There are several times a brand audit is of extreme value to an organization.  The most significant opportunities include:

  • prior to internal strategic planning sessions
  • before developing a communications plan
  • when a brand hasn’t been externally reviewed in several years (3-5, or more)
  • before creating or revising a marketing tagline (strapline)
  • when markets shift, competition impacts sales or sales are lagging
  • before creating and implementing a marketing plan
  • as part of a rebranding effort
  • as part of an image management effort

Why Conduct a Brand Audit?

A brand audit is conducted to evaluate current communication with your audiences and stakeholders to strengthen your brand position in the marketplace.

It evaluates if your messaging clearly supports your brand promise (brand value).  It also identifies what may be missing in your communication and how that affects your brand’s competitive position in the market.  Additionally, marketing materials and channels are evaluated to assess how appropriately they are engaging your audiences.

The primary focus is a review of external brand communications, but a review of internal communication can be beneficial as well.  Analyzing both internal and external  elements will help uncover communication gaps.  It will also help identify important brand and messaging components that impact your effectiveness.

A brand audit typically uncovers areas for improvement – which is indeed one goal of the process – but it’s not intended to focus only on what are perceived as weaknesses.  The audit is intended to provide tools and strategies for establishing a stronger brand in the following ways:

  1. Helping all leaders, employees and stakeholders understand your brand and the value it offers
  2. Improving the effectiveness and clarity of external communication
  3. Improving engagement with key audiences
  4. Improving message relevance and alignment (values, audience, trust, etc)
  5. Assessing current communication methods & strategies
  6. Recommendations for brand design elements and visuals
  7. Providing tools to help you deliver on your brand promise – visually, verbally and in daily interactions
  8. Developing a consistent voice in your communication across all channels and media

We may Need an Audit

Retaining an external audit team provides outside perspectives for the organization based on years of diverse market experience, digital marketing expertise, design and technology. The process has evaluative and formative value for client organizations.  SWOT analysis and recommendations are provided in a complete report which can become a framework for communication, marketing and improvement plans.

If your organization would like to leverage the advantages of a stronger brand in the marketplace, a brand audit may be the place to start. Email our team or call 910-938-4319 to see if this is the right time for a brand audit.

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Cindy is the founding President at 17blue Digital Agency. She's passionate about helping businesses create traction for their brands, reach their goals and make a difference in their communities.