Brand Auditing: Are You Who You Say You Are?
Regardless of how long a business has existed, it’s important for business owners to check in and assess progress from time to time. To determine whether or not you’re on track, a simple brand audit is all you need to conduct – no in-depth analysis, no complex charts, and graphs. A brand audit, when done correctly, will serve as a quick reality check for any business. So how does a brand audit work?
1. What’s Not Working?
The easiest place to start is where things are not working. This may be something within your marketing budget that’s not delivering any ROI, something about daily operations that are slowing you down or social media content that’s not getting engagement. Whatever is not working, now is the time to cut it out of your budget, remove it from your schedule, and clear space for a more promising endeavor. In addition, consider any current projects that don’t align with your brand values or goals. How can these projects be ended or transformed to better suit your brand?
2. Defining the Direction
Once you’ve identified and cleared what is not meshing with your brand, it’s time to refocus. If you already had clear goals, this is the time to figure out your next steps – What tasks can take your brand a step closer to that goal? How and when can these tasks be implemented? Who will complete these tasks?
For example, if a brand’s goal is to become a thought leader on a specific topic, you may need to create content, find a freelancer, or set aside some time for social media post scheduling. Work out the kinks and details so that your path forward will be obstacle-free.
3. Establishing Consistency
As most marketers know, an inconsistent brand is no brand at all. Without putting meaningful practices and routines in place, your brand has no identity and thus cannot generate trust. Take out any branding materials you have (consider your values, mission statement, design, content tone, etc). Then, search for everyday pitfalls in consistency.
For example, a brand that prides itself on being transparent and communicative should have top-notch customer service. If not, this team should brainstorm ways to become more responsive and open to its audience. Essentially, this step involves bridging the gap between who your brand is, and who it aspires to be.