Brand audit: what you need to know

A brand audit is the full analysis of a brand in its current state. They are essential when you are considering a brand refresh or rebrand. Due to the ever-changing nature of modern trends and industry environments, a brand needs to occasionally refresh themselves to stay relevant, but before this can be done, a thorough audit must be implemented.

A brand audit helps you establish what qualities in your brand are still beneficial, allowing you to focus on restructuring your identity in a way that promotes qualities that are still effective and address areas that are no longer effective.

But what are the key considerations when performing a brand audit? Here at Dusted, we are experts at brand audits, so allow us to offer our top five tips.

Gather brand materials

To study your brand, you need to look at it from every perspective and that means gathering information. Lots of it. The data that’s most relevant to your brand will change on a case-by-case basis, but essentially you need enough to effectively evaluate your brand identity. What must be included in your materials are your company name and positioning statement; your logo, signature graphics, and brand colours; the tone and language; all website domains; an inventory of your social channels; web analytics; keyword association with your website; and any online advertising campaigns.

You should also compare your current customers to your target customers.

Ask around

Surveys can provide you with a lot of helpful feedback. Internal surveys offer you an overview of your team’s opinion, while external surveys (shared with current and prospective clients) help you understand what emotive reactions your brand triggers from the perspective of your target audience. By comparing these reactions to your brand goals, you narrow down the focus to the areas that are not achieving their objectives.

When writing a survey, start out with some screening questions that will help ensure that the survey is in the hands of the right audience. A screening question is one that immediately establishes if the person answering is in the right demographic. It could be specific to your industry, like, ‘Does your business have a cloud database?’ or it could be for eliminating demographics that aren’t applicable, e.g. gender or age.

Keep the questions ambiguous and try not to lead the reader in a particular direction. Make sure that the questions are likely to produce valuable data that tells you more about your brand’s position. For instance, if your business is in the FinTech sector, you should ask what brands come to mind in that industry, and how favourably they think of those brands.

Examine competitors

You and your competitors shape the market and must follow the expectations of your audience. You need to study your competitors to understand your place in the market; examining the successes and failures of your competitors will give you a sense of whether or not your brand is falling behind. Consider how competitor brands’ actions make you feel about your own.

Examining competitor brands will also give you some insight into attitudes of the market. By studying reactions from customers – such as reactions to a social media campaign or competitor brand refresh – you can get a good idea of what expectations your market has.

Review your data

This is no small task. The data you’ve collected should be coming from web analytics, social media, and sales data, all of which need to be scrutinised:

  • Web Analytics
    94% of B2B clients conduct research before making a purchase, so it’s important to study your website to see how it is performing. How are users navigating to your site? What is your bounce rate? How many times are users having to click links before they arrive at their destination? By performing a deep analysis of site visitors’ actions, you can get a good idea of the type of audience your site is attracting.
  • Social Data
    According to Social Media Examiner, 71% of business owners state that marketplace insight is one of the most valuable benefits of social media. Despite this, only 50% of marketers think social media research impacts their company. The demographic information available through social media gives you a better understanding of your audience, but you can also find out who is linking to your website.

    By analysing social media attitudes you can gain a broad public opinion of your brand or a specific campaign. Studying the language used on social media in relation to your brand and market can inform you of the associations with your brand. By assessing this data, you can work out a strategy to reposition your brand to meet the needs of the market.

  • Sales Data
    Your sales data should be analysed regularly anyway so, naturally, you would include it in your brand audit. Be sure to examine it in conjunction with the rest of your data to help you identify any problem areas. Your sales data should include an analysis of the entire customer journey to establish problem areas that are causing your brand to miss opportunities.

Make a plan

Having compiled and analysed your data you will have a better idea of how to implement your brand strategy. You should follow up your analysis with actionable targets based on your findings with a timeline of expected results. Be sure to constantly monitor progress on each action to ensure your targets are being reached.

 

Those are our top tips for a brand audit. It can be quite time-consuming and difficult to accomplish without experience or the software to get accurate results. Luckily, Dusted is quite adept at all things branding – we can get right to the heart of a brand and discover what makes it tick and what traits make it stand out. We then compare this to our thorough and intricate research into the market to deliver relevant and valuable feedback. If you would be interested to know more, get in touch via our Contact Us page – we look forward to hearing from you!