In the branding process, the first step to figuring out the best way to get to where you want is to take a full inventory of where you currently are. Conducting a brand audit allows you to determine what your sources of brand equity currently are. This in turn allows for you to assess the current health of your brand and begin to determine the best ways to improve and utilize it. There are two main steps to conducting a brand audit; the brand inventory and the brand exploratory.
The first half of the brand audit requires you to conduct an inventory of how every product or service you offer is being marketed and branded by your team. This should get fairly specific, cataloging every marketing activity conducted including pricing, distribution, imagery, packaging, social media posts, etc. Important insights can be gained just from this first step such as determining what marketing activities are lacking, which elements are redundant, which forms of promotion can be merged for efficiency, or which promotions are outdated and need to be taken out of the rotation.
The second half of the brand audit consists of an exploration of your consumers’ attitudes, thoughts, and actions toward the brand. First, identify any information which is readily available on the topic. This includes referring to relevant existing research, whether internal or external, as well as consulting with employees who have the closest contact with your consumers and therefore the most insight into them. Following this, it may be a good idea to actively conduct research to fill in any information gaps.
Understanding your consumers’ current perspective allows you to begin understanding how it would change when you modify your strategy. This will act as a guide to help you determine which strategies may be successful to increase your brand equity and which ones to avoid.