You may be asking, why do I need to know where I’ve been in order to guide where I want to go? And further, what use is a brand audit, or review of everything that comprises this brand, when in my heart, I just want it to change?
Brand Audit defined: Before we put the cart before the horse, we need to know that it’s been properly fed, watered, and trained. Why? Well, simply because it’s important for all parties to know where we stand. And honestly, the brand’s current performance may merely call for a simple set of tweaks or it may require an overhaul.
Now we know the very word ‘audit’ can strike fear into an organization. As it pertains to operations, an audit sounds time-consuming and expensive. Or worse. It may divulge more than is desired. But in marketing, the value of a brand audit is in the shared understanding that a brand team can amass once it’s able to take a close look at what it has at hand. The results of a thorough audit will align all teams and set the stage to prioritize its next moves. To establish a set of metrics and assign resources. Without it, the strategy remains uninformed and as an outcome, rudderless.
This process of discovery begins with a necessary and thorough examination of the current brand as it is relative to the competition. Designed to evaluate its strength and effectiveness by first understanding the brand legacy, the brand audit points an eye toward where the brand desires to be. Think of the brand audit as a collection and review of every available brand touchpoint—from the various iterations of the visual identity system over time, to the messages used to support it, and the channels used to market it.
Brand Audit process and deliverables:
- Kick-off meeting
- Initial consultation and assessment
- Start-work questionnaire and checklist
- Review of existing research
Includes: All strategic documents, business intent documentation, design and communications material dating back to the origin of organization or brand
- Follow-up requests for further documentation (as needed)
- Recommendations regarding existing work and opportunities
- Brand Audit Report (and training)