There is a real challenge in making a brand grow or even just survive.
The purpose of a brand audit is quite simple, create an understanding of what the brand really is, how it´s managed and what i could be. The output of the audit is used as a platform for development of brand strategies, brand management (how to bring the strategy alive) and what to measure (to maximize ROI).
Your brand may die soon
There is a real challenge in making a brand grow or even just survive. Two forces is deteriorating your brand right now:
1. Your customers will disappear: Customers move, get married, get old etc. You will need new customers to survive and there is a big fight to catch them.
2. Times are changing. Take a look at 1985 and how world looked. Values have changed, popular culture has changed people as changed. A brand has to re-define it self to fit in the world evolving.
That means that the evaluation of the brand, the strategy and the brand management has to be ongoing. At least every third year you need to ask yourself a few basic brand questions. A good timing is to do it while you are making an organization change as a strong brand empower people and can be a foundation for the employees work.
It´s common with brand research always showing positive things.
You need to look at the truth. To really understand your brand you need an audit team that will be brave and honest. You need to ask the hard questions and you need to look beyond internal beliefs or commitments. A good brand job is often is often creating internal dissuasions as it´s pushing for change. Thats why an objective external partner like Straylight often is assigned.
Brand Audit Example
An extensive audit should cover three basic brand constructs and the gaps between the constructs:
1. The intended brand (your true brand strategy)
It's about understanding what are the basic strategic ideas pushing the brand forward today. It may be the written strategy but more often is the written strategy exchanged to a mutual understanding of what a brand is and should be. That basic idea whithin the management team and other core groups is important to understand as it´s very hard to change even if you write down a new strategy.
The brand management tools that are examined under this headline are things like:
- Corporate identity
- HR policies
- Brand values, vision and mission.
- Unique selling proposition, brand promise, brand essence
- Target groups
2. The stakeholder brand
You need to understand the brand from a stakeholder point of view. Most common is the brand from a customer perspective but other areas may be equally important, like Investor och Society. The audit is based on research among the stakeholders and aims to create a clear picture of how the brand is perceived.
The brand management tools that are examined under this headline are things like
- Brochures, print materials, trade show displays
- Social Media
- Content Marketing and other assets – blogs, white papers, case studies, articles, books, etc.
3. The internal brand
At the end of the day it´s the organisation who is building the brand by their daily action. Thats why it´s essential to understand how the perceive the brand and uses different brand management tools in their work. The audit is build on research within the organisation.
4. The Brand Gaps
If you are aware of your brand gaps you are all set and go for a succefull brand job. This is what you should know:
The position gap: Is there a difference between the intended brand and the stakeholder brand. What is the difference? Do we have a program to close the gaps?
The vision gap: Is there a difference between the intended brand and the internal brand. A big difference indicates that the strategy is not at all working. What are the gaps, what can be done, do we have a program?
The living the brand gap: Is there a difference between the stockholder brand and the internal brand. A big gap indicate that the organization is building the brand in an irrelevant direction and have lost the feeling of why the brand is preferred by customers. What are the gaps, do we have programs, etc.?
The Brand strategy
Having created a good brand audit it´s easy to create a strategy. Straylight will help you with both. And we will help you to evaluate all the things ad agencies, media agencies, design agencies etc. will produce. That will maximize effect of your efforts.
Straylight helps you to understand where you are, where you could be and where you should be with your brand & advertising.
Straylight helps sharpening your brand strategy to maximize your business performance.
Straylight helps you to maximize the effectiveness in every touchpoint.
Straylight helps you to create dashboards with relevant KPI´s for your brand & advertising, collect the data needed and present the result.