Brand Audit: How to Know When It’s Time for an Update

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Several months ago, I happened to notice myself in the mirror (which doesn’t happen too often with 2 small kids to manage) and realized, “Damn, I am really needing a refresh in the style department!” ? Moms, you know what I’m saying, right? Too much time cleaning up legos and wiping butts–not enough time on the self care front. More on that here.

Brands aren’t much  different. As business owners we get caught up in the momentum of serving clients, managing employees, navigating growth and improving our products–so much so that we begin to lose sight of the forward facing image of the brand. Your business has likely evolved: matured into something much difference than when it was just you and your cat at your kitchen table. Whether your market has changed, the business has grown  or you’re struggling to stay innovative, your business’s brand will need to be tweaked at some point. Much like an updated haircut or wardrobe, brands need refreshing too!

But how can you tell when it’s time to consider a rebrand? Well let’s consider a running a brand audit.

What is a brand audit?

A brand audit is essentially a checklist that helps you to assess the health of your brand. The methodology varies depending on the industry but regardless of the criteria, a brand audit should allow you to do the following:

  • See how your brand’s performance compares to its stated goals
  • Determine your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, combined with opportunities for development
  • Restructure your identity to produce better results
  • Examine your brand’s current place in the market compared to its competitors

Brand Audit

But how do you know when you need to rebrand? Completing a brand overhaul is expensive, time consuming and requires a significant leap of faith. You don’t want to confuse your audience but you do want to grow, mature and evolve with your customer base.

Below are some questions worth considering  every single year to help you determine the timing of your rebrand:

1. Has your brand vision changed?

It is common for startups to tweak their business goals and vision often until the proper momentum has taken hold. Once the vision, mission and target market has stabilized, it’s time to take another hard look at the brand. How do you want your clients and customers to feel when they come in contact with your brand? What feelings are you hoping to evoke?  When your goals, vision or audience change, so must your brand.

2. Are you proud to show your brand to everyone?

You should be able to talk about your brand and show it off to everyone! If you’re embarrassed to hand out your business card, or you cringe a little when you see your logo, it’s probably time to rebrand.

“If you think you’re lost, rock the boat a little.”

3. Do you feel lost in the sea of marketplace sameness?

It’s all about competition. If you think you’re lost, rock the boat a little. Identify your unique values to make your brand more visible. And if your competitors have updated their brands, then you probably should too.

4. Are you trying to connect with a new audience?

A lot can happen in a year or two. Trends change, styles evolve and products come and go. Rebranding allows you to redefine your goal and gives you the opportunity to reach new audiences.

5. Have you outgrown your brand?

If you’re an established company, it can be difficult to stay agile as you grow. It becomes increasingly difficult to stay on top and compete at a higher level. Rebranding helps you and your team to take a step back, look at the bigger picture and identify a long term strategy.

There’s a good chance that many signs point to a rebrand. With the amount of benefits that come with a mindful update, it is likely worth the investment.

If you need more help, you can download this FREE Brand Audit Worksheet:

Download FREE Brand Audit Worksheet

 

Helpful Links:

A Brand Style Guide: Why You Need One

What Are Your Brand Colors Really Telling Customers

 

About the Author

Tara Johnson

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Tara has been a web and print designer for 10 + years and a photographer for over 15. She began AlchemyThree because she saw a need for a more complete, thoughtful and innovative digital marketing experience for businesses of all sizes.

 

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