What is a Brand Audit (And How to Get One Started)

     

Published: January 16, 2017

Whether your company has yet to clearly define its branding or it’s time to update old ideas, a brand audit is an important step in lining up your marketing and advertising strategy. During a brand audit, your team will take the time to comb through what defines you as a company and then create (or recreate) an identity and messaging to support that definition.

What is a Brand Audit?

In short, a brand audit is an opportunity to check in with your internal teams and your external customers to make sure your brand is aligned with your company’s core values, sales goals, and marketing messages—or to create this from scratch for growing businesses that are new to the process.
Your company’s brand audit can be as detailed or as simple as you have the time and resources to dedicate to the process. For large companies with a full marketing staff, dedicating a team to perform market research and develop a branding book is a worthy endeavor. For the solo entrepreneur or small business, a simple style guide and a Q&A sheet can get the job done. 

What Questions to Ask?

The process of a brand audit is all about evaluating your identity as a company. From the surface appearances to the values you represent, each piece of the puzzle matters. Here are some questions to ask and points to evaluate to help get you started:
  • Core Values. Does your company focus on boosting the local economy while supporting the surrounding neighborhoods? Are you trying to have an impact on the global community by contributing to charitable causes? Is employee safety your greatest concern? Do your products or services focus on providing long lasting value or helping people save money? Or both, perhaps? Defining who you are and what image to showcase will set the parameters for the rest of the audit.

  • Company Name & Tagline. Is your company name and tagline effective? Does it give customers and investors the immediate information and confidence they need? Branding and rebranding all start with a name. If yours isn’t working, consider alternatives.

  • Your Company’s Look. Your logo, signature colors, and other elements that add to your image make a big impact. Make sure your current look is consistent and supports your messaging. Harsh lettering and stark colors may be perfect for a legal firm, but all wrong for a daycare.

  • Your Company’s Voice. The tone of your messaging can make or break your marketing and advertising efforts. Are you trying to come across as cool, confident and collected—a voice that might be just right for a physician—or friendly, approachable, and relaxed—a tone better suited for a small clothing outlet?

To Brand or Rebrand

Whether you’re building your brand for the first time or considering rebranding for a fresh start, defining your identity as a business requires an honest look at who you are and where you want to be. Then, build your image around that identity to give investors, employees, and consumers a formal introduction to your business. Lastly, be sure to check in often to see how people are responding to your branding and make adjustments as necessary.

Next Post: What is a Branding Book?

Categories: Branding
Tags: Branding, Brand Audit, Brand Identity
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