When is a Brand Audit a Good Idea?
Something about the word audit sounds scary, like some government official is going to come out of the woodwork and tell you all the things you've been doing wrong and then hold you accountable for those wrongdoings. Or maybe that's just my love of mysteries and my nerdy appreciation for accounting merging together to form a weird world in my head where there's IRS types running around everywhere performing audits. Who knows?
But not all audits have to leave you feeling intimidated before and violated after. And brand audits are a perfect example of that.
What is a Brand Audit?
Great question! The short answer is that a brand audit is a health check for your business' brand.
The longer answer is that it is a thorough examination of all of the elements of your brand and their performance to better understand strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in areas like your messaging, value proposition, positioning, etc.. It looks at your goals, current messaging, ideal clients, visual identity, website and other customer-facing elements, and more. The goal is to deeply understand your brand in its current state and plan for its future.
When do you need a Brand Audit?
So, ok, maybe that sounds a little intimidating. Most business owners don't always want to dive so deep into the feelings and perceptions and positioning of their brand on a regular occasion. So when DO you need a brand audit? When does it make the most sense for your business to go through an exercise like this?
There are 5 main milestones when a Brand Audit can be truly life-changing for your business:
When your business is fresh and new and you want to firmly establish your brand goals and strategy
After your business has considerably grown and perhaps needs to be realigned to meet new goals
ANYTIME you're feeling uncertain about your brand direction, heart or message, or don't feel fully confident in your brand as a whole
Your growth has started to stagnate a bit and you want to make the appropriate redirections to foster more growth
You're looking to rebrand yourself or your business
Essentially, the purpose of a brand audit should be, at its heart, to help grow your business. Any time your business is at a point that feels like a milestone - a start, a change, a growth, etc. - it's a good time to take stock of where you are. Your business goals and your marketing goals should always go hand and hand. So if one changes, so should the other.
After performing a brand audit, you should feel confident with a fresh marketing strategy that allows you to take positive steps to support your business structure moving forward.