Performing a Brand Audit

I had a recent conversation with someone who said that when he started on as a marketing manager he took it upon himself to perform a full on brand audit and ended up learning more about the company and its brands than most people.  Now, I’ve been involved in re-branding exercises, and VOC’s but I haven’t really performed a brand audit in its true nature.  Knowing that this is something that could bring tremendous value to a brand I decided to explore what it means to perform a true multi-step brand audit.

In my search, I came across a few sources, which I’ll cite as I go but the one that came up first, due to its great SEO, was a post from Miles Design.  So get ready and get your pencils out! (P.S. Speaking of pencils, and you’ll understand why later, have you checked out my Hire Me! section of the blog?)

What is the purpose of a brand audit?

The purpose behind a brand audit is plain and simple: to gain a fundamental understanding of where your brand stands in its current state.

When and why should we audit our brand?

The majority of business go through the process of auditing their brand when they have a vested interest in making a change within their organization. Maybe they’re rebranding, or refreshing their current look. This would be a perfect time to take a look at your current brand and see where it has shifted since its inception. Perhaps an organization is unhappy with their internal communication and employee relations. A smart CEO or CMO might take that opportunity to judge what their brand stands for, who they are as a company and what they need to do from a communications stand point to fix the internal problems or issues.

Brand Audit Example

An extensive brand audit should look at the following categories:

Internal

  • Positioning
  • Brand Values
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP), brand promise, or brand essence
  • Voice
  • Culture
  • Product / Service positioning

 External

  • Corporate Identity – logos and other brand elements
  • Collateral-brochures, print materials, trade show displays, etc.
  • Advertising
  • Website
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Sponsorships/civic-involvement/memberships
  • News/PR
  • Content Marketing and other assets – blogs, white papers, case studies, articles, books, etc.
  • Testimonials
  • Videos

 Systems

  • Corporate identity/brand standards
  • HR policies/on-boarding process
  • Sales processes/touch points
  • Internal systems
  • Customer service systems

 Do the math.

How many new clients/projects would you have to win to justify the costs of a rebrand?

For most professional service firms, one or two clients would be more than enough to justify the investment.

Below are some additional resources:
Conducting an Effective Brand Audit – Ignition Consulting Group
Critical Steps When Conducting a Brand Audit – 8 Ways Media

P.S. The next blog post will be about conducting a social media audit so come on back!

2 thoughts on “Performing a Brand Audit

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