Your brand evolves. So do you and your audience. If you were hoping after creating your brand, you were done once and for all, I must disappoint you. Branding is never done. The market is in constant change, as your audience changes their interest or needs, your brand has to follow. For you, as an entrepreneur, you need to adjust your goals depending on the stage of your business. To keep your brand constantly on track is a difficult task and you will get sidetracked once in awhile. Performing a brand audit can help you to keep your brand in alignment with your goals. And it can eliminate the insecurities you, as well as many other solopreneurs, have, who are constantly in doubt if their branding is on point.
Want to know more about the three stages of branding, read this post: Why branding is a journey
What is a brand audit?
A brand audit is like a check-in with your brand. It’s examining where you are and what you have, getting clear about your goals and the direction your business is taking to then see if these two align. Means, if your brand is in line with your goals or if you need to make adjustments. A brand audit helps you to identify what works and what doesn’t. It includes every aspect of your brand from the foundation over design and voice to the brand experience.
When do I need to audit my brand?
Some of the things included in a brand audit you’re already doing on a regular basis (or you better should be) e.g. finding out which blog or social media posts are popular, which channels bring the most traffic or what are your most sold products. This helps you to stay up-to-date with your audience’s needs.
A full brand audit, however, goes more deeply into your brand and takes inventory of all its elements. If you’re about to start new projects e.g. add new products or you remark a decrease in sales or traffic, that’s the time to check in with your brand. But even if you haven’t planned anything new, I recommend a brand audit at least once a year.
Why do I need a brand audit?
Focus on your goals
Performing a regular brand audit, first of all, helps you to stay focused. As mentioned above, it’s necessary to make sure your brand still aligns with your goals. It brings your strength as well as your weakness to light, so you can improve what needs be.
Know your position
Adapting your brand to your audience’s needs to stay relevant to them is the number one reason to conduct an audit. It helps you to find and enforce your place in the market.
How to execute a brand audit for my biz?
Analyze your status quo
First, you have to take a look at your data. This includes website, shop, and social media analytics. But don’t get sidetracked by all those numbers. It only helps you to see what’s popular, what works and what doesn’t.
To get a better insight into your audience, you need to look at real interaction and communication. The best way is always to get in contact with your audience to find out more about their dreams and goals, problems and struggles, needs, and how they experience your brand. A good way to find out more about them is to do a survey.
Does everything align?
When you know what your audience wants, you have to look at your business goals and how these two come together.
The next step is to take a look at your brand’s purpose or mission and your brand values. Do they still align with where you are headed? If not, you need to tweak them.
The real work
The real audit starts now. With your goals and tweaked values in mind, go through every element of your brand and see if it still aligns or if it needs to be changed. This includes your brand design (logo, submarks, images, icons …), brand voice (blog and social media content, sales page copy, newsletter, advertisements …) and experience (customer service, email, consumer satisfaction, community …). If something needs to be tweaked, write down some notes on how you want to go about it and how you could improve it.
This can be a real challenge. If you want to do a brand audit for your biz too, you can get the free checklist I made for you. Go through all aspects of your brand step by step with this list.