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Pulse Check: The Importance of a Brand Audit

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Imagine walking around not knowing if you’re in good health or bad. You also have no clue about the status of your relationships and are blissfully ignorant about what anybody thinks about you. Oh yes, you also haven’t the foggiest about whether you’re doing a great job at work or if your head’s on the chopping block.

Surprisingly, many businesses and organizations seem perfectly content to live this way because they haven’t done a brand audit. Properly done, a brand audit is an incredibly valuable pulse check that will give you an accurate read of your brand health. It’s a comprehensive look at what you’re saying about yourself, what others are saying about you, and what your competitors are up to.

So why don’t more organizations do a brand audit? By and large, they think it takes too much time and effort. And when it comes to your competitors—that’s a really good thing! Feed into it. Moan and groan about how hard it is and use lots of eye-rolls and sighs. And then quietly set about doing your brand audit. Because when you’re finished, you’ll have incredibly powerful information that your competitor doesn’t have to inform everything from advertising strategy to product development to sales techniques.

Start by collecting all the internal and external information that affects what people think about your brand. This includes the obvious stuff like collateral material and advertising but also things like shopping bags and signage.

Next, find out what others are saying about you—principally your employees, customers and clients. This information comes from all directions including exit interviews, focus groups, and social media feedback.

Finally, “Know thy enemy.” Dig up everything you can about your competitors and don’t overlook the up-and-comers. Know what they’re promising and how they’re positioning yourselves.

The good news is you don’t have to do a brand audit yourself. Because so much information is not proprietary and readily available, a third party consultant such as DNA with experience in brand audits can speed you through the process with minimum strain on your staff or your budget. If you decide to work through the process yourself, we’ve prepared a Brand Audit Checklist to give you a head start.

Just remember, when you’re finished and putting the results of your brand audit to powerful use, don’t say a single good thing about it to the competition!

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Posted by: Emmanuel