How to Perform an Efficient Brand Audit in 2022 (2023)

A brand audit is highly important, there is no doubt. We all want to protect our brand value and increase our customer retention. Yet, how do we do that? Where do we start? What are the steps we need to perform to run an efficient brand audit?

Here is everything you need to know about this process and how to perform one of your own:

  1. What is a Brand Audit?
  2. Why is Brand Audit Important in 2022?
  3. Why You Should Conduct a Brand Audit
  4. When is it a Good Time to do a Brand Audit?
  5. How to Conduct a Brand Audit in 7 Simple Steps
  6. Brand Audit Checklist
  7. Brand Audit Examples
  8. How to do a Brand Audit Report

What Is a Brand Audit?

A brand audit represents an investigation of a brand's vital signs, strengths, and weaknesses, comprising a series of processes that answer essential inquiries about brand positioning.

A brand audit process is the steppingstone of future action plans.

How to Perform an Efficient Brand Audit in 2022 (1)

Why is Brand Audit Important in 2022

Performing a brand audit is important because you get powerful insights into your market position, challenges, opportunities, and competitors’ market stand.

Understanding the ever-changing nature of marketing, especially in this era, entails an in-depth knowledge of a brand’s position on the market, always keeping an eye on external factors, like competitors and the web and social scene.

In the digital world, just like in 2021, 2022 is conquered by Millennials and Gen Zs. Whether they are your external customers or your interior team, or both, you must take their opinions into consideration.

Millennials and Gen Zs cherish honesty and authenticity. But most of all they value social responsibility. They want companies to stand for something beyond their own interest.

The versatile nature of digital content creation has its perks, but it can also be scary trying to keep up with all the trends.

It's crucial to know your audience, your brand's values and to find out which are the best content marketing strategies to grow your business.

If you know where you stand, you know where to land!

Why You Should Conduct a Brand Audit

Let's get straight into this. Here's why you should 100% conduct a brand audit:

  • To understand how your brand is positioned in the market
  • To find out how customers perceive your brand
  • To see if you are using the appropriate tone of voice for your target market.
  • To identify the best-fitted social media channels for your content marketing strategies.
  • To find incongruences and gaps between sales data and social data.
  • To discover your strengths and weaknesses compared to your competition
  • To appreciate how your initial objectives align with your current brand strategy.
  • To improve return on investment by rethinking action plans.

When is it a Good Time to do a Brand Audit?

  • Whenever there is a significant change within the organization, it is a good time to do a brand audit.
  • When rebranding or refreshing the current look of the company.
  • When redefining brand values, when identifying cracks in the company foundation.
  • When the marketing campaigns aren’t bringing results as they used to.
  • When customer loyalty is weak.
  • When the target market is no longer responding to the brand identity promo strategies.

All of these and more are strong indicators that you need to do a health check using a brand audit strategy.

Not even strong brands with good conversion rates are advised to rest on it.

Especially if your brand is trying to expand!

(Video) How to Conduct a Communications Audit- 2022

How to Conduct a Brand Audit in 7 Simple Steps

Getting ready for the check-up? Remember you need to tackle the problem from a three-dimensional perspective:

  1. Internal brand analysis - check if your organization has comprehensive brand values and mission, stable human resources, strong company culture.
  2. External branding - look into your overall brand packaging: business logo, digital marketing strategies, and materials, website, social media presence, public relations.
  3. Customer experience - visit the sales process, customer support, and customer service policies.

Here are the 7 Steps to Conduct an Efficient Brand Audit in 2022:

  1. Establish the goal of your brand audit
  2. Evaluate external marketing materials efficiency
  3. Listen to your customers
  4. Audit your website and social media presence
  5. Check the organization's internal pulse
  6. Identify and assess your competitors
  7. Create a report based on the gathered information.

Now that we have all the steps lined up, let's inspect them:

Step 1. Establish the goal of your brand audit

Ask yourself what is missing and see what you need to fix.

Are your company's values aligned with what the brand currently stands for?

Are you happy with the quality of brand awareness you generate?

Is your brand reputation satisfying enough?

Are you targeting the right market?

Conduct a SWOT analysis for your brand.

Evaluate sales data in relation to return on investment data.

Step 2. Evaluate external marketing materials efficiency

Are your promotional materials congruent with each other? Are the product packages, website design, brochures, sales sheets, digital ads, newsletters, social media presence, customer services telling the same story?

What is the overall sentiment analysis of your brand identity and market positioning?

Are your marketing efforts translating into a healthy consumer reach, or are you preaching to the choir, but your church isn’t getting bigger?

Step 3. Listen to your customers

Survey, survey, survey with consumer research on top.

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How do your customers interact with your brand?

How do they perceive your brand?

How happy are they with what your brand offers?

Why did they choose you over your competitors?

Test the survey method on people in your target demographic who aren't customers.

Embrace social listening. Get honest feedback from your customers. Find out what they genuinely want from you.

Step 4. Audit your website and social media presence

Take on web analytics. How is your website performing? Is it easy to navigate? Does it have a catchy, captivating graphics design? Is it intuitive? Is it CONVERTING?

Dive into social media insights. When and what should you post. Does your audience engage with you? Can you attract brand advocates?

Monitor paid and organic channels. Discover what works best depending on your campaign targets.

Gather social data to assess audience engagement. Find out why, when, and where customers find you. And most importantly, why they choose you.

Step 5. Check the organization's internal pulse

If the internal ecosystem is not fighting the same battle, you are set up to lose.

Your employees are essential to your brand's reputation.

Make sure they are on the same page with the brand's values. You can even anonymously survey them to find out more about where they stand.

Ask for feedback and improvement ideas. Allow them to be a part of the solution.

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Step 6. Identify and assess your competitors

Who are they? Where are they positioned on the market? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they sell their brand?

What do their customers say about them?

Step 7. Create a report based on the gathered information.

This report will help you implement an action plan for updating your brand to bring it in line with your business’s mission and vision.

Don't forget to monitor your progress as you further implement your new strategies.

Whenever needed, “lather, rinse, repeat.”

Brand Audit Checklist

  • Decide on your goal
  • Double-check your organization's vision and mission. Does it reflect your company's culture?
  • Do your current marketing plans align with your brand?
  • Evaluate current marketing efforts’ efficiency. How relevant is your brand in today's market?
  • Listen to your audience.
  • What’s the user experience when interacting with your brand?
  • Can your ideal customer identify with your brand?
  • What do your customer reviews say about your company and your products or services?
  • What do customers say about your competitors?
  • Implement competitor analysis. Stalk on your competitors
  • Check and listen to your employees
  • Are they familiar with it? Do they believe in endorsing it?
  • What inconsistencies can you find and where?
  • What opportunities can you find and where?

Brand Audit Examples

Back in 2012, a brand management undergrad student presented a brand audit case on the megalithic brand Coca-Cola.

The main objective of the audit was to learn about the inventory and exploratory aspects of the Coca-Cola brand.

The study starts with the company's introduction—a short history trip into the beverage's beginnings.

The audit presents insights into the brand's elements. With its attractive packaging design and logo, due to its strong brand awareness and global recognition, Coca-Cola is the world's most recognized brand.

The brand audit discovers the company's two distribution channels: direct and indirect selling. In addition to this, the company facilitates product presentations with personalized branded coolers, freezers, display racks.

The company's approach covers four marketing segments: mass marketing, differentiated marketing, niche marketing, and support marketing.

How to Perform an Efficient Brand Audit in 2022 (2)

Next up, the audit discusses brand mantra, brand values, portfolio, insights into performance management but also employment selection, and company training.

Getting into the second chapter of the brand audit, we find out more about the brand's core attributes and extended attributes, brand knowledge, brand association, promotion, and CRM strategies.

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Can't disregard the competitor's analysis subchapter and the Consumer-Based Brand Equity model pyramid.

How to Perform an Efficient Brand Audit in 2022 (3)

This audit ends with a shortlist of recommendations and an impressive 1886 to 2011 Coca-Cola slogan appendix.

The second brand audit we present here is a significant example of how great the survey method works.

Created in 2015 by a student from Mumbai University, the audit tackles the British multinational confectionery company - Cadbury.

Cadbury operates in more than 50 countries. It is positioned in the market as the second-largest confectionery brand in the world after Wrigley's.

Established in Birmingham, England, worldwide in 1824, Cadbury is best known for its Dairy Milk chocolate.

Based on the online survey analysis, the audit examines a series of essential social data like:

  • Target customers
  • Respondents' preferred chocolate
  • Products' emotional connections
  • Utility of products
  • Respondents' trust in the products
  • Reasons why Cadbury's chocolate is preferred
  • Which strong brands are the biggest Cadbury competitors
  • What is the overall emotional connection with the products
  • How familiar are the respondents with the brand's identity
  • For how long the respondents have been purchasing the brand's chocolate products

How to Perform an Efficient Brand Audit in 2022 (4)

This audit process ends with a concise summary from which the survey results are clear:

  • Cadbury is viewed as a pioneer in the chocolate industry
  • There have been problems in the past that Cadbury successfully overcame
  • Even after being the second largest after Nestle, people think of Cadbury first
  • The sub-products have become a brand in itself
  • People love the brand

Here is the full Cadbury brand audit from 2015:

How to do a brand audit report

How to Perform an Efficient Brand Audit in 2022 (5)

A brand audit report is usually a PDF document representing how your brand is doing right now compared to the goals you have set for it.

To do a brand audit report, you should go over these steps:

  • Start by describing the company's vision and values
  • Stipulate research objectives and methodology
  • Specify the time span of the analyzed data
  • Group analyzed data into relevant segments
  • Indicate current brand communication channels
  • Create a visual representation of the average and total values of the metrics you have measured. Tables, pies, graphics. Whatever helps express current metrics values.
  • Bring forth any relevant or exceptional data. Highs and lows
  • List opportunities and market gaps the brand can fill
  • Assess results
  • Include recommendations and future goals
  • Indicate time frame of plan implementation

If relevancy and brand strength are one of your objectives, it's always a good idea to do a brand audit.

A world of opportunities for improvement can open up if you take your time and learn to ask a few key questions.

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Be curious, listen, and allow yourself to be a visionary!

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FAQs

How do you perform a brand audit? ›

Follow these 10 steps for a successful brand audit.
  1. Know what you're measuring. ...
  2. Assess your external marketing materials. ...
  3. Review your business website. ...
  4. Review your social media data. ...
  5. Survey your customers. ...
  6. Survey people in your target demographic who aren't customers. ...
  7. Survey your employees.
17 Jul 2019

What two steps does a brand audit consist of? ›

The 2-Step Process to Conduct a Personal Brand Audit
  • Determine Your Unique Brilliance Proposition. In sales, there's a concept called the unique selling proposition, which comprises the characteristics that make one company or product stand out from competitors. ...
  • Craft Your Internal Definition of Success.
5 Apr 2019

What are the 5 steps of an audit? ›

Audit Process
  • What happens during an audit? Internal audit conducts assurance audits through a five-phase process which includes selection, planning, conducting fieldwork, reporting results, and following up on corrective action plans.
  • Selection. ...
  • Planning. ...
  • Fieldwork. ...
  • Reporting. ...
  • Follow-up.

What are the 5 audit procedures? ›

What Is the Audit Process Step-by-Step?
  • Inspection. In this phase, the auditor checks the accounts payable or receivable transactions for potential misstatements and other relevant reporting standards.
  • Observation. ...
  • Confirmation. ...
  • Recalculation. ...
  • Reperformance.
29 Jun 2021

How can brand performance be improved? ›

5 Marketing Tactics to Improve Brand Performance
  1. Decode the Consumer Mindset. Businesses are responsible for providing concise communications to their customers. ...
  2. Diversify Ad Formatting. ...
  3. Adapt Cross-Device Planning. ...
  4. Set Campaign Goals. ...
  5. Retarget the Masses. ...
  6. Bottom Line.
28 Dec 2021

How do you evaluate brand effectiveness? ›

Measuring the effectiveness of branding often involves hiring an outside firm to conduct studies to obtain objective information. The most important measure of branding is whether the product is selling. If sales are up and higher than a competitor's, it's a good bet that branding is effective.

What are the 4 methods of auditing? ›

The four types of auditor opinions are:
  • Unqualified opinion-clean report.
  • Qualified opinion-qualified report.
  • Disclaimer of opinion-disclaimer report.
  • Adverse opinion-adverse audit report.
27 Apr 2022

What are the 7 steps in the audit process? ›

Audit Process
  1. Step 1: Planning. The auditor will review prior audits in your area and professional literature. ...
  2. Step 2: Notification. ...
  3. Step 3: Opening Meeting. ...
  4. Step 4: Fieldwork. ...
  5. Step 5: Report Drafting. ...
  6. Step 6: Management Response. ...
  7. Step 7: Closing Meeting. ...
  8. Step 8: Final Audit Report Distribution.

What should be included in a brand audit? ›

According to Score.org, a brand audit must cover three essential areas. Internal branding: Core values, company culture and mission. External branding: Logo, visual assets and brand messaging. Customer experience: Sales processes, customer support and user experience.

What are the four 4 branding components? ›

A strong brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality. Implementing a successful brand strategy that develops all four of these components increases brand trust, loyalty, and awareness.

What are the 4 stages of branding? ›

If you are part of a marketing team tasked with building your company's brand, you can follow these four steps:
  • Determine your target audience.
  • Position your product and business.
  • Define your company's personality.
  • Choose a logo and slogan.

What are the 7 principles of auditing? ›

The ISO 19011:2018 Standard includes seven auditing principles:
  • Integrity.
  • Fair presentation.
  • Due professional care.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Independence.
  • Evidence-based approach.
  • Risk-based approach.
8 Oct 2020

What are three key areas of auditing? ›

Key Takeaways

There are three main types of audits: external audits, internal audits, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits. External audits are commonly performed by Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firms and result in an auditor's opinion which is included in the audit report.

What is the 10 Step audit process? ›

10 Steps of the Audit Process
  • Notification. Audits begin with the issuance of some kind of notification to the company or organization being audited. ...
  • Planning Process. ...
  • Initial Meeting. ...
  • Fieldwork. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Draft Audit. ...
  • Management Response. ...
  • Exit Meeting.
21 Nov 2018

How do you write an audit plan? ›

How to Build an Audit Plan
  1. Assess business risks. ...
  2. Verify the appropriateness of accounting policies and procedures. ...
  3. Identify areas where special audit consideration may be necessary. ...
  4. Establish materiality thresholds. ...
  5. Develop expectations for analytical procedures. ...
  6. Develop audit procedures. ...
  7. Reassess the plan.

What are the 5 elements that make a strong brand? ›

But, unless you've carefully considered and defined ALL five of the key brand elements—position, promise, personality traits, story, and associations—you still have work to do.

How does KPI measure brand awareness? ›

One way to measure your brand awareness is to survey and interview people. You can have questionnaires in your website, asking how visitors found you, or if they had heard of you before. You can also ask your current customers when they became aware of your brand.

What are the elements of brand performance? ›

You can start creating, developing or improving your brand strategy by focusing on these three core elements of a brand: Promise, Positioning, and Performance. These elements are referred to as the Three Brand Ps. A brand's success depends on how well these elements are defined, planned and executed.

What is brand efficiency? ›

Brand efficiency. We use the concept of brand efficiency as a measure of brand performance (return. on brand investments). Brand efficiency or brand management efficiency is to be understood as a. ratio of multiple brand outputs to multiple brand inputs.

What are the indicator of a good brand? ›

Consistency is important as it leads to brand recognition which is what all brands hope to achieve. Ensuring all communications are cohesive and relevant to the brand's purpose will ensure consistency across all messaging both internal within the company, and external to potential customers, suppliers and competition.

How do you measure the success of a brand refresh? ›

Measuring the Success of a Rebrand
  1. By Mark Gibson.
  2. Start with the strategy.
  3. Determine the critical metrics.
  4. Get specific about your metrics.
  5. Make sure your executive team understands the metrics.
  6. Don't forget to include customer experience metrics.
  7. Establish your measurement and reporting at the start.
3 Dec 2019

What is the best audit approach? ›

Risk based is the most used approach. The objective is to reduce audit risks and do fewer works. Auditor requires to perform risk assessments to make sure that all possible risks of misstatements are identified. Risks based approach performs by understanding the client's business, environments and internal control.

What are key reports in audit? ›

The financial auditor might use a key report from the information system (i.e., computer) as the key information or an important audit procedure. In this case, the reliance upon the information is critical to the conclusions about the assertion of the account balance, class of transactions or disclosure being tested.

What are the 5 C's of internal audit? ›

What Are the 5 C's of Internal Audit? Internal audit reports often outline the criteria, condition, cause, consequence, and corrective action.

What are the golden rules of auditing? ›

1st Golden Rule : Keep your ears open and be sharp to hear an information that will be useful during the course of assignment. There maybe some information we may conclude that it is misleading or confusing but it is better to test everything during an assignment instead of not testing it and later regret for it.

What is the ABC audit process? ›

It certifies and audits the circulations of major publications, including newspapers and magazines in India. ABC is a voluntary organisation initiated in 1948 that operates in different parts of the world.

What are 4 elements of branding you must know? ›

Focus on products, narrative, pop culture, and customer needs. To successfully reinvent your brand, you must rethink your approach to product, story, culture, and customer.

What is the biggest challenge in conducting a brand audit? ›

The first challenge here is to determine who your competition actually is.
...
That someone might be:
  • A sales expert,
  • A website expert, or social media expert,
  • A CRM expert,
  • Someone from the local radio station who says they can produce an ad and run it for next to nothing,
  • And so on.

What are the 6 key elements of a brand? ›

The Six Elements of a Brand
  • Brand voice.
  • Brand identity.
  • Brand promise.
  • Brand values.
  • Brand targeting.
  • Brand positioning.
7 Aug 2020

What are the 5 A's of personal branding? ›

These are the 5 A's of personal branding:
  • Authenticity.
  • Authority.
  • Aspiration.
  • Affinity.
  • Artisanat.
24 Jul 2022

What are the 5 branding strategies? ›

Five Different Types of Branding Strategies
  • Company Name Branding. Well-known brands leverage the popularity of their own company names to improve brand recognition. ...
  • Individual Branding. ...
  • Attitude Branding. ...
  • Brand Extension Branding. ...
  • Private-Label Branding.
6 Aug 2018

What are the 3 phases of branding? ›

From the successful ones, I've templated a process that helps bring clarity and progress when branding gets overwhelming. I've broken it down into 3 phases: mapping, making, and marketing. There's a lot of overlap, and you'll find yourself doing all 3 or going back and forth at times. But it is a general progression.

What makes a brand successful? ›

Have a distinctive personality that is appropriate for your target audience. Be consistent in its messaging and design, reinforcing the position, promise and personality at each touch point. Demonstrate the value that your company provides for the customer, and how that value is created.

What branding elements are most essential to your 2022 brand strategy? ›

Elements of a strong brand strategy. Brand voice, brand design, brand values, brand story, and brand vibe are the key elements of a successful brand strategy. Below, we'll walk you through each one, describe what it is, and look at why each bolsters the experience your brand creates for new and existing customers.

Is SWOT analysis a brand audit? ›

A good brand audit includes: A SWOT analysis. Competitor analysis and how you compare. Review of your position in the marketplace.

What are the 7 steps to brand identity? ›

Article: 7 Steps to building a brand identity
  1. It all begins with an idea! ...
  2. Look to the future. ...
  3. Know the competitors in your market. ...
  4. Choose a tone of voice to fit your product and market. ...
  5. Don't mimic others that do it well – make your own mark. ...
  6. Don't just rest on your logo. ...
  7. Be consistent and bold.

What are the 5 key features of a brand? ›

Five Key Brand Elements:
  • Brand Position. ...
  • Brand Promise. ...
  • Brand Personality. ...
  • Brand Story. ...
  • Brand Associations.

What are the objectives of brand audit? ›

What Are the Objectives of a Brand Audit? Brand audits aim to measure how successfully your branding is performing in the eyes of your customers. An audit is useful for measuring the strengths and weaknesses of your brand, analyzing its reach, and comparing your market position to your competitors'.

What is the scope of a brand audit? ›

The purpose of a brand audit is to ascertain how your business is performing in the eyes of your customers. It offers you the following benefits: Helps you to determine the positioning of your business and to plan corrective strategies. Empowers you to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your business.

When should you do a brand audit? ›

If you've already decided to rebrand your company, a brand audit should be one of the first steps in the process. Before you can get to the business of repositioning your brand, reimagining your logo, or redesigning your website, you need to know where your current brand stands within the competitive landscape.

What are key visuals of a brand? ›

Key visual is a graphic theme that appears on all advertising materials and communication media of a brand or its product, service, event. It is to distinguish the company from the competition, and at the same time convey its main values ​​and evoke appropriate emotions in a specific group of recipients.

What are the 3 elements of marketing audit? ›

A marketing audit has four basic sections:
  • Digital branding & marketing.
  • Advertising & outreach.
  • Customer service.
  • Collateral.
1 Apr 2020

What are the 3 methods of branding? ›

The Three Types of Branding
  • A corporation or company brand.
  • A product brand.
  • A personal brand.

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