Whether you’re an individual wanting to boost their brand identity online, or your company is considering a rebrand and/or repositioning, completing a brand audit is worth every resource and investment made available.
There are generally four key components of completing a company brand audit:
Identify your business type
Who is your target audience?
What are your core strengths?
What is the single most important USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
If you can clearly define each of the above questions without any hesitation, then you’re doing something right. If there are uncertainties with company leadership and/or leadership team on how to answer these questions, then I recommend completing a brand audit—even if a rebrand isn’t what you had in mind. If the company talent can’t identify with the key components of your business, how do you expect your core audience to relate?
Businesses evolve over time and you need to continuously think and re-think your marketing strategies to achieve your business objectives and goals. Alongside your business, the brand identity evolves. If you believe it’s time to make the leap and change your brand identity, the most critical question to answer to ask yourself—does the business and brand remain relatable to its core audience? Other questions to consider:
Are your colors, illustrations and other creative, besides your logo, communicate what you do?
Do they reflect the core values and beliefs of the company?
Does your logo mirror the identity, and does it stand out from its competitors?
Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
Volkswagen has changed their logo over time to sync with the latest trends. This may not be the solution for every business, but the simple creative updates made by VW is a perfect example of how a business stays consistent to project its strong brand image. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.
To learn more how Volkswagen evolved in the 60s. The documentary, "Remember those great Volkswagen ads" is worth watching and the 20 minutes of your time. (see video below)
No one knows your brand better than you. There is never a perfect time to reset and evaluate if a brand change is necessary. If you’re uncertain about making a change, then I highly recommend investing in a complete brand audit. Either complete the audit with internal resources or hire an agency. Hiring an agency is best if you’re leaning toward a company rebrand or refresh. They should provide a recommendation after the audit and will help to have a clearer direction of there you need to make changes. Something to keep in mind, outsourcing this project can also be more time than it's worth–you end up doing a lot of the leg work with the SWOT and competitor analyses.
Marketing teams need brand audits as they're essential to the business. Not only does the marketing team need to have a deep understanding of how the business relates to its audience today, but also how the business has evolved with the brand. It's important to stay in sync with your audience and variables in the marketplace. I recommend completing a brand audit at least every 24 months.
One last comment—with every business and with every brand, there is a purpose. So, I ask, are you accomplishing this purpose with your identity?
TIP A useful brand audit should include the following content:
Position in the marketplace
Problems and solutions in the marketplace