How to do a brand audit [free workbook]
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You wouldn’t be alone if you were somewhat uncertain at what is meant by the term ‘brand’. Imagine a virtual shopping bag: inside are all the factors that make up your business – the staff, company values, the products, culture of the company etc. All of these items are contained within the shopping bag – which is the brand. Essentially, a brand is what encompasses your whole business – a term that is made easy to understand in our downloadable brand audit workbook.
Strong brands provide increased profits and company value. They enable organisations to command a premium, ensure customer preference in buying decisions and build customer loyalty, thus reducing the cost of sales and providing a competitive advantage.
If you work for a small business, you may not think of your company as a brand, but the same principles apply to grow a business as for large-scale brand valuations like these:
A brand audit will provide you with insights into your brand’s impact and performance in the marketplace. 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.
The depth and extent of a brand audit is based on the size of your:
• Size and strength of your brand
What is a brand audit?
A brand audit is an analysis of your brand in order to identify its position in the market and how it is performing against goals and objectives.
According to the industry and type of company being audited, the approach will differ, but regardless of what you choose to measure, a brand audit will enable you to:
Measure how your brand is performing.
Establish what’s working and what isn’t.
Determine your position in the market, alongside your competitors.
Understand your customers and their expectations.
How do I conduct a brand audit?
We’re going to look at three practical, actionable takeaways, identifying key opportunities. You will be introduced to techniques which:
Conduct customer research. Understanding your customers’ experience at each stage of their journey with you is an important part of your audit and will enable you to understand how your brand is perceived.
Review your brand on social media. The data available from social media will provide you with access to insightful information – such as your brand’s exposure, brand’s engagement and its influence – which is unavailable through other channels.
Map your position alongside your competitors. Understanding your position in the market versus the competition will enable you to minimize threats and take advantage of opportunities.
How is a brand audit structured?
A brand audit is essentially structured around three key brand auditing techniques. Each is split into a practical explanation and examples of the technique and then four or five steps you can work through to achieve this.
Why is it important?
Maintaining and analysing your company brand is an essential process – a strong, consistent and effective brand leads to brand equity and increased profitability. Building brand equity means that you’ll:
Invest less in attracting new customers.
Increase customer retention.
Encourage online and offline referrals.
Be able to charge a premium price for your goods and services.
Looking objectively at your organisation will enable initiatives that engender customer loyalty and build increased market share. Organisations who manage and continually audit their brand, regarding it as an asset, are those that customers value and trust.
A powerful brand can engage and inspire your audience, increasing sales, growth and profitability. Even strong brands need to conduct brand audits to ensure a fresh and relevant approach.
Examples of effective branding
IKEA’s brand positioning and strategy is noteworthy in that it is not comparable with any other. Here’s why:
Its staff have one goal: ‘getting the customer home to easily assemble their products’.
The customer works on and influences their products (also known as self-assembly!) and therefore builds a connection with them.
Each customer creates their own personal story with IKEA’s products which they can share; a unique user experience.
It has created a name for its brand through providing its customers with an experience like no other (and which we can all relate to).
The company’s objective is to supply you with the most affordable furniture.
Given that it is at the bottom end of the spectrum, IKEA can exceed expectations easily.
IKEA isn't just innovating in its design process, it is now innovating in their customer research approach too, taking a leading approach with its customer insights: chatbot surveys. IKEA is the master of efficiency and it seems that it is working with its research agencies, to take this approach to customer insight. https://www.smartinsights.com/marketplace-analysis/customer-analysis/how-ikea-are-innovating-in-customer-research/
Blue Shadow Marketing’s Managing Director, Kate Armstrong, also keeps an eye out for effective branding: “A particular campaign that recently caught my eye is the branding association between Fever-Tree and the Queen’s Tennis Club. The mixer brand Fever-Tree has announced a three-year partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association, which saw it sponsor the annual grass court tournament at The Queen’s Club in June 2018. A special edition ‘Championship G&T’ was sold exclusively at the event to celebrate the new partnership.
What I consider to be so effective is the value match between this brand association. The quality tonic brand complements the Queen’s Club perfectly, as it instantly alludes to high quality and prestige. It is the clever precision and attention to detail which results in the effective branding here, appealing to both audiences of the two brands. The sharp, witty tag line, ‘Mix with the best’, is particularly effective, epitomising how to do successful branding.”
What makes these brands effective?
Your brand comprises your complete offering to your customers, including:
• What it stands for.
• Its personality.
• The experience it provides.
• What it promises to deliver.
• Tone of voice.
• The culture of the organisation it represents.
• Brand collateral.
• The people who represent it.
Brand equity is achieved through the complete perception of your brand, including how your customers see your total offering. Brand equity leads to:
• Customer loyalty.
• Recommendations to others.
• Ongoing relationships.
• Negotiating power with suppliers.
• Long-term growth such as extending your product range or targeting new markets.
• The ability to charge higher prices for your brand.
Is your brand unforgettable to your customers? Does it resonate with their hearts and minds?
Over the next three blogs, we’re going to be looking at how you put the theory into practice, introducing you to three simple techniques that make up the brand audit. The three practical techniques are each split into a practical explanation and examples of the technique and then four or five steps you can work through to ensure a successful brand audit.
For more information on how to work through a brand audit, our free workbook provides you with an easy step-by-step guide.
If you have any questions about brand audits or need help in managing business brand, we’d be happy to talk to you. Either call Kate Armstrong on 01900 269840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org