As you need a regular health checkup to keep yourself fit and fine, the same way your brand too needs regular audits just to ensure that it is working well. As you would get supplements in case of health issues, the same way you should be able to come with solutions for the weaknesses found after your brand audit.
Hence, the audit is nothing but a routine checkup of your brand for its good health and betterment. Brand audit should majorly cover the areas;
- Internal: Audits about the values, culture, and mission of the business (internal).
- External: Audit of the factors that work externally for the business development like email marketing, online advertising, social media activities, public relations, etc.
- Customer satisfaction: This deals with the audit of the departments that directly deal with the customers like – sales department, customer support services, etc.
Once you are done with a checkup (audit), and in case you find any problem area, then you may take the required actions to eradicate the problem.
Brand auditing is not that simple as it seems to be. You need to follow many steps religiously in order to complete a well-designed audit for your brand. If in case you are a little tight with your budget and do not want to hire a professional auditor, you may then follow the below-detailed steps to carry on a better brand audit by yourself;
- Gain knowledge: It’s very important for you to first check your marketing plan and then identify your vision, mission, and positioning of the brand. You should be aware of who the targeted customers are, and what services does your brand provide them?
- Check your external marketing tools: Compare your logo’s, brochures, letterheads, business cards, etc with the soft copies available on your website. Have a thorough check if all the materials are identical. You need to also check on how your materials effectively target your audience.
- Business website: Audit if your website is gaining the attention of your targeted customers. Is there is effective trafficking in your website and relevantly from the customers of your target area. Check on how user-friendly do customers find your website. The rise or fall of the conversion rate, and so on.
- Social media review: Social media are on a real hike these days, get a regular check on your social media marketing. Check on what people have to talk about your brand? Negative reviews would be your areas of improvement.
- Customer surveys: Never let your customers forget about you, even if they want to. Keep in regular touch with them and conduct surveys to check on their opinion about your services. You may choose any method of surveys like – email surveys, phone surveys, social media polls, and so on.
- Target audiences who are not customers yet: Again, you may go on for a survey to those people whom you want to be your customers. You may ask them to participate in the survey that would ask some probing questions about your brand, like – Have you heard about our brand? Have you ever used our brand? etc. This would act as publishing for your brand.
- Employee survey: Employees are the most valuable assets for your business. They are the one who directly deals with the customers to promote your brand.
Hence, it’s necessary that they themselves are educated about what work they are handling. You may conduct some surprise surveys to just check on how much they know about your brand.
Questions like – what is the brand’s vision? How does the brand solve customer problems, what change would you suggest to improve the brand further, etc?
- Competitor brand evaluation: Evaluate your nearest and biggest competitor. Talk to your customers about what they think of the competitor, you may ask your employees too. This would help you know what your perception is among the outer world against your competitors.
Gather knowledge on how the competitor carries out their marketing, advertising, customer services, their social media presence and so on. This would help you to understand your loopholes and work on them.
- Reviewing the results: This is the action time for you. Once all the areas of the audit are covered, you may note them all and analyze what are the areas that need more improvisation. You may check on the areas that would need some time to improve while there can be some areas that can be improved immediately.
Come up with some great solutions for these affected areas and implement the action plans accordingly.
- Progress is monitored: Once the action plans are implemented, check out on how progressive your actions proved to be for your business. If in case no considerate changes are seen, you may again brainstorm and emerge with some more great ideas.
Branding is a never-ending job.
Even big brands like Ford, Mercedes, Apple, etc always indulge themselves in branding on a timely basis. Get started and pull up your sock to develop a brand that you have always dreamt about.