March 27, 2017

Can a brand audit save your business?

Your brand represents your business. And we all know businesses change to catch up with trends in the industry. So while your brand helped you get to where you are today, it may need a refresh to retain your customers and break into new areas. That’s why rebooting your brand is so necessary. Don’t know where to start? Try a brand audit first.

In the simplest terms, a brand audit is a chance to step back and analyze the current state of your brand. It not only looks at visual design overhauls, but also takes a look at your company’s voice and messaging. If you’re releasing a new product or shifting your focus, a brand audit can be the perfect opportunity to start fresh.

Of course, it can be difficult to determine when your company’s voice is no longer serving the brand. That’s why we talked to some marketing experts, and found out they know when it’s time for a refresh.

When should you do a brand audit?

Jason Parks, owner of The Media Captain, told MOO that business owners should always get an outsider’s perspective on their brand. “Associates working for a company are so closely involved in day-to-day interactions that their judgement can be clouded in regards to their overall brand image,” Parks said. “Show your website and your logo to five random people, and also have them look at yours versus your competitors. If you are constantly polled in the bottom tier based on the overall look and feel, it is likely time to refresh your brand.”

Pamela Webber, the Chief Marketing Officer at 99designs, has a checklist that she applies to brands to see if they need a reboot: Have they added new services products? Are they inconsistent across all social media and marketing channels? Has their target market or brand values changed? Does your logo look outdated? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then it’s time to start the brand auditing process.

How should you conduct market research?

No company should rebrand without doing some solid research beforehand. Otherwise, your consumers might have a completely different perception of your brand than you originally wanted.

Yet before diving into focus groups, it’s important to figure out what the most important aspects of your brand are, and what message you want to communicate to customers. In this step, it’s helpful to make a list of your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine if you’re successfully communicating the right message to your target audience.

“My favorite way to assess a refresh or rebrand comes from customer service,” said BrandPsyche founder, Stephanie Jiroch. “My first step is to determine what feedback is being offered in customer service tickets, comments or reviews across the web and social media.” The best buzz for your company comes from the customer, so knowing what works and what doesn’t should be at the foundation of the refresh.

David Langton, President of Langton Creative Group, suggests looking at your business pipeline to see where your company’s weak points are. “You can do qualitative research and interview current and past clients to see how your brand is doing, but often it is more important to examine your pipeline of sales and look at the close-calls, AKA the one that got away,” Langton told MOO. “Why are your prospects choosing your competitors? Your brand must align with core values that you can truly live up to. A superficial brand refresh is not going to address shortcomings in your services.”

With that in mind, has your company conducted a brand audit or rebrand before? How did you know when it was time to pull the trigger? Let us know!

In the meantime, download our new ebook for more brand refresh success stories.

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