Skip to main content

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). 
  • Collateral. 
  • Website. 
  • Search engine optimization. 
  • Social media. 
  • Sponsorships. 
  • News/public relations. 
  • Content/videos. 
  • 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/. 

Procrastination – I’ll just do this later

We all do it. We have sales calls we need to make, reports to write, meetings to prepare for, etc. But instead, we organize our desks, jump on Facebook, send out emails or even decide that we need to take a break before moving forward. We keep putting off whatever small detail we need to finish, until it’s too late.

Sound familiar?

We can assure you, you are definitely not alone.

And yes, there are those people out there that say things like, “I always do my best work when I wait until the last second to start.” Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case for everyone. We would know – we’ve all been procrastinators to some degree.

So how do we fight the habit? For us, it’s all about motivation.

Break It Down

Have you ever had a project due that is so large you don’t even know where to start? You try writing to-do lists, but you just can’t seem to get organized. Next thing you know, you are surfing the web looking at your friend’s latest Instagram posts.

Our solution?

Break your project down into smaller and smaller pieces. For each small piece, write separate to-do lists for those. Doing this will help you see your accomplishments so that you know you are getting closer and closer to the finish line.

Turn It into a Game

Everybody has to have some sort of competitive spirit, right? Use it to your advantage. Turn your projects into games. Place a bet with someone that requires you to deliver work at a certain time. You can’t let your rival win, can you?!

Hide Temptations

Unplug the internet, turn off the TV, have a co-worker hide your iPhone if you have to. Do whatever you can to move away from all the distractions.

Sequester Yourself

Try moving to an empty room. A quiet room. Someplace you can concentrate. Once you’re there, make a to-do list, prioritize and start tackling things one at a time. Before you know it, half your list will be done, and you will be well on your way to completing the tasks ahead.

And if all else fails,

Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan

Hey, we’re human. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew. If that happens, just be sure to be prepared for what is next to come. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What will your boss (or whoever is counting on you to finish the project) do/want from you if they can’t receive everything they were hoping for?
  • Out of everything that you are working on, what is the most important? Can you finish that chunk of the project on time?
  • Do you have a plan beyond the due date for when and how your will complete the project?
  • Do you have people in mind you can pull in to help you complete the project?

OK, you’ve had your break – now follow our tips and get back to work!

 

 

motivation, organization, procrastination

What Social Media can do for your Business

With the rapid growth of social media, every business should be leveraging proper social media channels in some way. Give your brand a social media touch. Engage with your customers, generate more business and improve your digital marketing efforts with social media. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to digital marketing to reach the 2 billion active users on Facebook or Instagram.

According to a study done by HubSpot, 90 percent of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts had generated more exposure for their businesses. More and more businesses are successfully experimenting with social media advertising. 

Social media advertising can help build brand awareness. Unlike traditional advertising, social media allows you to reach out to target audiences through paid social ads. Social media promotions create an inbound marketing channel for businesses. You can specifically target the audience allowing your ad to reach peak performance and drive growth to your business.

Customers usually take to social media when trying to interact with a business. Social media is a more approachable way for people because it is a communication path that is less hassle for them. It allows a more personalized experience with the customer service departments. Along with offering that customer service aspect, businesses should also monitor conversations taking place regarding the company, broadcast important company announcements, answer all questions or concerns, and build relationships with customers via social media outlets. That helps enhance your brand’s loyalty to its customers.

Before applying any of the above recommendations, first be sure to create a strategic and solid social media strategy that is ready to be implemented. Utilize your social media accounts to show customers there is someone behind the screen that wants to help them. And finally, be consistent with your social media efforts to utilize your social media marketing efforts to the fullest capacity. 

Social media advertising is one of the most cost-effective ways to spread your targeted message. M3 Group uses analytics and data to find the best use of your advertising and marketing dollars. Let us help you use your social media to its fullest potential. Visit M3Group.bizfor more information today.

Awards

We don’t like to pat ourselves on the back by reflecting on all of our (many) accomplishments and awards, so here’s a short list of our credentials:

  • Addy Awards
  • Alfred P Sloan Award, Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility
  • Best of Business
  • Communicator Awards
  • Davey Awards
  • Earnies
  • Entrepreneurial Awards of Greater Lansing
  • Junior League of Lansing Community Partner Awards
  • Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Small Business Award
  • MarCom Awards
  • Pace Awards
  • Videographer Awards
  • WCA Placemaker of the Year Award