Your brand is what people think of when they hear your name or see you and/or your products.
So how do you know if it’s working for or against you?
How ’bout a quick and dirty brand audit? It’s a way to examine how well your brand communicates and conveys the message you want and how well it fits your company’s mission and vision. The most effective brand audits are pretty extensive, but there are some simple things you can review for consistency and clarity.
1. Your Core Identity – This is the heart and soul of your brand. It includes things like mission, vision, values statements, tone of voice, and language used in your communications (both internal and external). These should be the first items clearly defined before moving on.
2. Your Visual Identity – Everything from your logo to your color palette to how you present yourself to the world. What does your logo look like? How does that translate across all platforms? Are there different versions for various contexts? What message do your colors convey (there is a psychology behind colors, which I’ll address in a future blog)? Are you using a bunch of stereotypical stock photos?
3. Your Website – This is a crucial part of your digital presence that helps set the tone for your other efforts. People visit your website to learn more about you and your services. But you only have about 8 seconds to capture their attention.
4. Marketing Materials – This includes everything from Professional Spotlights© and business cards to brochures and presentations – all of which should consistently reflect your core identity so that they reinforce each other rather than being contradictory or confusing.
5. Digital Media – This includes website content like blogs and articles, social content like Facebook and Instagram, and video content like YouTube videos and Instagram stories.
Some other things to consider are your documents (Statement of Purpose, proposals, contracts), sales process (we also call this the buyer journey), and how you stack up against similar businesses.
A good brand audit will help you identify gaps between how your customers perceive your business and how you think they perceive it—and then help you close those gaps!
If you find yourself without the time, patience, or expertise to run your own brand audit or develop solutions to repair those gaps, it might be time to contact an expert. Sure, I’d love for it to be me, but the most important thing is that you get down to brass tacks to ensure your brand is working hard for you.
I’ll soon be adding a Brand Audit to my service offerings. In the meantime, if you want more info, please reach out to me!
Got questions? Ideas for future posts you’d like to see? Let me know!