Posted by Beth Crawford
From the moment prospects land on your website for the first time to the day they sign the contract with you, your brand makes a promise. How well you keep that promise will determine the long-term health of your brand, reinforce the strength of your customer relationships, and will impact the profitability of your organization.
Every brand has a lifecycle. That’s why it’s a good idea to monitor your brand along the way – before sales dip. A comprehensive brand audit* can help you reveal new growth opportunities and identify new ways to make your brand resonate with target customers.
Here are five key factors to consider when taking stock of your brand as part of a brand audit:
Performance. The market evaluates your brand performance every day. Over time, your brand thrives or declines based on how well your business keeps its promises. Sometimes, sales may begin to slide because customers no longer put their faith in the brand’s value proposition or they may have moved on – to a competitor or to the next new priority. While your visual identity can quickly communicate your organization’s presence and personality, your brand is based on how well it performs and delivers value to customers.
Identity. Your brand identity is a type of visual shorthand that uses logos, design, colors and slogans instantly to communicate your organization’s presence, character and personality. Do prospects and customers know what your brand stands for? A brand audit can help you get a reality check on your brand identity — how well the personality of your brand is resonating.
Messaging. While visual consistency is critical, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Analyze what your brand actually communicates to prospects, customers and other stakeholders. What is the messaging that guides your marketing communications? Do all of your communications deliver a consistent message?
Positioning. Your brand positioning is based on a set of promises you make to your prospects, customers and other stakeholders. A brand stands for what an organization does for its customers and how it makes them feel. It’s an intangible asset that your business must sustain by delivering consistent value. In evaluating your positioning, ask yourself these questions: What does your brand promise? Is it still relevant to customers? Does it reflect a competitive advantage?
Communications. Your brand positioning is an ongoing effort to define and communicate the brand promise. How well does your organization deliver on its differentiated promises and reinforce them through external marketing communications? How well does it deploy internal communications to reinforce the brand promise with internal stakeholders and team members?
Ultimately, you will enhance your brand (or not) over time based on 1) how well your organization performs, 2) how well it delivers on its value promises, and 3) how well it uses communications to remind customers of the value created and delivered.
What factors do you consider in evaluating and auditing your brand? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
*To qualify for a free brand audit, contact Scott Mikus at firstname.lastname@example.org.Tagged with: brand audit • brand identity • brand positioning • Branding • internal communications • marketing communications • messaging • value proposition
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