Building a New Website? Now is the Time to Audit Your Brand  

By Darnelle O’Brien

Are you considering a website makeover? Before you do, take one more step back to look at the complete brand picture. Because now is the perfect time for a brand audit.

The reality of business today, is that competition is fierce. To survive, you must stand out from the crowd. Differentiation is not static, rather it is something that needs to be continuously monitored and revised as competition and markets change.

Understandably, a brand audit may not appeal to businesses already invested heavily into their current brand strategy. However, as competition intensifies, a brand or product can begin to lose its relevance. Refreshing your website is the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at your brand and review your current messaging, customer and points of difference to understand the shifts since its launch.

What is a brand audit?

Put simply, it’s the insights of a brands current state. It allows businesses to realign their brand identity and marketing efforts with revised objectives.

Why audit your brand?

The power of a brand is much stronger than most realise. An audit is the key to understanding the path to success.

Benefits include:

  • Providing information needed to develop strategies and take corrective action
  • Understanding customer’s perceptions of your brand which are useful for developing relevant products and services that satisfy your customers’ needs and wants
  • Inspiring businesses to learn the strengths and weaknesses of their brand and take note of any external opportunities that they can leverage or threats that they can circumvent
  • Guiding businesses to align their product or service offerings with the expectations of customers to better satisfy their needs

Internal vs external branding

Start with your internal brand and then review your external brand.

Internal branding is much like a corporate philosophy focused on bringing culture, identity and purpose together. It not only consists of your mission, vision and values but also considers your unique selling proposition and product and service positioning. An internal brand audit examines the perceptions of a brand and the way it is managed by management and staff.

An external brand is all activity directed at influencing the mindset and purchase behaviour of current and prospective customers. It includes advertising, online marketing and public relations. It usually involves conducting some form of research to find out what your external stakeholders think of your brand. The insights obtained will assist your business to delve deeper into understanding your brand image and ensure that it aligns with both the desired and actual positioning and identity of your brand.

Final thoughts

Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. Running your own business isn’t easy and is often a job that requires the input of others. Make smart, strategic brand decisions and don’t overlook the importance of reviewing your brand.

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Source:: Business 2 Community

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