Brand Audit

Brand Audit
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    The Brand Amplitude Series: Tools for Brand Practitioners Part 1: HOW TO CONDUCT A BRAND AUDIT By: Carol Phillips and Judy Hopelain    Part 1: How To Conduct a Brand Audit Brand Amplitude, LLC  2012 All Rights Reserved  –  May not be reproduced without authors ’  permission 2  What Is A Brand Audit? A Brand Audit describes and evaluates the current state of a brand and its effectiveness in achieving a company’s business objectives. This assessment is the first step in brand strategy development and is used as a diagnostic tool for determining where the brand strengths lie and for identifying its potential vulnerabilities or shortcomings. It is the foundation on which the other steps depend. In this step you should use all available information sources, internal and publicly available. You may decide to take the time to conduct new research to supplement what you know or fill in the gaps. A brand audit:    Assesses how well the brand is delivering against the company’s objectives      Identifies customer wants, needs, and trends at the category level    Inventories and categorizes all existing brand elements and assets (trademarks, sub-brands, logos, taglines) in the brand portfolio    Describes relevant competitive market trends and your brand’s strengths/weaknesses    Evaluates the brand’s cur rent image (how it is perceived by customers and other key stakeholders)    Identifies potential sources of differentiation, tablestakes, vulnerabilities  What You Need to Know The purpose of a brand audit, just like a financial audit, is to assess your current position and identify key issues. A brand audit incorporates information about the customer, the company, the market and the brand. (See graphic to right) Brand audits take many forms –  there is no single magic format. Regardless of the form your audit takes, the perspective is always that of the company and how the brand supports its overall objectives. To complete a brand audit, you will need to first identify all the possible sources of information at your disposal. This includes (but is not limited to):    Company mission, vision and values statements    Financial performance and trends (e.g., revenue, profits, margins)    Third party research about your industry (e.g., financial analysts, syndicated market research, government agencies, industry associations)    Proprietary research studies (e.g., tracking research, focus groups)  Part 1: How To Conduct a Brand Audit Brand Amplitude, LLC  2012 All Rights Reserved  –  May not be reproduced without authors ’  permission 3    Current and past advertising and promotional collateral for your brand and competitive alternatives (within and beyond the specific category)    Social media reports and conversation analyses    Customer service records    Patents and other intellectual property Once you have identified the best information sources, the next step is to organize the most relevant information. The types of information Included in a Brand Audit can be classified into four categories: Brand Audit Inputs Each category addresses a key issue in brand strategy. You need the complete picture to make effective brand strategy decisions. The outline below is just one example of how you might organize the information. You will need to adapt it for your category and to fit your information.  Part 1: How To Conduct a Brand Audit Brand Amplitude, LLC  2012 All Rights Reserved  –  May not be reproduced without authors ’  permission 4 Sample Brand Audit Outline 1.   Company or business unit’s strategic direction  a.   Company / BU growth objectives b.   Business model, e.g. direct to consumer, channel partners c.   Key alliances / co-branding partners d.   Strategic initiatives and implications for brand e.   Core competencies and personality 2.   Consumer wants and needs a.   Target market (category and brand-specific): i.   Category purchase or usage behavior ii.   Demographic and psychographic characteristics iii.   Geographic concentration b.   Audience size and segmentation i.   How is market typically segmented? e.g., by product type, quality tiering, etc. ii.   How big are these segments, where is the volume? c.   Target wants and needs relative to the category 3.   Market definition and attractiveness a.   Define the industry or category your brand is in b.   Show industry or category size (revenues), growth over the past 3 years, and projected growth over the next 3 years c.   Assess industry/category competitiveness, e.g. industry concentration, number of competitors d.   Identify and profile the relevant competitive set, e.g., i.   Most current market share and recent trend ii.   Salient brand attributes or descriptors iii.   Perceived strengths and weaknesses iv.   Implied positioning and brand imagery 4.   Current brand image a.   What is the brand known for? b.   What brand elements are associated with the brand, e.g., trademarks, sub-brands, logos, taglines c.   Brand attributes / customer associations d.   Points of parity / points of differentiation vs. competition e.   Current positioning –  taglines, brand visuals/symbols, current ad campaigns
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