January is the ideal month to identify what worked last year and determine which tactics and channels to prioritize in 2022. A brand audit can be the first step toward developing your annual marketing strategy.
Marketers must first understand what makes their offering stand out. After that, they need to make certain that consumers also associate those beneficial qualities with their brand. Businesses can work with a brand strategy agency to conduct a brand audit to gain perspective on both of these critical questions.
Why start the new year with a brand audit?
As discussed in an earlier Bigeye article, brand differentiation stands out as an essential marketing tactic for most businesses. A well-positioned brand makes it easy for consumers to quickly identify a company’s strengths and make instant and even unconscious decisions to patronize them instead of competitors.
Brand audits offer businesses an opportunity to learn how a brand stands, how it has progressed, and how well it’s likely to keep performing in the future. From this perspective, marketers can strengthen their marketing strategies to react to such changes as an evolving business, new competitors, evolving technologies, or disruptive market conditions.
The new year offers an excellent opportunity to perform a brand audit because the information uncovered will help update marketing plans for the first quarter and through the rest of 2022.
What Is a Brand Audit?
An audit typically captures and evaluates the brand across three dimensions to understand what’s happening internally, externally, and with your customers.
- Internal branding includes your brand mission, vision, values, and internal communication strategies.
- External branding includes your distinctive assets including logos, print and marketing materials, PR, your website, social media presence, all your digital platforms, and the content you create for owned, earned, and paid channels.
- Customer experience includes the sales process, conversion optimization, customer service, and retention tactics.
How do you conduct a brand audit?
As a brand manager or owner, the audit process provides you with an opportunity to review marketing activity and evaluate whether it’s been working or not. Be honest about the current strategy you have – or don’t have – and seek alignment with your team on the way that you have been working.
- What does the brand management team inside your organization look like?
- What projects did you work on in 2021?
- How have you been measuring the success of those efforts?
- What do you know about your customers? Have they changed since before COVID-19?
- What do you know about the performance of your communications tactics?
Sometimes the answers to these questions can be embarrassing, even painful. That’s okay. Being responsible for managing a brand means being comfortable with ambiguity and admitting when there are failures – because they can unlock the greatest opportunities.
Sometimes, it’s hard for businesses to gain objectively from their position on the inside of a growing operation. A brand strategy agency like Bigeye can help you conduct a comprehensive brand audit.
Download the Bigeye Brand Audit Guide