Be Audit You Can Be: The Purpose of a Brand Audit
Since we’re still a ways off from tax season, it’s probably safe to bring up the topic of audits without the risk of having you break out in a cold sweat and run screaming for the hills.
However, we’re not talking about financial audits and visits from grim-faced, starched-collar, briefcase-wielding agents from the Internal Revenue Service. Today, we’re talking about brand audits — which, admittedly, can still be stressful but won’t land you in the pokey.
The stress that comes with a brand audit is mostly self-induced, but there’s a good reason for that.
You’ve invested a lot in building your brand. Perhaps, it’s even your life’s work. It’s something very personal to you. The idea of tweaking — let alone completely overhauling — what you have created can be a scary proposition. That is a perfectly reasonable position to hold; however, times, tastes and sentiments change through the years, and the adapt-or-die business model is more important than ever to meet shifting consumer expectations in an increasingly fickle world.
A brand audit is like the routine checkup with your friendly physician. The purpose behind a brand audit is to assess your current condition and address any potential future concerns. Just as it’s wise to go in for regular checkups to maintain good physical health, wise organizations understand the importance of assessing business health and how their brands are perceived in the marketplace as styles, preferences and cultures transform over time.
The power of a brand is stronger than most realize. It can inspire loyalty in the buying public, empower employees or fracture and damage how the organization it represents is perceived.
An M3 Group brand audit looks at your organization’s internal identity, external presence and the experience of your audience. Internal organizational examinations can provide enlightenment to everything from your positioning, brand values and unique selling proposition or brand promise to your voice and company culture.
Othe factors that can be evaluated and potentially improved upon include:
- Corporate identity (logos, brand elements).
- Search engine optimization.
- Social media.
- News/public relations.
- Company processes.
- Buyer’s journey.
- Internal systems.
- Return on investment.
Weighing the financial benefits of reworking brand components is important, but a hyper-focus on return on investment can actually hurt profits over the long term. As part of a brand audit, it is beneficial to ask tough questions like: “How many deals are we losing monthly to a company with a stronger brand?” “How many prospects do we turn off because of a lack of consistency between our website, our marketing efforts and their in-person experience?” “How many new clients/projects would I have to win to justify the costs of a rebrand?”
Interrogating your brand and presence can be uncomfortable, but it is key to identifying whether a shift in its look, feel and messaging to align with what your clients and buyers want — and the possibility of transforming them into enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand — would be a valuable next step.
A brand audit not only is able to enhance brand consistency. But it also can uncover growth opportunities leading to increased customer loyalty and business success. Want to learn more about what a brand audit can do to keep the gears oiled for your organization? Reach out to M3 Group at m3group.biz/contact-us/.