With Covid restrictions set to be lifted this month, there’s no better time than now to take stock of your brand and business placement. Regular audits will give you a much-needed insight into what your brand is doing right, and more importantly what it is doing wrong, enabling your business to evolve and progress to new heights.
Your brand is a living thing – constantly evolving and growing – and so it needs tending to keep it healthy and flourishing. A brand audit allows you to see where your shortcomings are and enables you to target the key areas that need addressing. The biggest and best brands have consistency across everything they do, and this is mainly down to constant evaluation and listening to the marketplace.
Companies ahead of the curve are frequently reviewing and analysing vital business areas, from employee performance to financials, technological advancements to industry demand. However, branding often falls down the list of importance, with a lack of emphasis on arguably your companies biggest and most important asset.
Ensuring your brand is maintained and analysed consistently means your company can build brand equity. This strategy will allow you to focus less on spending money attracting new customers, but instead helps you retain your current customers and receive more word-of-mouth referrals.
Tesla – the design-led brand.
Tesla is building a cult-like following with its brand and is synonymous with electric vehicles – but they aren’t just known for their cars. They understand their market and customers incredibly well and are constantly expanding their offering to suit the needs of the audience.
There is a defined consistency throughout Elon Musk’s company, with a design-led / customer-led approach at the core, one that focuses on creating a brand experience with the individual.
From providing a fully automated phone app control, to calculating charge points by using a journey planner, the brand is expanding with the clear intension of placing the customer at its core – simply done, effectively implemented.
Tesla presents a real lesson in what a brand can be, and is a sterling example of a company with incredible brand equity.
Evolutionary and carefully considered changes to your brand over a period, provides your audience and employees with a digestible and readily accepted vision – which in turn projects a sense of stability and clear ambitions. If you hold your brand back until it feels irrelevant, it will require a much more concerted effort to get it back on track, at which point you may have already lost your appeal within the marketplace.
LEGO – the enterprising imagination brand.
Though it started as a 10-person company making wooden toys in Denmark, LEGO has certainly come a long way since 1939 – with the brand confidently evolving over the years to remain relevant in the ever-changing marketplace.
The business has also made the brick design more durable, patented their LEGO block design, exploded their international sales, and become the multi-billion-dollar company we know and love today.
But how has a company that sells tiny plastic building bricks remained so beloved over the years? They consistently evolve – in both their products and branding – all the while remaining true to their original brand mission: providing an outlet for a child’s imagination.
The brands forward-thinking mindset to shift marketing efforts to fit their audiences, has seen the business go from strength-to-strength. From opening the very first LEGOLAND resort in 1968, the brand has since evolved and expanded into the movie industry, big brand partnerships deal’s and adapting their products and marketing to new media, digital marketing trends, and changes in the market.
For all the enterprising activity LEGO has seen over the years, one thing that remains prominent is the businesses brand foundations and visionary ethos. The brand has actively evolved with the marketplace, whilst assuring its core values remain consistent.
By treating your brand as an asset – nurturing it and placing value on its importance – you increase the chance that your target, and current audiences, will also grow to love and trust your brand.
Of course, the biggest and best brands understand the importance of strong, consistent branding by creating comprehensive guideline documents that outline how their brand should be portrayed and communicated across all marketing channels.
However, this approach isn’t solely reserved for just the elite companies, it’s a strategy that is attainable by any company with a passion for consistency and an enthusiasm of maintaining a good brand.
Auditing your brand.
Below are key questions to consider if you are unsure whether your brand needs an audit:
• Is your business new, and are you in the process of establishing your brand goals and direction?
• Is your business growing considerably?
• Do you feel unsure of your brand’s direction?
• Is your business growth starting to stagnate?
• Do you feel your brand could be stronger?
• Are you rebranding your business?
If you said yes to any of the above, you might want to consider re-evaluating your brand presence.
Regardless of where your company is in its growth, conducting a regular brand audit can help keep your brand at its most effective. For most companies, having a brand audit done every one or two years is a good pace.
An extensive brand audit should look at the following:
• Brand values
• Unique selling proposition (USP), brand promise or brand essence
• Tone of voice
• Team culture
• Product / service positioning.
• Corporate identity – logos and other brand elements
• Collateral, brochures, printed materials
• SEO strategy
• Social media marketing
• News / PR
• Content Marketing and other assets – blogs, white papers, case studies, articles, books, etc.
• Video content.
Systems and Infrastructure:
• Brand standards
• HR policies
• On-boarding process
• Sales processes
• Internal systems
• Customer service.
A brand audit will provide you with a detailed analysis of your brand’s current state. As a result, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you’re doing correctly and what you can do to strengthen weaker aspects.
A good brand audit should result in a plan of action that identifies opportunities for improvement. The strategy should outline your desired outcomes as well as a timetable for achieving them.
The brand audit is an effective method for staying current and ahead of the competition. It will offer you crucial information about your company. The terrain in which we operate is constantly changing, so it is critical to make it a continuous process.
Is it time for your company to perform a brand audit?
If you’re unsure, get in touch with our team of friendly experts to have an informal (or formal) chat about your brands current position, and how we can help take it to the next level.