Brand Audit is a meticulous and careful study and an examination of the brand’s current position in the market, customer’s mind, and the industry as a whole as compared to its competitors. It is the review of the brand’s effectiveness and helps to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for further development and evolvement and come up with the corrective measures if there are any inconsistencies that can harm the brand in future.
The main aim of Brand Audit is to understand and get the fundamental insights of where the brand currently stands in the market. It is one of the significant parts of the overall brand management and is a valuable exercise with an agenda of a long-term strategy. It is like to take a step back and look at the overall picture and the scenario from the third party perspective as many a time the brand promoters and cynosures tend to get biased towards the brand strategies and operations that may or may not be good for the brand and the overall company.
It is conducted when the brand is facing any issues on the front of positioning, sales, profits, and the way the customers and the market perceive the brand and corrective measures need to be taken to iron out the flaws if any. It is also conducted when the company wishes to rebrand itself with the new offerings of the products and services or due to the changing market dynamics or the evolving tastes and preferences of the customers.
The Brand Audit allows:
- To establish the performance of the brand in the market as compared to its arch competitors.
- Ascertain the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and the strengths of the brand.
- Develop and align the business strategies more closely to match the expectations of the customers.
- Determine the place of the brand in the market and from the customer’s point of view.
Factors that come under the fulcrum of Brand Audit:
Intrinsic Factors of the Brand:
- Tone of voice
- Logo and mascot
- Creative artworks
Extrinsic Factors of the Brand:
- Marketing and sales collaterals
- Customer Relationship Management
- Employee welfare and motivation
- Sales figures
- Marketing plan and budgets
- Nature of products and services offered
The importance of Brand Audit
Brand Audit helps the brand and the company to focus on the existing as well the prospective customers to meet their demands and expectations. It helps defining that why the customer is loyal to the brand or not, what are the factors that acts as a pull factor and makes the new customers reach out to the brand, and what steps need to be taken to devise a strategy or a plan to keep the customers loyal to the brand amidst the tough competition in the market.
It helps the brand promoters and the cynosures to figure out the potential attributes and differences of the brand that makes it stand apart and carve a distinctive identity in the market and command a premium for its products and services offered.
As we all know that there are quite many brands in the market that offer similar lines of products and services but there are a few crucial elements of some brands that set them apart from the competition giving a potential edge and the process of Brand Audit helps the company to define that edge that works as a competitive difference.
It helps the company to rebrand itself with the refined and revalued set of values, ethos, and objectives along with the renewed corporate identity with the catchy logo, tagline, vision, mission, and creative’s that are aligned with the nature, values, and objectives of the brand.
6 Steps to conduct a Brand Audit:
1. Create a brand summary and framework
The first step of the Brand Audit is to create a brand summary and the framework that encompasses the intrinsic factors such as values, objectives, the tone of voice, logo, tagline, and mascot amongst other along with the extrinsic factors such as marketing collaterals, sales figures, marketing plans, and others. The entire history of the brand architecture and its important elements needs to be studied in depth and figure out if it is working for the benefit of the brand or not.
2. Determine the survey methods
For the Brand Audit results to be effective and of the optimum level, it is very important to determine and select the survey methods that will bring the measurable results. The methods vary from the email surveys, telephonic surveys, one-to-one meetings, and social media surveys with the existing and prospective customers along with the crucial members of the industry related to the brand. There are many agencies that help to conduct the audit and survey in a successful manner.
The questions asked in the survey should always be related to the brand and the offerings along with the open-ended questions such as what do the customers expect from the brand, does it need any improvisations, and are they happy with its offerings and way the brand conducts itself in the market.
3. Competition check
Having a closer look at the competition by figuring out that what are they offering, their target audience, the quantum of customers, marketing and sales strategies, brand values, fundamentals, and objectives is an imperative step of the Brand Audit.
4. Review sales data
There has to be a thorough review of the sales data and figures over a period of time determining the profit ratios and proper filtration of the customer data with the parameters such as age, gender, location, income levels, and the nature of the purchase. The fluctuation of sale prices also needs to be considered with the perspective of market cycles.
5. Review web and social analytics
Web analytics also needs to be reviewed by getting the number of hits and visits that has been on the company website from the domestic and international markets as it results in the level of brand value and awareness in the target markets. The same applies to the social media handles of the brand.
6. Analyze the results
Once the audit is successfully completed with the measurable results in hand, it is important to analyze the results without being biased towards the brand and work on the facets that are inconsistent and needs improvement.