Steps to Conduct a Brand Audit
All of us know the word Brand, heard of it a lot right? Most of us don’t really know the meaning of a brand and even brand audit. It is extremely important to know the terms before we discuss how we do it. Let us revise brand audit before we get on to the main lesson for the day. The notes below have all the answers to your questions. So let’s start
What is a brand audit?
To increase the value of the company the company needs to have a strong brand. A strong brand enables you to dominate the price, it makes sure that the customers prefer your brand while making a decision, it builds loyalty of your customers and all these points reduce the amount spent on selling your products along with the fear of competition. If you look at a brand they are like living entities and they have a life cycle for they start an excitement and promise and grow until they reach the plateau stage, they usually start dipping for the customers are attracted to the newest and the latest thing.
Now if you are facing a problem with your profit making and your sales not increasing or sales falling this is when you can use brand audit. Brand audit will help you get an insight of the impact of your brand and its performance in the market and the cause of it not delivering the expected results. You can say that brand audit is like a health check up of the brand to understand and determine the problem areas in order to turn things round and work things in favor of the brand.
Brand Audit is a complete check up of the brands current position in various markets in comparison with its competitors. It is a review of the brands effectiveness that helps you determine the strength of the brand along with its weaknesses and reasons for inconsistencies with an idea and opportunities for improvement and latest developments.
Why do you need to do a brand audit?
BRAND needs to have a very strong name and identity in the market. A strong brand helps you make more money, and a very powerful business. The strength of your brand has the potential of inspiring, captivating and keeping your audience engaged and this can help you increase you bottom line gradually and dramatically. Not just a growing brand, but even strong brands in the market need regular checkups to make sure that they are going right and are on track.
A brand can either be robust, strong or weak.
A robust brand is consistent and does not spend a lot on attracting a customer, its regular customers keep coming back and they charge a premium price for their goods and services.
A strong brand encourages sales in form of referrals, through social media, TV, other social engagements etc, and the most critical and important part of that brand is focusing on their profitability.
And lastly the weak brand is the one that is disconnected brand that is almost out of touch in the market. Its demand and supply both appear to be shrinking in the market with its sales falling and finally putting the brand out of business.
A good and a detailed brand audit will always help you improve new growth opportunities of your brand considering both the existing customers along with the new generation customers that need to be targeted. It creates awareness in both the generations, both generations are very important because the present already trust however the new generation will determine the future of your brand.
A brand audit helps identify the viewpoints of both the customer and the company with regards to:-
- The strength of both the business and resources of the brand.
- It clarifies the value of the brand, in public and in different markets.
- A brand audit identifies the awareness of a brand in the market and in the type of audiences.
- Most importantly it checks on the deficiencies of the brand in comparison with its competitors.
- Identifying new trends along with new market opportunities is an important part of this exercise.
- Keeping a track on threats that come from outside the company is a part of brand audit.
- It also gives the company the opportunity of developing a new product or adding changes to the existing ones along with identifying new profitability channels.
- It identifies the brands competitive existence in the market.
- Brand audit also identifies the perception of the brand, its image, its reputations and also the attitude of the audiences towards the brand in the market.
- It also checks on the efforts of brand management and its effectiveness on the brand in the market.
And its outcomes …
Off course after putting in the amount of efforts you have put in you must know how will you benefit from it. This exercise will tell you how your customer or the audiences in the market look at your brand? Its performance against competition and also how has it been performing in the market? And hence a brand audit can have the following benefits:-
- A brand audit refocuses on brand management efforts in order to improve it.
- Improves internal staff brand awareness.
- Improves communication of the brand not just online but also offline.
- Gives the management an insight into your brand making, the structure of your business and the portfolio of your brand.
- Refocuses by evaluating the position of your brand in the market.
- Ensures the security of your brand and also gives you returns on your investments.
- Directs the future of your brand.
- Secures the value of your brand and also grows by consistently implying the findings and recommendations from brand audit.
How can you conduct a brand audit?
Now that you know the positive points of conducting a brand audit you would definitely want to conducts one however your aim might not be only to make corrections in sales or profitability of your brand however to know where your brand stands and what does the audience think about your brand.
1. Talk to people or talk to your audiences
To start with talk to external audiences that is the consumers of your brand. Set up some standard questions you would want an answer for, post those questions online for your consumers to answer. You can make use of your website, the social media, randomly calling your consumers and asking these questions. This exercise will bring you closer to the audience and help you understand their expectations and also flaws in your brand. Besides the negative you will also get good positive feed backs from the audiences.
When you talk to your consumers make sure that you talk to both the current generation as well future generation as they are going to be your prospect consumers.
When we say you need to talk to your audiences you have both the internal as well as the external audiences. Talking to external audiences means you need to not just talk to your consumers; external sources also include distributors, channel partners, etc. These distributors and channel partners are very good and useful source to gain information from. For a simple reason that they do not sell only your product they also sell other brands. This gives them access to information of every brand.
2. Talk to internal people that is your employees
Talking to your employees gives you an idea of the issues that they have been facing and how can they and the management both work over these issues to smoothen work in manufacturing, selling and other departments of the organization. A number of employees that have been hired from your competitors might also be able to help you and give you suggestions in making your brand better. You must also make sure you have a set of questions ready to be asked and at the end also ask them for inputs and suggestions that can help the brand do better.
3. Competition research
Your competitors are the real reason why your brand needs and audit. The reason why they are doing good and why your brand is not doing as good as them is what you need to find out. For this you need to know the position of your competitors in the market and their secret of being there. Get complete information of your competitors, you can get the same from your distributors and also your consumers. Either you directly question them or you set up a list of questions and post them on your websites and social media. Researching your competitors can help you stand in their competition or you never know your brand might be able to perform better than theirs.
However there is no fun without competition in the market and business. This is how business works you can make the situations look better for your brand with the help of research and audits.
4. Review your position
The focus of your audit is to know where you stand as a brand, amongst your competitors and amongst your audiences. Brand audit can you give close to an accurate answer to this question. The position where you stand and why you stand there will also be answered. It is important to know your position so that you know the ways to work towards creating a strong brand name. Strong brand name definitely gives you good sales, customer loyalty and customer preference of choosing your product over your competitors. This increases your sales turnover and profitability.
5. Know your identity
Along with knowing your position in the market you also need to know if your brand has an identity and what is it known as? Brand identity is very important to determine the position of your brand in the market. There are a number of big brands in the market that are not known by their brand names; however they are known by the names of their products. You need to know what is your brand known as and to understand where does in stand in the market. A review or a brand audit is important for the same. Consumers these days do a lot of research work on the products and what brand has been selling the product before buying it. So off course your product matters and obviously if the product is backed by a strong brand name its sales will increase considerably.
6. Find out both your negative as well as positive point
Brand audit does not simply focus on the negative or the loop holes of a brand or a product neither does it focus on only the developments to be made in a product. In fact a brand audit focuses on both the positive as well as the negative points of a brand. The reason behind having a brand audit is not simply finding out the issues a product is facing in its sales, it is also conducted in order to know the position of the brand in the market and why is it there. Remember that the positive points about your brand is the best way to your consumers heart; however the negative feedback needs to be taken positively in order to work over it in order to create a better product and a better brand.
Once you get all the information in place you will easily be able to work on the negative issue and feedbacks you have received from both the internal and external sources. Take the not so good feedback as a space to improve in and the positive feedbacks as something that you can benefit from. You can also materialize the information of your competitors and their brand or their products to raise the standard of your brand in order to get yourself and your brand in a competitive position and maintain the same. Remember competition needs to be healthy and it is good for your business.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the Brand Audit Correctly so just go through the link.
- 12 Basic Principles of Brand Management
- Personal Brand Strategy
- Personal Branding
- Marketing vs Advertising