The brand audit is probably the most recurring set of activities of brand marketers: probably not as a whole, but in its key ingredients. Marketers often think of their brands’ assets vs. the competition, their brand architecture vs. the competitors. They analyze their competitors’ product labels, packaging, and digital assets and build their strategies or tactical responses based on these analyses.
The Brand Audit helps you understand your brand.
It’s essential to understand your brand in an intellectually honest way. This is a requirement to develop and improve the brand further.
A brand audit is an excellent way to gain this understanding, as it provides an overview of your current situation concerning the critical aspects of the state of your brands. A well-executed brand audit will give insight into where you are now and how far along you are in your branding journey.
What is a Brand Audit?
A brand audit is a process of evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your brand. It can be an “inside-out” process, where you use internal resources to assess your branding, or an “outside-in” process, where you work with consumers and customers to understand their perception of your company. Either way, a brand audit helps you know more about what others think about your business and allows you to find out what makes people value it as much as they do.
We prefer a brand audit that is both inside-out and outside-in: in a nutshell, a process where both the subjective and personal view of the people working on the brand and the more objective brand perception of the external people are balanced.
The brand audit is a snapshot of three separate but interdependent components: the brand, its competitors, and the marketplace.
The latter is a simple snapshot of the critical trends shaping the industry and how consumption is evolving. In their respective brand audits, the potential of Tesla and Ford will be heavily different depending on how well EVs are developing vs. ICE cars.
The snapshot of the brand must consider how well the execution fits the strategy and, ultimately, how well the plan works in the evolving landscape.
On the other end, the snapshot of the competitors is about – first and foremost – reverse engineering their strategy and assessing how well they are performing vs. our brand.
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- Brand Analysis
- Product Performance
- Audit of advertising and communication Assets
- Competitors Analysis
- Audit of advertising and communication Assets
- Market Snapshot
- Consumer trends
- Channel Trends
- Product/ Benefits/ Technology Trends
- Brand Equity Study (TOM Awareness, recall, key attributes,…)
While many of those activities marketers perform daily, a full-fledged brand audit is a resource-intensive process that rarely happens.
It allows you to know what others think of your brand.
A brand audit is a tool to help you understand your brand. It allows you to know what consumers think of your brand.
A brand audit is a process through which we identify and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a brand to make it more effective in meeting its business objectives. In a nutshell, the audit provides insight into what’s working and what is not.
It also helps you to see how the public perceives your brand and what type of image they associate with it.
It helps you to find out the strengths and weaknesses of your brand.
- It helps you to find out the strengths and weaknesses of your brand.
- It allows you to know your competitors better.
- It will enable you to identify the customers’ needs and expectations, which other brands in the market are not meeting.
- It helps you to understand what kind of products or services your customers need from your business.
A brand audit lets you see where your brand fits into the scheme.
The brand audit lets you see where your brand fits into the scheme. It gives you an insight into how your brand compares to other brands in its category and what makes it unique.
A brand audit allows you to understand if your brand is better than the competition, worse than them, or just as good. This way, you can take steps towards improving or maintaining your position concerning other brands in your field.
It allows you to filter out the weak aspects of your brand while retaining the strong ones.
- It allows you to filter out the weak aspects of your brand while retaining the strong ones.
- It helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of your brand.
A brand audit is a tool for improvement; it helps you better use your resources and streamline operations, ultimately increasing business efficiency.
Risks in performing a brand audit.
In our social media-centric world, there are several risks in performing a brand audit. Here are some examples:
- A disconnect between social media followers and real brand users/ consumers/ customers. When the overlap between the followers and users is not high, whose opinion counts? And why would you follow and not the consumer?
- A brand audit does not happen every cycle. It does not even happen every year. So how far do you go back in your snapshot? This is a critical question: if you go too far back, you might lose relevance to current events, but if you stick to the present, you might lose the granularity of data.
- Are you the best person to assess your communication assets? Probably not. Get an external consultant/ designer/ Marcom expert for that
- When we work daily in a marketplace, we perceive our competitors’ positioning based on what we see and view. But we should reverse engineer their positioning from the point of view of consumers only…, not ours
- You could use external experts and external expert views instead of consumers in a brand audit. However, you should not mix the two. The expert view will likely have a bias that must be easy to spot.
- A brand audit is a data collection process never presents to management raw data. Bring them insights and strategic views.
In conclusion, a Brand Audit is an excellent way to understand your brand better and how it compares with the competition. It’s a vital exercise before deciding to reposition or rebrand a brand. While many methodologies exist, we always recommend using one which balances internal and external points of view.