Current Target Audiences
• Potential New Target Audiences
• Current Market Perceptions
• Competitive Landscape both Direct and Indirect Competitors
• Internal and External Research
• External Factors
• Opportunities
• Threats

• Application of current Brand Identity including:
• Brand name
• Brand Identity
• Stationery
• Brochures
• Advertising
• Signage
• Vehicles
• Uniforms
• Exhibition Material
• Promotional Items
• Website
• Social Media
• Newsletters
• Packaging

• Conclusions and Recommendations

KNOW WHERE YOU STAND

The 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 brand identity, 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.

We then go on to investigate the market, target audience, competitive landscape, opportunities and threats. Only by doing this can you establish if your brand is communicating the right message and where improvement is needed.

It’s like you are broadcasting and your customers are receiving. But are they receiving what you think they are? How can you tell?

ONCE YOUR AUDIT IS COMPLETE, IT’S TIME TO LOOK AT THE BRAND STRATEGY, WHICH YOU CAN READ ABOUT HERE >>>

READ ENOUGH AND JUST WANT TO GET STARTED? THEN CONTACT DARWIN NOW >>>





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