Brand Audit

Updated on March 19, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Brand Audit?

A brand audit is a comprehensive analysis that gives a clear idea of a brand’s performance against the predetermined goals and involves looking at the wider landscape to evaluate how the performance positions the brand in the market. It enables companies to identify their strengths and weaknesses for further development.

Brand Audit

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Performing such an audit enables companies to look at the complete picture. This, in turn, allows them to formulate a long-term strategy. This audit involves reviewing data to spot the areas where the organization can enhance its overall performance and improve its brand positioning. The brand audit framework covers three areas — external branding, customer experience, and internal branding.

Key Takeaways

  • Brand audit meaning refers to a comprehensive study and examination of a brand’s position in the market as compared to its peers.
  • Formulating strategies to eliminate any inconsistency that can harm the brand is a crucial purpose of brand audits. Moreover, by carrying out such an audit, businesses can spot attributes that give them a competitive edge in the market.
  • This audit involves looking into three areas. They are internal branding, customer experience, and external branding.
  • Companies may perform this audit for various reasons, like poor sales, low website traffic, etc.

Brand Audit Explained

Brand audit meaning refers to a process that assesses how a company’s products and brands are positioned in the market. Such an audit enables companies to establish their brand’s performance and spot both external and internal strong and weak points. This enables the organizations to develop a strategy that can help them achieve their long-term objectives.

There are various reasons why a company may consider carrying out this type of audit. A few common reasons are as follows:

  • Its marketing efforts are not generating the best results.
  • Consumers are not opening emails.
  • It is recording low sales.
  • Website traffic is low.

One must note that brands with a decent return on investment and website traffic might also require this type of audit. For instance:

  • When it is time for a company to rebrand
  • If there is no clarity regarding the visual identity
  • If the business grew before cementing a brand strategy

A brand audit is essential to build a strong brand that can generate high sales. Large companies often hire specialists that provide brand audit services. However, it is not always necessary. Marketing officers can also conduct this audit. In small businesses, a team can carry out the audit.

As noted above, these audits cover three areas. Let us look at them in detail.

  • External Branding: This refers to the story a company’s messaging, products, and services tell its customers. Elements such as logos, advertisements, websites, social media presence, and email campaigns are part of a business’s external brand.
  • Customer Experience: This component can include content engagement or customer service interactions. Auditing this aspect can show companies how well their customers can experience their brand via customer support and sales processes.
  • Internal Branding: Internal branding involves educating employees about the organization’s mission and values. When auditing this aspect, internal surveys can give details regarding the culture and employees.

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Steps

A brand audit process involves the following steps:

#1 – Create A Framework

The first step involves listing different measurements the company hopes to capture, what it expects to learn, and what it plans to review. This framework helps the organization that impacts its brand positioning.

#2 – Review External Marketing

Reviewing this aspect means checking everything that consumers can see. A few examples are as follows:

  • Brochures
  • Logos
  • Business cards
  • Packages and labels
  • Letterheads

Businesses must review the above elements to ensure consistency across all delivery methods and platforms, for example, websites, newsletters, and emails.

#3 – Conduct Customer Surveys

An easy way to understand how customers perceive a brand is by doing customer surveys. Businesses must use a combination of email surveys, online surveys, phone surveys, social media polls, and customer focus groups to receive customer feedback.

#4 – Check Website Data

In this phase of the brand audit process, organizations must audit their website’s content and review their analytics to accumulate data regarding how customers interact with their website. Analytics can be helpful if a business needs to redesign, rearrange, or rewrite pages to guide website visitors to their bestselling products or services. While conducting this audit, organizations should try increasing their traffic or conversions.

#5 – Check Social Media Analytics

The next phase involves reviewing social media analytics to determine how consumers engage with the brand. The data helps companies determine whether their social media marketing strategy enables them to reach their target market. Businesses can view shares, check the followers, and read comments to find out who engages with their brand and how often.

#6 – Check Sales Data

This audit also allows businesses to review their sales data related to the brand. Organizations want to identify the products they sell the most and spot the trends related to their marketing initiatives.

#7 – Check Target Demographics

When reviewing social, website, and sales analytics, organizations can determine who engages with their content and purchases their products. With the help of certain data analytics tools, companies can find out more details about their customers, for example, their additional interests and common shopping behaviors.

#8 – Do An Internal Survey

A company’s employees must be passionate about the business’s mission. This enables them to effectively create marketing materials, sell products, and represent the organization based on their responsibilities. Carrying out a survey can help businesses know what their employees feel about the brand.

#9 – Engage In Competitive Research

Assess a few competitors’ brands to understand what similar organizations are doing. The assessment must involve examining their websites, logos, social media accounts, and marketing copies.

#10 – Check The Detailed Results

Companies must review all the data accumulated to see what they learned about their brand. Then, they must identify the trends between the analytical information and qualitative feedback to know if they align with their expectations.

#11 – Prepare An Action Plan

Based on the results, businesses must create a comprehensive action plan to execute potential brand changes. Begin by establishing some baseline objectives and a timeline to fulfill them. They must prioritize their objectives based on what may have the most significant impact on the business.

#12 – Track The Progress

As a business implements its plan of action, it must continue to track its progress.

Checklist

Let us look at the brand audit checklist.

  • Define a goal that the audit must achieve.
  • Assess the marketing materials.
  • Evaluate the brand’s website.
  • Assess the brand’s performance concerning social media.
  • Do a customer survey.
  • Assess brand awareness.
  • Conduct internal and competitive brand audits.
  • Check the results and resolve the issues by making a plan.
  • Track the performance.

Examples

Let us look at a few brand audit examples to understand the concept better.

Example #1

Suppose Amacon was a t-shirt manufacturer. It wanted to know about its brand’s position in the market and, thus, conducted a brand audit. The process involved establishing a framework, determining the survey techniques, performing a competition check, and reviewing its web analytics, sale data, and social analytics. Lastly, it analyzed the results to work on the inconsistent areas that required improvement.

Example #2

On February 28, 2023, Alioth announced that it added SearchDx to the Hiring Success Platform. This data-driven solution will streamline the executive recruitment procedure and help improve hiring decisions. Besides Search Dx, the organization’s Hiring Success Platform consists of the following two solutions:

  • BrandDx: This brand diagnostic helps organizations comprehend and enhance their employer brand perception and reputation by using conventional brand audit methods and digital analysis, delivering recommendations and actionable insights to improve public presence, reduce risks, attract top talent, and address blind spots.
  • OrgDx: This lightweight diagnostic can transform the conventional executive search procedure by offering insights into role definition, organizational alignment, search strategy, candidate fit, and key outcomes.  

Importance

One can go through the following points to understand the importance of brand audits:

  • It helps companies determine their brand’s position in the market and formulate improvement strategies.
  • This audit helps companies carry out a health check of their brand.
  • A vital purpose of brand audits is to enable businesses to perform a SWOT analysis and identify their strong and weak points.
  • The audit allows companies to analyze the sentiment their brand generates among the target customers.
  • It enables organizations to explore customers’ expectations and align their offerings accordingly.
  • This audit helps a company define the edge that serves as a competitive difference. In other words, it enables brand promoters to identify the distinct attributes that set the brand apart from the rest of the market.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the biggest challenges in conducting a brand audit?

The most significant challenge a business faces while carrying out this audit involves not comprehending the main purpose of its brand. When businesses do not clearly understand their brand’s central concept and how the operations are undertaken, they encounter various challenges when conducting this audit.

2. What are the outcomes of a brand audit?

When the audit is successful, the outcome is a plan of action highlighting various aspects of the brand that require improvement. Based on that, the company can take corrective measures.

3. What do you measure in a brand audit?

Businesses conducting this audit look into the verbal and visual language of their brand and its competitors. Moreover, the process involves analyzing touch points, for example, sales and marketing collateral, websites, internal communications, etc., to evaluate cohesiveness, consistency, and positioning.

4. What happens after a brand audit?

After the audit, brand managers and strategists can benefit from a detailed understanding of all brand elements. They present the findings in an audit report recommending new marketing techniques to enhance brand performance.

This has been a guide to what is Brand Audit. Here, we explain the topic in detail with its examples, checklist, steps, and importance. You can learn more about from the following articles –

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