Brand Audit: Why, What, When, and How

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Companies must not wait until sales drop to start brand audits, which will be too little, too late. To stay ahead of your competition, do it once a year, best by the same agency that originally branded the company, per Joanne Z. Tan, global branding expert, brand strategist.

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How does your company’s brand fare in the marketplace? Does it still rally your workforce and glue your organization together? Or is it lost in an ocean of sameness in the marketplace, getting stale in a fast changing world?

Why do you need a brand audit?

“Your brand is your business’s biggest asset — one whose health must be cultivated and monitored”, per this article.

A brand is a living and breathing thing, riding through high tide and low tide in its lifecycle. To ensure your brand’s vitality and momentum, to keep it fresh, engaging, on top of mind of your target audience and as a leader in the competitive landscape, it’s critical to audit your brand once a year.

An out-of-touch brand is a weak brand that soon leads to decreased sales and a shrinking market share. A disconnected brand threatens your business survival. If your brand is starting to feel stale and irrelevant, it may be too little, too late if you wait until your sales are going down to start a comprehensive brand audit. Doing the audit takes time.  It takes even longer to implement changes based on the insights from the audit. How much time do you have at hand while your sales keep falling?

Getting timely insights from a proactive brand audit has tremendous ROI:  A comprehensive brand audit can optimize your brand performance by identifying growth opportunities with current and new customers, revealing changes in customer expectations and new ways to meet them. Based on the data from a brand audit, leaders can adjust brand messaging to better resonate with employees and customers, reposition your brand to be more visible to those who need your solutions, and accomplish radical differentiation in the vast competitive landscape of similar products and services, in order to maintain growth momentum.

A brand audit helps you identify innovative opportunities, deepen and broaden customer loyalty, expand market reach, invigorate your workforce and revitalize growth.

A brand audit may or may not lead to a brand overhaul. Since a brand refresh or a rebranding is always a major undertaking, it is important to first conduct a brand audit of your company’s brand position and effectiveness in the marketplace, just like a good general who always first assesses situations, topography, battle readiness, enemy’s status, and then comes up with winning strategies and battle plans, before engaging in a battle.

What does a brand audit assess? 

In the age of AI, as products and services evolve, a brand’s connection to its customers and employees needs to evolve too. A brand audit is like a health check, it evaluates strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT Analysis), to get a holistic view of your brand in the competitive marketplace.

A brand audit assesses two areas: internal and external, i.e., if a brand is uniting and motivating the internal workforce, and externally how it is perceived by customers and what is the status of customer experience.

Internally, a brand audit assesses brand values, vision, mission, identity, to see if brand culture is in alignment with organizational culture. Is it advancing company goals – long term, mid term, and short term? 

Externally, a brand audit provides a bird’s eye view over the competitive landscape, and assesses the brand power, market share, and brand position compared with similar brands in the same industry. Are all the brand amplification efforts reaching the desired audience, with messaging, advertising, marketing, PR, website, social media, email marketing, etc.? A brand audit determines, from the point of view of the end users, if their perceptions and loyalty have changed, and discovers disconnects, misalignment, and friction points related to customer experience, customer journey, sales process, customer services and support.

When do you need a brand audit

A brand audit is needed for a company at all stages: at birth, growth, and rebirth.

At birth:

  • To differentiate your brand from competitors
  • To find out your brand’s unique value proposition
  • To know what your brand stands for
  • To attract talents with a strong and differentiated brand identity
  • To define your target market, clientele, end users, partners
  • To align your brand UVP to the needs of your target audiences
  • To decode brand DNA, and create brand structure
  • To strategize and position your brand upon its brand DNA
  • To develop go to market strategy, in alignment with your business model
  • To create brand messaging, storytelling, content strategy, SEO architecture
  • To develop your brand look and feel
  • To amplify your brand on various platforms and social media, such as LinkedIn


During growth:

  • When growth demands re-evaluating everything listed above, and realignment
  • When diversifying your customer base 
  • When expanding market and target audience
  • When adding new products and services
  • When your brand is pivoting to a new direction
  • When your brand reputation and image is going through a crisis
  • When a new brand voice or representation is needed
  • When a brand refresh and rebranding is needed.


At re-birth:

  • Before a merger or acquisition, to evaluate brand equity and its worth
  • Before and during M&A: reassess if the acquired brand fits with the acquiring brand’s business model, positioning, culture, and brand persona 
  • Post merger rebranding during integration
  • To avoid or correct brand confusion and devaluation
  • To retain and recruit talent 
  • To improve brand strategies and to command premium pricing
  • To discover new clientele previously unknown to the brand.

How to conduct a brand audit 

Define your objectives:  Determine first if your focus is on the internal culture, external customer perception, or both, before initiating a brand audit.

Gather information: Collect data through surveys, interviews, customer reviews, and competitors’ information. Obtain feedback from the internal workforce regarding mission, values, goals, brand culture, workplace culture, and organizational vision.  Collect all marketing materials, reports, analytics, and sales data. 

Analyze results: Evaluate the data and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) for your brand.

Once the information is gathered and analyzed, the next part is taking action, such as:

Develop strategies: Based on the findings and data from the audit, develop actionable strategies to address identified issues and capitalize on opportunities, per

Formulate data-driven decisions: Leverage data analytics to inform decision-making regarding people strategy, employee satisfaction, customer sentiment, customer satisfaction, and customer experience. 

Track progress: check the effectiveness of your strategies and refine them as needed. 

Monitor employee satisfaction: Happy employees create happy customers who are loyal to your brand. Unhappy employees contribute to a negative work environment and can damage your brand, per this Bloomberg report.

Brand audit report

A brand audit report presents a high level overview for the C-suite and the internal marketing team, it should be done by a third-party. It is best done by your company’s outside branding agency who has previously been involved in your branding and can provide an in-depth, objective, and independent view. 

The report can reveal the gaps between the intended effect of brand messaging and the actual effect, since brand messaging consistency is key to maintaining employee and customer relationships, based on trust and credibility. 

The report needs to outline the similarities and differentiating factors amongst your competition. It provides a big picture of the market landscape, upon verbal and visual identity analyses of the brand in the context of the competitive field.

More importantly, the report should present new opportunities and recommend actions for brand differentiation, as well as improvement of brand performance and its unique position in the market.

10 Plus Brand, Inc. is a premier brand building, branding, and brand marketing, full service digital agency, regarded as one of the best in the world. We have teams of experts who conduct thorough brand audits for growth companies, and we guide brands through subsequent actions to stay ahead of your competitors. 

Please contact us to answer any questions you may have, or to discuss a brand audit for your brand. Thank you.

© Joanne Z. Tan   All rights reserved.


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