What is a brand audit and why do you need one?

Head of projects
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

A brand audit allows you to understand how your customers view and interact with your business. It empowers you to gain insight that will outline strengths and weaknesses on your brand and uncover growth opportunities. 

Your brand is the one thing that sets you apart from your competition, but how do you know if your brand is unique or powerful enough to cut through the noise? We’ve gathered everything you need to know about brand audits and how they can benefit your business.

What is a brand audit?

Essentially, a brand audit is a detailed analysis of your company that shows where your brand is sitting within the market. A brand audit enables you to spot your business strengths, opportunities, and areas of improvement based on statistical data and real customer and stakeholder insight against your competitors. 

To really get an understanding of how your brand is performing, an audit provides a great way to develop improvement strategies. This can then align your product to the expectations of your customers based on the audit analysis. 

Why do you need a brand audit?

An audit is essential for building a strong brand. The better informed a business is of its customer preferences and expectations, the easier it is to determine your brand positioning. As 50-90% of marketing strategies fail, performing a thorough brand audit will help you to identify new informed and creative ways to make your brand resonate with customers. 

There are many benefits of a brand audit, and we’ve highlighted the ones we think your business will benefit the most from…

Measure your brand’s overall market performance

A brand audit will help you gain an overall understanding of how your brand is viewed within the industry. It’s an extensive analysis of your business’s internal branding (voice, culture and positioning), external branding (websites, social media or SEO), and your systems and infrastructure (internal systems).

Highlight critical marketing strengths and weaknesses

Following this assessment, the results of a brand audit will highlight areas of your marketing that are performing well and areas that need further support or a fresh approach. 

We conducted a design workshop with Printed.com’s internal design and marketing departments to create an understanding of which areas of their branding we should keep and which areas needed improvement.  what areas of their branding had room for improvement. The insight we captured helped us understand the brand’s unique selling points and define a house style that could be used consistently across digital and printed marketing material. This creative insight highlighted any weaknesses and enabled us to create a clear set of branding guidelines. As a result, the business could use this internally to police the brand, ensuring consistency of design, style, values, and message.

Define the true needs of your target customers

As part of a thorough brand audit, the key is talking directly with your valued stakeholders, partners and customers to hear how they view and experience your brand to gauge what they like and dislike about it. This understanding gives a real insight into whether the brand carries value and informs the decision to make change, evolve the brand, or simply refine it. Undertaking user testing during the brand process will also provide real results of how customers associate themselves with your brand in the market.

Gemba Solutions had the objective of creating a visually engaging website that promoted its three core products whilst showcasing the team’s vibrant personalities to capture their target audience. Through assessing the performance of the business, we were able to identify areas of improvement and humanise the brand through integrating team-led content within the website. As a result, this brought the brand to life and created a welcoming and user-friendly space for attracting potential customers and increasing sales.

Compare your competitive position with other players

How much business could you be losing to your competitors due to poor branding? If your customers are left confused at your inconsistent messaging, but your competitor has a strong website and identifiable brand voice, your customers will choose who they believe is the more reliable brand.

Through understanding the needs of the target audience, Coombe Abbey Hotel were able to launch a complete content-led website experience as part of a branding refresh. On Coombe Abbey’s website, we developed an ‘Inspire Me’ destination to reposition the brand as a place for customers to tailor their stay according to their interests. By creating one online destination that tied their branding and offering together, this provided customers with an easy-to-use platform to plan their everlasting experiences at the hotel and set Coombe apart from any competition. 

Sort effective from ineffective marketing collateral

If you’re considering a rebrand or a refresh of your business, carrying out a brand audit will put you in a strong position to evaluate what marketing material has worked and what needs further thought. A marketing inventory audit is vital in understanding both what collateral you have and what needs updating in order to match your new found brand strategy. This then allows you to prioritise…after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Assess how brand experience aligns with business strategy

Are customers experiencing your brand in the same way you’ve expected them to in your business strategy? A brand audit will provide a detailed analysis to show how your business is currently performing compared to its goals.

We worked with No Ordinary Hospitality Management to take their hospitality in the right direction by aligning the brand with a thorough business strategy. Created during the pandemic, NOHM has the vision to be a recognised and respected management company to support others in the hospitality industry. As a result, we gave their website and branding a refresh to clearly communicate their message and tailored services to their target audience whilst simultaneously reflecting the luxurious nature of the brand. Generated from the brand audit, we developed a user-friendly and engaging website that seamlessly generated enquiries about their services, garnering potential customers. 

Make clear recommendations on future direction 

Brand audits allow you to get an informed yet independent view of your business with the candid insights you need to move forward.

The data that is analysed will give you a base for future business perspectives, ensuring your next move is based on solid insight instead of guesses. This clear view can set you up for future growth so you’re talking the talk and walking the walk at the same time and you can move forward with a clear brand strategy that your internal team and customers can all align themselves with.

For more information on how a brand audit may be helpful for your business or to start the ball rolling, get in touch with us.