THE BRAND AUDIT

Brand Audit / Brand Strategy / Brand Collateral / Brand Consulting


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

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

1. STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
2. MISSION AND VISION
3. CORE VALUES
4. KEY MESSAGES
5. UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITIONS
6. BRAND POSITIONING
7. BRAND VALUES
8. BRAND PERSONALITY
9. CULTURE
10. CUSTOMER SERVICE
11. SALES PROCESSES
12. CURRENT BRAND PERCEPTIONS
13. AWARENESS OF THE BRAND IN THE MARKET IMAGE, REPUTATION AND ATTITUDE TO THE BRAND IN THE MARKET
14. COMPETITIVE STANDING IN THE MARKET
15. DEFICIENCIES IN THE BRAND
16. THE MARKET
17. NEW TRENDS
18. INDUSTRY ANALYST REPORTS
19. CURRENT TARGET AUDIENCES
20. POTENTIAL NEW TARGET AUDIENCES
21. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE BOTH DIRECT AND INDIRECT COMPETITORS
22. DIFFERENTIATION
23. EXTERNAL FACTORS
24. STRENGTHS
25. WEAKNESSES
26. OPPORTUNITIES
27. THREATS
28. POSSIBLE NEW PRODUCT/SERVICE DEVELOPMENT AND FUTURE CHANNELS OF PROFITABILITY

APPLICATION OF CURRENT BRAND IDENTITY INCLUDING:

1. BRAND NAME
2. TAGLINE
3. BRAND IDENTITY
4. CORPORATE COLOURS
5. STATIONERY
6. BROCHURES
7. MERCHANDISING
8. SALES COLLATERAL
9. ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION MATERIALS
10. SIGNAGE
11. VEHICLES
12. UNIFORMS
13. EXHIBITION MATERIAL
14. PROMOTIONAL ITEMS
15. WEBSITE
16. ONLINE ENGAGEMENT; BLOGS, SOCIAL MEDIA,VIDEO CONTENT, E-NEWSLETTER, APPS ETC.
17. NEWSLETTERS
18. PACKAGING
19. PHYSICAL PREMISES, OFFICES, STORES, ETC.
20. YOUR VOICE AND TONE OF MESSAGING

EMPLOYEE RESEARCH & INTERVIEWS

1. CORPORATE/SENIOR MANAGEMENT
2. MARKETING PERSONNEL
3. SALES FORCE
4. CUSTOMER SERVICE EMPLOYEES
5. FRONT LINE CUSTOMER CONTACTS

EXTERNAL INFORMATION RESEARCH & REVIEW

1. CUSTOMER INTERVIEW AND COMMENTS
2. BUSINESS STAKEHOLDER AND PARTNER INTERVIEWS AND COMMENTS

CONCLUSIONS

1. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

KNOW WHERE YOU STAND

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.

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? CONTACT US TO FIND OUT MORE >>>





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