For all business owners, whether small or large, it is important to do a brand audit from time to time. If we wanted to explain in simple words the purpose of the audit, we would say that an audit is something like a regular medical check-up, obligatory once a year. So, prevention is much better than cure, so it’s the same with the brand.
You need to check what works and what doesn’t and how it can be fixed. We hope that you have avoided some of the most common mistakes in the brand building at the start, and if you haven’t, the brand audit will clearly show that. Also, if you are still wondering why your online sales are not working or how to reach more customers via social networks – a brand audit is definitely for you. Let’s take a closer look at this term and its importance.
What is a brand audit and why should you know this term?
A brand audit is an in-depth analysis of the current positioning of the brand and your business on the market, as well as how it is positioned in relation to the competition. This analysis provides an answer to the question of the way customers perceive the brand and how they are influenced by the owner’s long-term efforts to position it as best as possible. In this way, all the shortcomings and inconsistencies of your marketing strategy, as well as its strongest points, can be revealed.
If you’re wondering if your small business should do a survey like this, the answer is definitely YES. Even if you are doing great and achieving the best numbers ever, the business can always be better and there is room for improvement. A successful period is also an excellent moment to complete such a large-scale task because you will be able to see whether you are still going up or stagnant and resting on your old laurels.
A brand audit is also important to understand due to the global context that has been changing rapidly in recent years. Where is your brand in all these changes and how do you see it? Is it adaptable and can it handle crisis situations? How and to what extent does it understand the X, Y, Z, and Alpha generation, and how does it adapt to them? The answers lie in your brand and its strategy, which can either bring it to the top or drag it to the bottom.
How do you create a brand audit?
1.Determine goals and priorities
This is an initial step, which if done well, can provide an excellent basis for further brand analysis. Therefore, it is important to determine the goals, i.e., in which direction the brand wants to move and what results to achieve. Goals should correspond to the acronym SMART (in English – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based), which means they should be precisely defined and easy to understand. Setting goals like this will teach you to set priorities more easily and to know in what order you should work on their achievement. Name the goals and divide them into a top, high and low priority.
2.Conversation with customers
Brand evaluation cannot be done without talking to customers. Their opinion of your brand should be a guideline for your further planning. Try to listen to them and understand their perspective and experience of the brand. That way, you’ll know exactly what’s standing in the way of your brand’s progress. It is important to listen to what customers have to say about your main competition, whether they appreciate them, what bothers them, etc. This information will help you not to repeat the same mistakes. For this purpose, contact with influencers, i.e. brand ambassadors, who are in constant contact with your brand, but still observe things objectively, and bring a different perspective, can also serve this purpose. Some of the topics for discussion could be:
- Product quality,
- Social media channels,
- Loyalty programs,
- Customer support, etc.
3.Analyze what customers have said about you
You asked a lot of questions in the previous interview or survey, but in order to really understand what customers think about your brand, it is important to correctly interpret and analyze their answers.
You can do this in real-time, with the help of certain tools, which analyze every comment, article, or hashtag related to your brand. This way, you will see at the moment if someone is commenting on the brand and you will be able to respond immediately. Also, the analysis can be done for the answers from the survey or for a certain period of time that you have determined.
If you are not expert enough to analyze such data yourself, you can contact us and we will do this part of the audit or the entire process for you. Contact us and arrange a meeting with our brand experts.
4.Research the competition
It is very important to do a competitive analysis because it will help you improve your marketing activities, spot new opportunities, and turn your competition’s weaknesses to your advantage to increase your profits. For this purpose, you can again use social networks and research on them what customers think about your competition, then what questions they ask, whether they criticize them, and why. In addition, be sure to look at their advertisements on the networks, as well as the website. Finally, be sure to also research how their customer support works.
5.Draw conclusions and take action
Once you’ve gathered all the information from your brand audit, it’s time for the final conclusions. This part of the process is particularly important because you gather all the information you have obtained in one place and come to conclusions through a comparative analysis. For an even better understanding of the data, you can also present it visually. This is also an excellent moment for a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). The next step is to implement the conclusions and make a clear action plan, in which you will define the areas to be worked on and how to reach the set goals.