What is the process of a brand audit like?

Understand how to conduct a brand audit and analyze your performance with this 7-step guide. Get an overview of your results, audience, and competition.

Sometimes it can seem like the biggest brands have done all the hard work early on and are still reaping the rewards years later.

In fact, it’s often the opposite – there are established companies that struggle to stay innovative and agile as they grow.

It takes a great deal of work to always stay on top, due to every upstart trying to usurp your mark.

Continuous monitoring of results and reporting against targets provides continuous health check.

Conducting a brand audit allows you to step back and see the big picture, which can inform a longer-term strategy.

Whether it’s comparing with competitors, considering a rebrand, or simply wanting a broader overview of performance and positioning, conducting an audit can be a valuable exercise.

What is the process of a brand audit like?

What is a brand audit?

A brand audit is a detailed analysis that shows how your brand is currently performing against its stated goals, and then you look at the bigger picture to see how that performance positions you in the market.

Therefore, the methodology will differ across industries and individual companies. Regardless of the exact criteria you choose to measure, an audit should allow you to:

  • Establish your brand’s performance
  • Discover your strengths and weaknesses
  • Align your strategy more closely with the expectations of your customers.
  • Understand your place in the market compared to the competition.

One option is to use a brand agency to conduct a comprehensive audit. They can examine the internal brand: its positioning , voice , brand values, culture, USP and product.

We at ABDUL RIMAAZ also consider; the logo and other elements of branding, website, advertising, SEO, social media, sponsorships, event displays , news and public relations, and content marketing.

We also analyze the company’s infrastructure, such as customer service, human resource policies, and sales processes.

A brand offers an experience in every interaction with the market.

Following this   step-by-step brand audit process will allow you to understand how your market feels about that brand experience, both your internal market (your stakeholders) and your external market (your customers and prospects).

Understand if the market responds to the key elements of your brand strategy: the emotional benefits that your brand offers, the three things that your brand means to your market, the personality traits of your brand , your promise , your brand story, Your  brand name allows you to understand if you are communicating effectively and what areas need improvement.

What is the process of a brand audit like?

Step by step to conduct a brand audit

However, you can choose to audit yourself using data that should be readily available.

There are a wide range of metrics  you can measure, but which ones are important will change on a case-by-case basis.

Step 1 – Create a frame

You should start by looking at your mission and strategic goals to create a framework.

You want to consider who your target customers are, the marketing plan for reaching them, and the design of the business landscape in which you operate.

Some companies may refer to their “go to market” strategy . This consists of the general plan that includes the target customers (geographically, job roles, sectors, buyers, etc.), product portfolio, distribution channels, associations, competitors and prices.

Step 2 – Create Brand Summary

The first step in your brand auditing process is creating a brand brief.

If you have completed a written brand strategy, this is simply a list of the key components. You will use it to compare the results of your internal and external surveys.

If you are unsure how to answer some of these questions, it may take more time to fully define your brand strategy before conducting your brand audit.

Or, you may want your team to work together to complete the branding brief.

Here are items you can include:

  • Primary value proposition
  • Secondary value proposition
  • The most powerful emotional benefits conveyed to your clients
  • The three things your brand should mean to your customers
  • The five human personality traits that describe how you want the market to see your brand
  • Brand promise
  • 25 word branding statement
  • Brand story
  • Why is your brand known

Step 3 – Ask your customers

It can be easy to just rely on web and social numbers, but this won’t give the whole picture. You can take surveys by phone, email, on your website, or as part of the sales process.

A mixture of quantitative and qualitative feedback will provide a more complete picture.

Understanding the customer experience at each touch point will be an important part of your audit.

As a lot of data is available, these anecdotal customer stories will help humanize the audit and provide insight into how people perceive your brand.

They can also help uncover answers to questions the data can’t easily tell, such as rating the customer service experience or why someone ultimately chose your brand over the competition.

Step 4 – Review your web analysis

With  81% of consumers  doing online research before making a purchase (up to  94% in B2B cases ), traffic to your website is an important, if obvious, place to start.

Monitoring paid and organic channels is standard practice to determine if your SEO or display ads are successful or in need of optimization. You can also look deeper to see if the traffic is coming from the markets you are targeting.

It’s also worth checking out which channels are generating traffic – you want there to be a mix of sources to mitigate any sudden drops in an area.

An excessive update in organic search could be undone with a simple Google update.

Obviously, conversions and conversion rates should always be monitored.

Further analysis as part of your brand audit will tell you if you are attracting the right type of traffic and what types of content are performing the best.

Step 5 – Review your social details

Social data can help further develop your brand overview, giving access to audience data that is not available through other channels.

The demographic information available through social media allows you to better understand your audience. You may want to relocate your message if your actual audience differs from your perceived audience.

Social intelligence tools can give you a deeper understanding of your customers, examining their interests outside of your brand to inform marketing.

Location-based social data can complement web location data.

You can find out who links to your website, just one way to discover influencers.

Sentiment analysis allows you to get an overview of the broader public opinion around your brand, or specific campaign or product.

A linguistic analysis using mention categorization can tell you about the associations with your brand.

Combining this data with an audience analysis gives you the opportunity to reposition or highlight strengths and respond to market needs.

Step 6 – Review the sales data

Of course, the sales data will be at the forefront of your ongoing monthly reports, but examining it alongside the rest of the audit data will help identify problem areas.

The context provided by an analysis of the entire customer journey can highlight specific areas that are causing problems or opportunities for further exploitation.

Step 7 – Study your competitors

No brand exists in isolation.

The final part of conducting a brand audit involves looking at your competitors to understand their place in the market.

There is a full picture of competitor analysis tools that will do a lot of the work for you. SEO Services and rankings, backlinks, content, ads, rankings, traffic, emails, and price tracking can all be investigated.

Social data can provide the same data about your competitors as your own brand, as it is not stored in the same way as many other data.

In addition to the methods listed above, the voice share calculation shows how much of the online conversation you are gaining and how that conversion differs across markets.

Step 8 – Take action and monitor the results.

A brand audit should highlight areas of action.

A detailed plan of findings should be followed by a series of actionable objectives, with a timeline of expected results. After you have taken action in each area, monitor progress and results.

An ongoing measurement process will report if your objectives are being achieved, but you may want to repeat the audit process after a reasonable period of time.

Regardless of how you choose to move forward, keep in mind that the landscape will continue to change and that brands must continually update and innovate to stay relevant and stay ahead of the competition.

What is the process of a brand audit like?

When you want to collect information from your customers, suppliers and consumers, you should carry out surveys that can be perfectly online, this will help you reduce costs.

Steps to collect information from third parties

Step 1: Determine Your Survey Method

The complexity of the survey and the number of participants will depend on the situation of your company.

You’ll want enough detail to assess true perception and a sample that’s large enough to ensure the results are relevant.

First, list the people who can participate in your survey. Next, determine your survey format. You have several options to choose from.

Email  : Use an online survey program like Question Pro, Survey Monkey, or Survey Gizmo to start your

  • Survey and count your results.
  • Email survey pros
  • Easy to configure
  • Helps you structure your survey questions.
  • Tabulates responses and provides reports
  • Cheap
  • Keeps costs low
  • Cons of email surveys
  • May need to be deployed multiple times for people to respond
  • Seen as impersonal
  • Requires an engaging headline and introduction for people to engage

Direct Mail: Send a self-addressed and stamped envelope with a cover letter and paper survey.

  • Direct Mail Survey Pro
  • More time to create a compelling message, thank the customer for participating, and communicate any incentives.
  • More effective than email in reaching non-computer customers
  • Direct mail survey cons
  • Needs to look very professional
  • It can be seen as tedious
  • Doesn’t fit the ‘innovation’ value proposition
  • Phone – Make calls directly or use a third party to make impartial calls.
  • Pros of the telephone survey
  • Great way to get detailed answers and search for more information as needed
  • You can draw your attention to dissatisfied customers who you can help right away
  • Cons of the telephone survey
  • Dissatisfied customers may feel uncomfortable telling employees about their problems.
  • Clients who express a concern to another living person often expect action to be taken immediately
  • Can be expensive if you use an external group
  • Combination – Communicate with the customer through two methods: for example, call or email about a survey and then mail it.
  • Combination Pros
  • Improve your response rate by improving your awareness
  • It reinforces the importance you place on customer loyalty.
  • It offers another opportunity to communicate with your customers.
  • Cons of Combination
  • More expensive

Step 2: Write your questions

Some suggested questions are below.

They are designed to be open rather than multiple options or ratings, so you can get true unsolicited and colorless feedback.

They work well with a fairly small group of respondents (as you will need to manually evaluate each answer and assign a grade afterwards), but will lead to more accurate and actionable results.

  • What do you think {insert your product or company name} means?
  • What are the key benefits that {product / company} offers?
  • How would you describe your experience working with {product / company}?
  • When buying / working with {product / company}, what is a word or phrase that describes what you expect of us each time?
  • If {insert your product or company name} were a person, how would you describe it? What human personality traits match the brand?
  • What do you think of when you hear {insert your product or company name}?

If you have a large survey sample, use a 1-10 rating system.

Step 3: Determine Your Sample Size

You do not need to collect a survey from each recipient.

Instead, you are looking for a “statistically valid sample size” or the number of responses you need to be able to confidently apply those results to your entire group of clients.

Statistics is a complex field, and consumer marketers must consider all sorts of calculations to accurately measure and apply their results.

There are a number of key metrics a marketer should consider, including:

  • The total number of people you want to apply the survey results to (A)
  • The% of people who respond to your survey (B)

When your “total number of people” (A) is very small, you need a higher percentage of them to answer (B) so that you can trust your results.

If A is very large, you can confidently use a smaller percentage. Statisticians and researchers use the term “confidence rating” to indicate how statistically accurate the results of a survey can be considered.

Ninety-five percent (95%) is a standard confidence target.

Here’s how to calculate:

  • Number of possible respondents in this group (A) (population)
  • Percentage that must respond to the survey (B)
  • Number of completed surveys desired (C = A * B)
  • Projected Minimum Response Rate (D) (as a decimal)
  • Number of surveys to send (C / D)

It is very difficult to estimate a response rate if you have not run a similar campaign with a similar group of people.

Here are some tips:

  • A telephone survey will offer the highest response rate, but it will be the most expensive survey to implement. You can probably hit 80% of your list, depending on the amount of time you spend making calls.
  • A survey by mail will produce a much lower response rate than by telephone. You can increase your response rate by calling or emailing recipients ahead of time and asking them to respond.
  • An email survey is very simple for participants, but it is subject to the same factors as any other email campaign: You need a compelling headline and strong message to get them to participate rather than delete the message. An email survey is the least personal for the recipient, and therefore they may not be very careful about their responses.
  • By offering an incentive , you can dramatically increase your response.

As you prepare to launch your survey, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • If you are not using an online survey system, set up your worksheet to tabulate your results BEFORE you finish your survey. That way, you can be sure to ask your questions in a way that can be captured and measured on your spreadsheet.
  • People are busy. Keep the survey as short as possible.
  • Ask people to respond within a fairly short but fair amount of time , say 10 days. A deadline is important, or the piece may end up in a pile of unimportant correspondence.
  • If the deadline comes and goes and you haven’t received your minimum number of surveys, call or email the people who didn’t respond and ask if they’d be willing to help you improve.
  • Consider providing an incentive to respond.
  • Thank the recipients who took the time to participate. A personal note, letter, or even a small thank you gift is a simple but effective gesture.

Step 4 – Survey your customers.

Use a combination of customer focus groups, email surveys, social media surveys, phone surveys, and online surveys to get customer feedback on questions such as:

  • What words would you use to describe this brand?
  • What problem does this brand solve?
  • How does this brand make you feel?
  • Would you recommend this brand to your friends and family?
  • What does the brand logo make you think of?
  • How good is the customer service for this brand?
  • How could this brand improve customer service?

Step 5 – Survey people in your target demographic other than customers

This will measure your brand awareness. Using the survey methods above, ask questions like:

  • Have you ever heard of this brand?
  • Have you ever used this brand?
  • What do you know about this brand?
  • How would you describe this brand to others?
  • What problem does this brand solve for you?
  • How does this brand make you feel?

Step 6 – Survey your employees.

Your employees create the customer experience that is essential to your brand.

If they don’t understand your brand, they can’t convey it properly. Use anonymous surveys to ask questions like:

  • How would you describe our brand?
  • What is the vision of the brand?
  • What problem does our brand solve for customers?
  • How do you deliver on our brand promise? What’s stopping you from keeping that promise?
  • What would you do to improve our brand?

Step 7 – Analyze your results

Once you’ve compiled your survey results, it’s time to analyze them.

Your ultimate goal is to determine if your existing brand matches the market perception and your team’s perception of your brand. If not, you will want to identify the disconnects.

If you want to create analyzes and reports for separate groups (such as customers, prospects, vendors, employees, etc.), complete this task for each group.

The first step is to determine how you will rate the answers. This depends on the type of survey and the volume of responses, but your ultimate goal is to assess how well the majority of responses reflect your brand summary.

If you used open-ended questions, read all of your questions and determine the average score for each question.

Please rate the answer to each question according to the following scale:

5 = the answer is an extremely strong match with your brand strategy

3 = the answer is a general match with your brand strategy

1 = the answer does not match at all with your brand strategy

Now, take a look at the different groups you posted the questions to. Record the average grade for each group. Do you see any trends? What can be concluded from the data?

For each group, determine your results.

If your audit matches your brand summary, congratulations! Keep up the good work.

If not, continue to determine how you can strengthen your brand. Then apply those changes to the materials and messages you use in the marketplace, along with your operational requirements (because your brand is an experience, not just a logo or creative).

Concluding

A brand audit should cover three areas:

  • Internal brand: your brand values, mission and company culture
  • External branding: your company logo, print and online advertising and marketing materials, public relations, website, social media presence, email marketing and content marketing
  • Customer Experience: Your Sales Process, Customer Care, and Customer Service Policies

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 is in its current state.

When and why should you audit your brand?

Most companies go through the process of auditing their brand when they have a vested interest in making a change within their organization. Maybe they are renaming or updating their current look.

This would be a perfect time to take a look at your current brand and see where it has changed since its inception.

Perhaps an organization is not happy with its internal communication and relationships with employees.

Read also: How to Be a Small Business Consultant – 18 Step Checklists

Published by Abdul Rimaaz

Abdul Rimaaz business consultant is trained to advise your marketing plan. It can advise, for example, improvements in terms of your company's Internet presence, position one of its brands or implement new strategies to win customers. Being a business consultant is not an easy task and I have thought to summarize, for this entry in Business United Kingdom.

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