Is it time for a brand audit?

Thinking timeOn last week’s blog, we looked at some of the key things you need to consider to keep your brand fresh, from its logo and strapline right through to the name itself.

The work of a brand audit doesn’t stop there, though. Once you’ve got your name and logo right, don’t forget to consider how you represent yourself in the market, and how you reflect your business’ values online and on social media. With the speed that the internet moves, it’s vital that you’re presenting yourself the right way. It’s a skill that’s easy to get wrong, but when you get it right, it can really boost engagement and take your business to the next level.

So, here are some more of our top tips:

Valueswhat do you stand for? Do you embody that in everything you do as a business?
This might sound a bit out there, but knowing your brand value is absolutely critical and should then feed into every piece of marketing you do and every area of your customer service.

As consumers get more discerning with their money, they’re looking for companies that are more than just businesses, those who set themselves out as something ‘more’ than a commercial enterprise.

social mediaBusinesses who offer strong brand values and set themselves out to be ethical, honourable, environmental and offer a strong service will stand out, as long as they communicate that value effectively and stick to it in every single part of their business. Apple built an empire on having a strong value, based on the phrase ‘Think Different’, offering tech for those who, in the words of Steve Jobs ‘see things differently’ and 20 years after they began that campaign you can see the fruits of its success in the global giant that Apple has become.

Social mediaare you on social media?
Unless you have a large team of people with lots of time on their hands (yes, this seems unlikely), are you using social media in the most efficient way? You could try and be on every social media channel at once, or you can target one or two channels and do them properly. Just make sure you’re on the same channels as your target audience. If your target audience is homeowners with disposable income, Facebook is a better place for you than SnapChat or Whatsapp, and vice versa if your target market is people under the age of 25.

Websitewhen was the last time you updated your website?
If it’s more than a month ago, it’s already out of date. Google algorithms prioritise websites with content that’s regularly updated, placing them higher in search engines and making you more likely to be seen by your customers.

web designYour website should be regularly updated, with a blog, and testimonials/imagery of new products and projects you’ve worked on. Remind people of all the good things you do every day, and use your site as an archive of all the hard work you do. And make sure that everything above – the logo, your values, brand colours and strapline, etc – are visible right through your site, so that it has a distinctive, coherent look that people will know is yours as soon as they arrive at the home page.

Competitorswhat’s everyone else doing?
There will always be things you’re doing better than your competitors, and things they do better than you, but unless you keep an eye on what they’re doing, you’ll never know when you need to act.

It’s easy (and perfectly natural) to become complacent, especially when you’re busy with your day job, but even if you’re riding high, you still have to watch your competition. Otherwise they could sneak up and overtake you when you’re not looking. If you’re aware of what else is happening in your sector, you can assess whether that new product or service would bring benefits to your brand, and then work out how your business could do it better.

Posted by Jennie Ward