No one thinks his or her kid is ugly. So, when clients come to me asking what they should do about their established brand, it’s sometimes a tricky conversation. I fully recognize what it has taken them to get their business to the point of coming to me in the first place. I know they birthed their business from a passion, an incident, or a multitude of other reasons. As a result, it’s sometimes difficult for them to see their brands objectively.
However, if you have experienced a dip in sales, are seemingly lagging behind your competition, or your website traffic has slowed to a turtle’s pace then those are clear signs your brand is in desperate need of a brand audit.
Business owners are passionate creatures, and it’s challenging for all of us to shift into a pragmatic mindset to figure out what is in the best interest of each business for growth. Before we make any decisions about how much change is needed for any client’s brand, we need a brand audit.
The purpose of a brand audit is to ascertain how your business is performing in the eyes of your customers. A majority of businesses go through the process of auditing their brand when they have a vested interest in making changes like for the reasons earlier stated.
Companies also every few years should simply consider re-Branding, or re-Freshing their current look, voice or overall vibe. A brand audit is the perfect time to take a look at your current brand and see where it has shifted since its inception.
Brands are like living creatures with life cycles. They start with promise, grow steadily and then eventually plateau. It’s at this stage when brands can potentially loose relevance to its customers. In this 24/7 world, consumers won’t bat an eye as they move on to the latest hot new thing unless you maintain their interest.
A brand audit helps you uncover whether or not:
- Your branding is outdated.
- Your products or services have changed.
- Your current brand is inconsistent.
- You’re not reaching your target audience anymore
- You’re preparing for change, growth or evolution
A comprehensive brand audit should also identity these items:
- Your brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (via a SWOT analysis)
- The current value and awareness of your brand
- Your brand’s potential new product development channels
- Your brand’s competitive standing in the existing market (via a competitive analysis)
- Your brand’s customer persona
- Your brand’s perception, image, reputation and attitude in the marketplace
Once you’ve gathered all of your information and assessed the strength of your brand you can decide which course of action to take. A comprehensive brand audit will often reveal new growth opportunities for your brand, and new ways to make your brand resonate with both existing and a new generation of target customers who will represent your brand’s long term future.
Stay tuned to learn more about the various routes your brand could take once you’ve tackled your brand audit. And, if you find yourself still struggling after you attempt to do your own review, give us a call. We have a free resource that you might find helpful.