Purpose and Benefits
Brand audits entail the collection of data using a number of different methodologies. The purpose of a brand audit is two-fold. The first is to develop a benchmark regarding where an organization stands in relation both to its own goals and strategic plans, as well as in relation to its competitors, so that the organization can evaluate how well it is achieving branding and operational goals moving forward. A second goal is to develop strategies based on the collected information to use to optimize positioning against competitors and leverage organizational strengths.
- Benchmark the organization’s brand position based on its communications materials – images, words, messages.
- Assess the approach and the design look & feel of competitors.
Identify key words and phrases being used by competitors to help determine the best language for the organization, in order to position against them, not copy them.
- Identify key imagery being used by competitors to help determine the best type of imagery to use, in order to position against them.
- Assess the brand architectures of competitors and the organization, and recommend alternative brand architecture options to best position against competitors and leverage organizational strengths.
- Other factors to assess can include organizational structure, presence in the industry/reputation, and recent negative/positive PR, that would impact how the client should be presented in its communications.
Secondary Research Methods
- Review of information as available from the client, including business plans/strategic initiatives, past research reports, current and past advertising, and other promotional materials.
- Conducting detailed reviews of both the client’s and its competitors’ websites, in order to determine positioning strategies. Obtaining additional data from third-party sources such as comScore can also be helpful in completing the competitive picture in a competitive website review.
- Tracking of competitors’ advertising and other promotions, pricing, product development, and other factors that impact brand perceptions and competitive differentiation and advantages.
Primary Research Methods
- In-person/telephone interviews and/or focus groups with key executives at the organization, including in corporate communications, sales, operations, and product development.
- Interviews with industry experts – publications editors and other industry analysts
- Interviews with key partners