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Apr
13

Why a Brand Audit is Necessary and How to Do One

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3 business womenVisual and brand audits. It’s one of those fancy words graphic designers use. Why do you need one and how do you do it?

A brand audit is a careful analysis of every marketing material you have, from signage to business cards to your Website.

I like to call it an Identity Hunt. That’s what I call it in my branding courses and curriculum. This is a quest and you are trying to find what’s missing, what’s confusing, and what’s inconsistent so you can refine and define your identity.

Why is this important? Because the key to successful branding is perception meeting reality. Because perception IS reality. If there is a disconnect between what you think you are offering and what you’re prospect thinks you’re offering, than you are most likely losing clients. And that costs you money.

So here is how to conduct a visual audit:

Imagine you are a prospect that never heard of your company. What do they see when they go to your Website? If you have an office or a brick and mortar store, is your signage recognizable to them? When you give them a business card, is it consistent with your signage, Website, brochures, etc.

And here’s an often overlooked point-of-contact—when your customer calls your phone, what voice mail greets them? Have you clearly identified your name and business?

You want to notice inconsistencies. Are you confusing your audience? Are you telling them one thing but providing another?

You might use Facebook to get some objective opinions. Ask in a Facebook group what a certain logo or marketing piece is communicating.

Is it the same as what you intend on communicating?

You want your brand to clearly communicate what you have to offer. I loved what a guy at a camping trip told my husband one time as we sat around the campfire. He looked at my husband’s branded sweatshirt and exclaimed, “I know what you do!” That’s because we had carefully designed his logo around his brand.

Do you not have a brand? Choose a competitor and do a visual audit on them! This will be greatly instructive to you. It will truly help you stand out.

Also, collect those branding elements that you like and don’t like. This will help you develop a “swipe file” of your preferences. Pinterest is a great tool for this.

And when it comes time for you to build your own brand or improve the one you have, you will have a good idea of what appeals to you and what doesn’t appeal to you!

A Brand or Visual Audit is an important step in business because it helps you to know the inconsistencies that could be costing you customers. Do this and you will have branding success!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dana Susan Beasley, the creator of an online training program called Brand Identity Quest, helps Christian families create sizzling brands so they can build dazzling futures. A graphic artist, writer, and homeschooling mom to a special needs son, she is the owner of AngelArts, an arts agency and publishing house. It’s purpose is to inspire audiences to reach for new heights in their lives and beyond through excellently-designed publications and products using original art and literature. To take her free mini-course, 5 Steps to a Wildly Successful Home Business, click here to start now.

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