November 24, 2015
Is your brand suffering from little brand equity and strong competition? This might be the time to review your brand and strategies as a whole. To be able to reinforce your branding in a crowded, cutthroat market, a business must recognize the needs and wants of its customers and prospective clients. Do this by incorporating brand strategies in your company at each stage of public interaction.
Marketing goes far and beyond its 4P’s – product, price, place and promotion. Your brand, meanwhile, is represented by more than just your company logo. One of the ultimate goals of a company is to use tried and tested marketing principles to build a solid brand that is not only considered an authority in its industry but is so successful that it enters the business lexicon as a name synonymous with the product or service being sold.
In other words, branding isn’t simply about your target market choosing your business over all the others, but about them considering your brand as the only one-stop-shop solution to their needs.
The Brand Basics
In the old days, a brand’s success was attributed to a perfect marriage of an excellent product, a distinguished history, a well-designed logo, a catchy tag line, and reliable customer service. Nowadays, product and service branding is about numerous cogs working harmoniously in a complex, well-oiled machine. Before conducting a brand audit, your business should have the following necessary parts:
• Target market – To whom are you selling your product or service?
• Visual and print marketing voice/tone – Is it fun or serious? Is the language you’re using understandable by all or does it alienate certain people?
• Company philosophy– In terms of its past, present and future, does your brand tend to dwell only on its traditions or history? Does it thrive on current fads or trends? Does it strive for constant change and innovation?
• Customer service – Does your company over deliver on its products and services to customers’ complete satisfaction?
• Company operations – Global or localized?
• Visuals and content – Are your designs and messages synchronized consistently across all logos, slogans, taglines, graphics, spokesmodels and colors?
• Website and Social Media – Is your website optimized for SERP? Does your brand have enough viral traction, likes, and trendability on social media?
• Marketing collaterals – Do you take advantage of non-digitized promotional materials such as flyers, brochures, posters, and other advertising mediums?
• Mission and vision statement – Is your brand remaining true to its original goals and objectives?
What is a Brand Audit
So, if we equate branding to numerous cogs working in a smoothly running machine, it only means that if one of the cogs break down, the machine fails to run at full potential. This is where a brand audit comes in. A brand audit looks at and reviews your company’s current position in the market compared to your competitors. It can help you define your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) in relation to your branding strategies.
Benefits of a Brand Audit
Let’s face it, with a strong brand you’ll be able to create more revenue for your business. Companies with strong branding can motivate, involve and inspire customers to buy without spending too much on advertising. An all-inclusive brand audit can reveal new or untapped opportunities for your product and fresh ways to make your brand resound with both old and new customers who will embody your brand’s future.
According to marketing and PR agency Scarab4, your brand audit can contain these questions:
• How is your brand perceived compared to the competitors?
• When you think of your company, what comes to mind?
• How is the customer service of your company perceived compared to your competitors?
• Would you recommend your brand to others?
• How is your brand different from similar brands?
• How different are your price points from your closest competitors?
Take the time to review annually what your brand has to say, how to differentiate your company from others, and how to position yourself in the market. Take the necessary positive steps in changing how customers perceive your brand and watch your bottom line increase.
Elizar Caraecle is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Growthrocket. He is an occasional author of Digital Marketing articles, Search Engine Optimization, and Print Product marketing and services.