Building a great brand requires ongoing work. That's because success is a moving target. Business growth and market shifts impact the overall trajectory of your business, requiring you to adjust and adapt. If your business is losing customers or seeing a drop in sales or revenue, it's time to think about a brand audit.
A Brand Audit: A Health Check For Your Business
The aim of a brand audit is to see how your brand is performing in the market. A brand audit lets you see whether your brand is positioned the way it should be. It shows you what your strengths and weaknesses are, and whether your brand is perceived positively or negatively (and why). It also gives you a roadmap for aligning your brand with customer expectations.
A brand audit is something that should be undertaken on a regular basis to help you "check-in" to determine the health of your business. By conducting regular audits you can easily course-correct if it looks like you're moving away from your goals.
What's Involved in a Brand Audit?
An in-depth brand audit can be a challenging endeavor, and many brands prefer to outsource theirs to branding experts. However, if you choose to do your own audit, you'll work through the following steps:
- Build your framework. This involves figuring out what you want your audit to cover and how. Ideally, your framework will cover every aspect of your business, including your website, competitors, differentiators, and industry trends.
- Take an analytics deep dive. Typically this will involve looking at the performance of your website along with any other sales or lead-gen platforms you use. You want to know where your traffic is coming from, how they work through your sales funnel, and whether they convert. Decreasing traffic or conversions is a major red flag.
- Review sales data. This point goes hand-in-hand with reviewing your analytics. In conjunction with your analytics assessment, analyze your entire customer journey to identify potential issues.
- Talk to your customers. Speaking directly customers will give you a snapshot of how your business is performing. Interviews, surveys, polls and the all-essential net promoter score will give you insights around brand perceptions, strengths, and weaknesses.
- User testing. Have your customers walk through your brand experience, making note of any glitches or weaknesses. Depending on your business, this might involve an e-commerce walk-through or a secret shopper experience.
- Competitor analysis. Sometimes it's not you - it's them. Knowing your competitors helps you define your place in the market and where you stand out. Competitor analysis and share-of-voice tools can let you know where you stand and how much of the market you control.
Using Your Brand Audit to Get Results
Once your brand audit is complete it's time to make a detailed report of any issues identified, together with an action plan for how to address them. This report should also outline the anticipated results and an expected timeline for completion.
Once you've implemented your action plan, schedule a date for your next audit. Remember, your brand health is an ongoing thing, and you need to check in regularly to ensure that you're still on track. Aim for quarterly, although you may want to consider more frequent audits if your business is growing or changing quickly.
If you know it's time for a brand audit, but you're not sure where to begin, get in touch! The team at StellaPop can help walk you through the process, from audit to action plan.