How to See What’s Working and What’s Not

Very well-distilled and clear whiskey being poured into a clean glass with ice.

Decisions are made at lightning speed and perceptions are formed in an instant. You’ve got one shot to capture people’s attention and get them to understand who you are and why you’re the only one they need.

That’s a big job. And it’s the job of your brand.

So how is your brand doing at that job? Is it presenting a well-distilled brand story whose message is clean and clear? Does it influence your market to think and feel about you the way you want them to? Or does your brand throw out a clouded concoction of mixed messages and contradictory stories that confuse your market and get them to move on to your competitors? Do you even know?

Every organization that’s improved their business has done so by first knowing where to put their attention and effort. They look across their business to uncover what’s working and what’s not. Only then can they take action to make things better.

The same must be done with your brand. You’ve got to conduct an unbiased review of all branding and communications efforts to determine where it’s working and where it’s not. That is the role of a professional brand audit.

What is a brand audit?

A brand audit is a thorough examination of your brand’s current position compared to your competitors. It looks at internal and external touchpoints in your company and reviews your marketing and sales materials to see what you’re saying and how you’re presenting your brand story.

Consider this: your website is presenting your value proposition as “exceptional customer service” but your sales materials talk about the product features and benefits. And your signage says to your market “approachable and friendly,” but your trade show booth materials are so stone cold sales-oriented and impersonal that they shut down discussions before they even start.

This disharmony in your messaging not only confuses your market, it loses business, diminishes your sales efforts and tarnishes your company’s reputation.

A brand audit provides immediate, actionable advice and ideas to build confidence in your brand and communications materials.

How do you conduct a successful and effective brand audit?

There are seven critical principles found in an effective and successful brand audit:

  • Know what you're looking for. Search across the entire organization for discrepancies in how the brand and offering are presented.
  • Wear clean glasses. With an effective brand audit, you must remain impartial and unbiased. You must view things with clean and unbiased glasses. No judgement, just the facts. This can often be accomplished only with an external firm, like what you’d find in financial audits.
  • Look inside. Review a full sample of the organization’s communications materials—from the corner office (vision, mission, etc.), to the warehouse (processes and procedures, training materials, etc.) and from HR (job postings, onboarding materials, etc.) to the front office (customer facing materials, etc.).
  • Sales and marketing. Review a full sample of the organization’s sales and marketing materials (website, brochures, sell sheets, catalogues, PowerPoint Presentations and pitch decks, sales letters).
  • Look outside. Consider the organization’s target audience. Who are they? How do they make decisions? What role does the brand play in their lives?
  • Look across the street. Review a sample of competitors to see how they are positioning their brands and offering towards the same target audience.
  • Be emotional. Decision making is strongly influenced by emotion, especially in the B2B space. Consider and review the emotions evoked by all communication materials. How do they make the audience feel?

If done right, a Brand Audit will uncover what’s working and what’s not as it relates to you brand and communications efforts. It will identify the strengths and weaknesses in how your organization presents itself and it will give you the insight you need to know where to focus your improvement efforts and get you on the right track for success.

At Rebox, we conduct every brand audit with the care and confidentiality you’d expect of any professional services firm. Our goal is to get you presenting a well-distilled brand to your market so that you increase your marketing effectiveness, generate higher price premiums, build customer loyalty and produce substantial business growth.

Call and schedule a time to talk and learn more about how our Rebox Brand Audit can help dramatically improve your organization’s effectiveness and Why Your Brand is the Most Valuable Asset You Have with the associated links.

 

Additional Resources

Check out these additional resources to learn more.

Successful brands demonstrate consistency everywhere they communicate and there are a lot of examples out there to learn from. On a recent episode of Kill the Ad Man, we talked about a number of great examples of brands that have taken consistency to the next level. See what tips you can pick up. Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, and never miss an episode.