Why is a brand audit important?
A brand audit is important for three reasons that are obvious to any entrepreneur or brand steward:
- Brand audits help you recognize the strengths and weaknesses of your business,
- They shine a light on opportunities for improvement that may have been neglected (including sharpening up your image to stand out among your competitors), and
- They point out new ways to help your business stay relevant and move forward.
But there are more benefits than that. From my experience doing brand audits for clients – from early-stage entrepreneurs to giants like Procter & Gamble – I’ve noticed psychological upsides that are subtle, yet extremely valuable. Here are five that I see again and again:
- Brand audits feel like progress. The fact you’re looking at the elements of your brand means you’ve been building a brand. Entrepreneurs often feel they’re constantly behind. A brand audit is reassurance you’re actually moving forward.
- Brand audits enable you to pause for reflection. We live in a world of blink reactions, and blink actions. Pauses have been engineered out of business. As a result, we’ve become obsessed with tactics, and tend to look at the horizon less and less. Pauses give you clarity, and insights.
- Brand audits hold a mirror to your personality. If you’re an entrepreneur, your brand is a reflection of who you are. Is it cohesive and thoughtful? Does it have trouble focusing on one thing? Can improving counterproductive traits in your brand help you improve yourself?
- Brand audits introduce necessary discipline. It’s far too easy to find burning priorities in the day-to-day running of a business. Become obsessed with putting out fires, however, and you become a twitching mess. Discipline and ritual give you something reliable and comforting to lean on. A regular brand audit is a wonderful reassurance you’re disciplined in your approach, not reactive.
- Brand audits pull your team together. Following a leader who never learns from mistakes is frustrating. A brand audit gives your team the opportunity to come together, objectively point out mis-steps, and commit to doing better together in the future.
A little heart to heart on why brand audits help.
How often should you do a brand audit?
Back to the topic of discipline: it’s more important to do a regular brand audit than it is to do a frequent brand audit.
Every business grows at a different pace. Some of us are constantly trying and testing new approaches, some of us are in a groove. The former needs brand audits more frequently to ensure the tests haven’t begun to dilute or detract from the brand. The latter doesn’t need audits as frequently, as the quantity of work being produced is probably less, and the experiments far fewer.
Rule of thumb. If you have a hard time recalling all your brand initiatives from the past year / half year / quarter, it’s probably time to do an audit.
A free brand audit unlike other free brand audits
One of my pet peeves are free brand audits that turn out to be a demotivating laundry list of questions, and zero objective feedback.
That’s why I created a brand audit. There are a few questions to start the process. Then some investigative work on my part. And a one-to-one call to discuss findings and recommendations.
With over 30 years’ experience helping global brands as well as scrappy startups, I can quickly spot brand gaps and opportunities – and help you address them.
Brand audits are important. Why not make them easier?