Have you ever conducted a brand audit for your business?
You may often wonder why some things don’t work for your company, while others do. There are even processes that don’t exactly work for you, but you’ve seen that they’re successful for others.
As ironic as it sounds, there’s nothing more important for your business than your brand’s health. So, if you’re wondering how you can check on that, the brand audit process is the answer.
If you’re not familiar with the term, then think of it as a more detailed and actionable brand analysis. In any case, are you interested in learning and understanding all about it?
In this article, we’re going to cover every important aspect of a digital brand audit — from defining it to understanding its importance.
Later, we’re going to review 8 steps to run a fruitful and easy brand assessment. In addition, there’s a free brand audit template at the end of the article to help you create your own results.
So let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What is a Brand Audit?
- Why Should You Conduct a Brand Audit?
- 8 Steps to Run a Brand Audit
- Free Brand Audit Template
What is a Brand Audit?
A brand audit is a detailed process of evaluating your brand’s position in the marketplace at the time.
Are you familiar with the concept of brand positioning? It’s a marketing term that focuses on your brand’s recognition by the customers. How many of them actually remember your products and what place do they hold in the market overall?
Performing a brand audit is like a frequent health check for businesses. In detail, companies review their data, discover strengths and weaknesses, identify target markets and increase customer loyalty and ROI.
In addition to brand assessment, it’s equally important to conduct competitor analysis and brand comparisons. Looking at the overall competitive landscape might help you readjust your goals and optimize your business market strategy.
Types of Brand Audit
The brand audit process focuses on three types of evaluation:
- External Branding
- Internal Branding
- Customer Experience
External branding is about understanding what your brand has to offer and conveying this message to potential customers. It’s focused on your visual identity, brand messaging, and content marketing and includes your brand’s:
- Logo, colors, and business imagery
- Advertising and marketing choices
- Website and social media presence
- SEO & PR techniques
- Email marketing and digital marketing campaigns
- News, sponsorships, and events
Internal branding is about making sure your company is able to keep the promises your external branding made. While internal branding focuses on evaluating your company values, culture, and mission, there are additional valuable methods that include:
- Employee education
- Internal surveys
- Company research
- Team member interviews
- HR reviews
Customer experience is about creating and maintaining the best possible perception of your brand for your customers. This includes processes like:
- Sales monitoring
- Customer support
- User experience
- Customer service techniques
- Content engagement
- Product innovation
All these areas are important to push your brand one step closer to becoming what your target customers are expecting.
Why Should You Conduct a Brand Audit?
If you’re reading this, there’s a chance you’re considering hitting a brand refresh. So, how do you know if you need to run a brand audit for your company?
Take the time and ask yourself (and your team) the following questions:
- Is your sales performance running high?
- Do you see results from your email and social media marketing?
- Have web analytics revealed a positive website traffic number?
- Are customers happy with your products or services?
- Do you stay on top of the competition?
Unless the unanimous answer to the previous questions is yes, then you’ll definitely be needing a detailed brand assessment.
However, even if you’ve managed to top most competitor brands and maintain a top-selling business, there’s always room for double-checking.
For example, has your business been transferred to the digital world in a way that makes your eCommerce branding successful? Are you sure that you’ve chosen a good domain name? In other words, you need to make sure your visual identity is always clear and enticing.
Regular brand checkups make sure your business is going to:
- Understand its strengths and weaknesses at the time
- Look out for possible threats and opportunities to grow
- Get up-to-date with the current audience perception of your brand
- Realize what its customers need and adjust your offered services to fit their demands
- Discover its brand positioning and design the correct growth strategies
- Uncover some of the industry’s white spaces (gaps)
- Set and modify company goals
- Test the levels of its brand awareness and target customer engagement
- Evaluate its online presence and find the best social media channels for your brand identity
So make sure you’re checking your strategy, competition, sales, and online performance frequently. You never know if it’s time to rebrand again.
8 Steps to Run a Brand Audit
The brand audit process includes a number of actions, including running tests, brainstorming, analyzing data, setting goals, and planning strategies.
We ended up curating an 8-step guide to help you conduct an easy brand health check.
Step #1: Find Your Goal for Brand Auditing
Setting the ultimate purpose of a brand audit isn’t easy. After all, this will be the focal point of your efforts for the next period of your work.
However, you shouldn’t just skip to the active part, yet!
Firstly, arrange a meeting (or several of them) with your team and brainstorm what you need to test and possibly change. In order to do that you can create a brand audit questionnaire.
Luckily, we offer a free brand audit template a little further down the article. There you can find helpful instructions and ideas. Think of important business topics and ask your team members questions, like:
- Does our external branding (brand logo, digital marketing efforts, etc) match our brand philosophy?
- Are our sales performing adequately?
- What does our audience think of our brand, website, and social media presence?
- Is our website user-friendly and visible through local search engines?
- Are our employees happy to be working with us?
After answering those (and others that occur during the brainstorming process), you need to decide on the most important topics.
Subsequently, you have to officially set the goals you want to achieve until the next check and create a framework.
Step #2: Choose Your Method
Be patient! We’re still in the framework process.
When creating an actionable plan for brand audits, it’s important to decide about the methodology you’re going to use later.
How do you plan to move forward with each part of the process? For instance, when it comes to analyzing data and outlining a general strategy, you can choose the SWOT analysis methodology.
To clarify, as the acronym suggests, the SWOT model is an analysis system that helps people discover their brand’s:
While identifying strengths and weaknesses demands your looking into internal factors, opportunities and threats can be uncovered in external factors.
For example, strengths and weaknesses can be found after analyzing surveys and data from your company’s financial, HR and marketing departments. Contrarily, external influences, like industry changes, laws, and social movements present multiple opportunities and threats.
Make sure you’ve completed this part because you’ll want to come back to the initial SWOT chart when you’re done.
Step #3: Collect and Organize Your Existing Data
After you’re done with the first draft of your framework, you’re ready to start collecting data for your brand assessment.
You can obviously choose the type of data your business needs to examine.
On one hand, you can create your own questionnaires and ask people to answer your queries. These people can include your customers, your online audience, your team members and employees, your affiliates, or even random individuals. On the other hand, while surveys are great at capturing a person’s general brand perception, numerical data speak for themselves.
Valuable data points include:
- In-store and online sales data
- Website analytics
- Social media metrics
- Paid search and ads data
- Email marketing analytics
The following data are some of the most important ones to keep track of:
- Customer leads and promoters
- Your brand’s and your competitors’ pricing
- Website traffic (visitors to your site) and page views (number of times people have seen your page)
- Bounce rate (people who leave your website shortly after they visited)
- Conversion rate (desirable actions completed through social media, like link tapping)
Step #4: Listen to Your Customers
Is there something more important than listening to what your customers think of your brand?
One of the most effective ways to monitor what people, and especially your customers, are saying about your brand is through social media listening.
Social Media Listening
Social listening is the process of monitoring social channels and collecting useful information.
In other words, it’s about gathering customer feedback, brand mentions, and online discussions about industry topics. Social listening aims to help companies gain actionable insights about their brand, market, and competition.
Social listening will help you answer the following questions:
- Do people care for our brand enough to talk about it online?
- Is the overall response to our products/services positive?
- What do our target customers talk about in general?
- Is there a gap that our company could fill in?
An advanced tool, like Mentionlytics, can help you with social media listening.
Mentionlytics is an all-in-one mention tracking tool that offers social media analytics and insights to help improve your brand strategies. Find out what’s being said about you on multiple social channels, blogs, forums, news sites, and more.
The platform offers valuable information about your target audience, customers, brand reputation, engagement, and a bunch of cool features, like:
- Social intelligence tools
- Social media management and responses
- Advanced brand monitoring (with Boolean search and filters)
- Competitor brands monitoring
- Influencer identification
- Sentiment analysis reports of all mentions
- Customizable reporting and analytics
- Real-time notification and email alerts
Thanks to the user-friendly and functional platform, Mentionlytics will become a valuable asset for your brand audit process.
There’s always the chance to ask customers directly, via a social media poll, an online survey, or an email. It’s highly possible that you could get some interesting answers that could be turned into actionable knowledge.
Here’s an example of a Feedback Survey that you can use.
Step #5: Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
It’s not a secret that brands compete against one another to win over more followers, website visitors, leads, and customers.
So you know that you always have to look out for competitor brands. Whether it’s about the popular ones or the ones that just hit the market, you need to stay updated.
For example, have your rival brands been killing it in the social media department lately? Knowing how their online performance translates to their target audience, whether it’s alerting or inspiring, helps your brand grow.
Unless you want to do all the work manually by yourself, try one of the best competitor analysis tools.
Step #6: Analyze Your Data and Find Solutions
Once you’ve gathered and organized your data, you get to the best part of the process. In other words, you get to analyze all the information you’ve gained and find real solutions to your business problems.
The analysis part isn’t easy. You have to pick the right metrics and visualize your data points so that your brand audit report is readable. While this may be true, there are many monitoring and listening tools that can conduct this task effortlessly.
Divide your data and metrics into the original categories:
- Internal Branding
- External Branding
- Customer Experience
Focus on the sentiment analysis of your brand mentions, the engagement and buzz you’ve created, and customer satisfaction. Additionally, try uncovering buyer patterns in your sales data and identifying weaknesses that need to be improved.
Revisit your SWOT analysis and brainstorm ideas and solutions. How can your strengths help you make up for your weaknesses?
Step #7: Implement and Monitor Your Actions
So, you’ve discovered your website wasn’t user-friendly enough and your social media posts didn’t include strong CTAs (Call-to-Action). What’s next?
Start by creating a realistic action plan that includes the:
- Issues you’ve faced
- Solutions you’re implementing
- Team members that are handling each task
- Timeframe for each action
Have your actions resulted in some sort of rebranding?
Now it’s time for brand monitoring! When your solution tasks are finished, start monitoring your performance and track any changes.
For example, let’s say you’ve finally streamlined your website and improved your social media text game. Do you see any change in your conversion metrics now?
Does monitoring sound like a difficult job for you? There are many social media tracker tools, like Mentionlytics, that get the job done quickly and effortlessly.
Don’t forget that you should conduct brand checkups on a regular basis to make sure your business remains healthy.
Step #8: Share the Result with Your Audience
So your brand assessment ended -at least for now. What’s next?
A nice and honest move is to share the results with your audience. This could be happening by releasing a statement about your pricing’s significant change or sharing product improvements and additions to your website.
Furthermore, if you’ve decided to hire employees to fill in the gaps in your customer services, let your audience know. For example, go into social media and announce that you’ve hired people to handle customer support for foreign languages.
Tip: To make sure your audience knows you’re working towards improvement create social media polls and mini-surveys they can answer.
Free Brand Audit Template
We’ve prepared a brand audit template that you can simply fill in. You can download it here:
Download your Brand Audit Template
Now Over to You
If you were unfamiliar with the brand audit process, we hope this article has helped you understand how everything works. From definition to actionable steps, does it seem difficult?
Don’t worry! Brand monitoring and social listening tools, like Mentionlytics, want to help businesses improve their strategies and see real results.
Hopefully, this article helped you understand that a frequent health check is necessary for your brand.
Have more questions? Book a live demo with Mentionlytics to let our specialists explain how our brand-assessing software can help you.
What Is Brand Audit with Examples?
A brand audit is a detailed process of evaluating how a brand is performing, perceived, and positioned in the market. It helps businesses find their strengths and weaknesses and create improvement strategies. For example, a brand audit can help a company understand that it needs improvement in visualizing its brand message.
When Should You Do a Brand Audit?
You should do a brand audit when you’re in the middle of rebranding your business. Additionally, you should conduct brand assessments when you’re trying to improve your brand positioning in the market. In any case, brand audits should be performed frequently by a business that exists in a competitive landscape.
How Do You Write a Brand Audit Report?
A brand audit report needs to include the following:
- Audit goals
- Sales data
- Social media metrics
- Website analytics
- Customer experience survey results
- Employee questionnaire answers
- Problems and solutions
- Actionable tasks and team member assignments
- Status updates
How Do You Audit Your Personal Brand Online?
In order to audit your personal brand online, follow these 8 simple steps:
- Find your goal for brand auditing
- Choose your method
- Collect and organize your existing data
- Listen to your customers
- Keep an eye on your competitors
- Analyze your data and find solutions
- Implement and monitor your actions
- Share the result with your audience
Originally posted on Mentionlytics: https://www.mentionlytics.com/blog/brand-audit