The Brand Audit – Evaluating Brand Strengths and Opportunities

A Brand Audit is one of the most valuable tools you have to help you successfully manage your brand. It can be used to methodically examine and analyze current branding practices to gain insight and understanding into how your brand is presented and experienced in the marketplace.

Why is that Important?

As we’ve touched on in other blogs, your brand is your company’s most valuable asset. The combination of a brand strategy relevant for your audience, and a powerful visual brand builds value and strengthens the presence of your company in the marketplace.

At its most basic, a Brand Audit is a thorough examination of all the ways your brand presents itself internally and externally — the font you use, your logo, the style of your images and tone, your use of white space, your brand colors and all other aspects of your identity. The Brand Audit provides a mechanism for measuring the consistency of these key messages and design guidelines. Because consistency with these elements is critical to the success of your brand-building efforts, the Audit serves as a way to shine the light on where you’re doing well, and targets areas for improvement. And as part of an ongoing measurement program, a Brand Audit can provide guidance and direction to maintain best practices in brand strategy and design.

Let’s face it, brands are meant to be emotional, right? Everyone has an opinion — both internally and externally. The Brand Audit provides your most objective and consistent form of measurement and sets your bar to which future brand initiatives can be compared.

What’s the Brand Audit Process?

With a comprehensive Brand Audit, more is better. A range of materials and applications should be included in the Audit – corporate identity, websites, advertising campaigns, presentations, sales and product literature, newsletters, employee communications, signage, retail design, trade show booths, packaging, and promotions.

Each of those materials should be measured against specific criteria:

· Clear messaging in support of the brand strategy
· Appropriate use of brand attributes, tone and voice
· Correct and consistent use of the company logo and tagline
· Strategic use of the brand color palette
· Correct use of approved typefaces
· Engaging and appropriate imagery
· Overall visual appeal and effectiveness

An objective and comprehensive audit is the first step in clearly understanding the brand and revealing opportunities for strategic alignment, effective brand messaging and design consistency. Once completed, the Brand Audit provides a strategic roadmap for brand success.

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