Five Ways to Audit Your Brand
October 2, 2010 by Mary Ellen
I suggest you start with a branding audit, a systematic assessment of resources, processes and materials.
It’s a good idea to perform this task periodically. In the bustle of daily business, it’s easy to lose track of assets and how they contribute to the efficiency of our business.
You can perform your own audit in any number of ways. Here are five methods to consider:
- Pile, purge and pencil in the changes. While this isn’t the most efficient of ways to get through large amounts of information, it may fit your style. Gather everything. Toss what no longer works and note the items missing as well as the ones you need to refine or redo.
- Build a flow chart or mind map. Think through your process, noting each step and the items required. Here’s a partial example for service providers: brochure or initial presentation folder, client assessment, thank you, contract, report, invoice. Each item requires a visual assessment. Does it brand you well? Is it consistent with the image you wish to project?
- Review your calendar. Focus on meetings and/or deadlines. Review items needed for each. This will bring things to your attention in a time-friendly manner which you may find easy. When its renewal time for your industry association, for example, you could update your information with a new logo, address, biographical information.
- Make a list. Write down your “to-do’s” in the marketing realm. Unfortunately, without some prompting, you will likely miss some opportunities.
- Develop an Excel spreadsheet and consider some specific categories of information.
- The look of my materials (standardized colors, logo placement, font, footer, copyright information to name just a few).
- Promotional materials. List items individually. Note if you need to update, refine or completely redo the piece.
- Collateral materials. (See the previous list.)
- Website. Check all links, dial each phone number and be sure that every icon works. Update your bio and, if necessary, your photo.
Branding audits provide you with fabulous information, a starting point for your master plan. Take the time to audit your materials.
Here’s an interesting brand audit on scribd.
My e-book, the Six-Week Marketing Master Plan, also provides an audit. The detailed audit (more than 25 questions) is covered in day two of the 45-day process.
“Brand DNA: Uncover Your Organization’s Genetic Code for Competitive Advantage” by Carol Chapman and Suzanne Tulien offers dozens of tips on branding and walks you through the process. I reviewed earlier this year in a post entitled: Transform Your Small Business with the Power of Branding.
However you do audits, get specific and get going now. Ready?