We all know effective branding when we see it, but the work that goes on behind the scenes to maintain a great company image can often go unnoticed. A brand audit is a great way to assess your business and how your current strategies are contributing to your success, but if you’ve never had to do one before it may be tricky to know where to start. We’ve outlined the fundamentals of a brand audit and why it may be time you put one into action.
This blog will explain the basics of what a brand audit is, and why you should consider doing one. It will also include our simple guide to an effective audit process for a small-to-medium enterprise. For personalised advice and help planning an audit, contact Somer Design today.
What is a Brand Audit?
To put it simply, a brand audit is a total assessment and reconfiguration of your brand. It acts as a check-up of sorts, examining how your current setup is working in the market and giving the opportunity to adjust your current processes. It’s all about examining and strengthening, ensuring that your branding and marketing is in the best position possible to set your business up for success.
When and Why Should You do a Brand Audit?
The influence of our brand is incredibly powerful. Strong branding creates trust in a business, encourages customer engagement, and helps employees to connect with their work. Often your branding is the face of your company – the reputation, perception, and values you’re putting out into the world. Something this important requires regular maintenance and development, as designing your brand isn’t a one-time deal.
A brand audit may often be in order if you’re looking to entirely refresh and rebrand your company, but it can also be a great idea just to check up on how things are progressing. Maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve even looked into your branding, or maybe you feel it’s time for a reboot to shake things up. Either way, doing a brand audit can give some great insight.
Our 5 Step Brand Audit for SMEs
So, what does an audit look like? We’ve broken down the process into five easy steps for SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises), to help give you a better understanding of how to build an audit plan from scratch.
Step One – Self-Assessment
It all begins with a total review of your current processes. Refer back to your marketing plan and identify the foundation of your business – what are your values, goals, and intended perception? How successfully are these being achieved? Be thorough as you analyse your branding both internal and external, identifying the strengths and weaknesses to sort through what’s working effectively and what needs to be reconfigured.
Step Two – Competitor Analysis
Looking to the competitors in your field can shed a lot of light on your own success, and how you need to be continually adjusting to keep up with those around you. Examine what your competition is doing, what works well and what you want to avoid.
- What are they offering?
- What’s their USP (unique selling proposition)?
- What can you be offering to persuade customers to do business with you instead?
Step Three – Outside Opinion
The next step is to seek input from those outside of the company. An effective way to do this may be through customer survey, asking the public how they perceive your company and investigating how they’re responding to your current branding. Likewise, professional input can be invaluable:
- What does a marketing professional think of your current plans and processes?
- What areas of improvement can they identify?
A fresh pair of eyes can work wonders. As a branding expert, our Founder Caroline Somer can help with this step!
Step Four – Action
With areas of growth identified, it’s time to put your plan into action. Some of the changes you might include in a total brand audit are:
- Website redesign (changing up the layout, colours, logo, images, or offers highlighted)
- Social media (sourcing new profile images, writing up a new bio, making changes to the content/schedule of your posts)
- Team (uniform redesign, change in internal messages and relationships, communication of new values or goals)
- Logo (designing a new ‘face’ of your company, communicating a rebranding through the imagery associated with your company)
Step Five – Review
Branding is an ongoing process. With changes made and new branding in order, it’s important to review how these choices affect your success and results. Monitor what’s working to ensure your brand is in the best position possible and be prepared to adjust your branding strategies as needed.