How do you do a brand audit?
Yes, we know, the word “audit” can be scary. But doing a brand audit is an important part of creating consistency all through your business.
And really, it’s not that hard.
There are six steps involved:
- 1Identify gaps
- 2Develop an action plan
- 6Annual review
The first step in creating brand consistency is to identify any branding gaps across your business.
Identifying your brand gaps
Okay, let’s do this. Block out some time in your calendar to commit to doing step one of your brand audit.
If there are lots of aspects to your business, if you have a variety of branded products (for example), then you may like to block out an hour a week (or month) dedicated to this task.
Now, take the time an look at every aspect of your business. I mean really look.
This is more than making sure your logo is on all the important things. It involves thinking about (or in some cases physically checking) every aspect of your business and asking yourself “does that say want I want my brand to say?” or “does that generate the emotion I want my business/my brand to generate?”
If the answer is no for some parts of your business, then simply make a note of where your branding is not aligned, and move onto the next part.
You can use this simple checklist to help identify the different parts of your business and note where your brand gaps are.
Examples of brand gaps
Where is your brand priced? Premium? Ultra-premium? Middle of the road? Value for money? Cheap?
For example, if your brand creates a perception of an average product or service, eg Holden or Ford, but its priced at the premium end, eg Mercedes Benz or Tesla, then you have a gap.
You need to figure out can you reduce your pricing (never a good option) or re-position your brand as a premium brand.
Do you have uniforms? Do you replace them regularly or are they a bit tatty?
How would you feel if you rocked into McDonalds and the staff were grimy and grotty in mis-matched uniforms?
And if you don't have uniforms, do you have a dress code to ensure consistency of appearance and an appearance that reflects your brand?
Does the look and feel of your website reflect all your other visual brands, as well as your brand essence.
For example, if you are a builder and your website show’s images taken on your phone, information is hard to find, what does that say to people about the quality of your build?
Bricks and mortar
What does your building or office look like? Inside and out?
For example, if you have a retail shop that sells premium products and your front windows are dirty, what does that say to your potential customers?
Does anyone even use stationery any more? Just kidding! We know there are lot's of businesses out there where paper-based communication is still important.
But, if you're in the digital space, think about whether your electronic letterhead looks the same as your paper version? Or are you using the same electronic format for "letters" all across your business?
What does your stationery say about you? For example, if you’re a high-end business but are presenting people with a flimsy business card, what question does that raise with your market?
Are your posts instantly recognisable in someone’s feed as your business and brand?
And are they consistent with your brand? For example, posting silly cat meme’s isn't really aligned with your brand if you are trying to portray a corporate professional image.
Tip: having a professional style guide will help you and your team create consistency across the visual aspects of your brand, including social media.
Language or tone of voice
What level of formality do you use and is this reflective of your brand?
For example, starfish marketing used quite informal language that is simple and fun. This is reflective of the brand being approachable and fun and making life easier for clients.
As you can see, your brand is definitely more than your logo. And this list won't cover every aspect of your business.
Use this simple checklist to work through the different areas of your business, noting where your branding isn’t aligned.
When your audit is complete, develop an action plan, budget and timetable to address your gaps. We’ll take you through how to do this next week.
If you need help with making your brand consistent let us know. We'd love to help you.