From time to time, every brand should undergo an internal audit to ensure that the brand strategy and vision are in line with the actual implementation, messaging and marketing that are being deployed.
This internal audit can be in the form a brand summary which includes defining the following:
1. Primary Value Proposition
2. Emotional Index of your Brand
3. Brand Significance
4. Brand Personification
5. Brand Promise
6. Brand Positioning
7. Brand Story
You may be thinking that is a big list of fancy words but in realty these are just words that represent actual facets of how your brand communicates with your target audience wether you do it intentionally or not.
I have written a lot about these 7 brand assets and in this article I will talk about them in relation to a brand summary and how it plays an important role in your brand audit.
Why do you need a brand audit?
A brand audit ensures that you are aware of what your brand assets are and wether they are in alignment with your overall vision. This will ensure your brand has tight and on-point messaging which will ensure you reach the right audience and most importantly lead to conversions.
Your brand is a collection of your customer experiences and it is important that you regularly find out how your target audience feels about your brand. This will lead to an understanding of both internal and external perception of your brand.
Brand audits should be conducted ideally every year or the very least every couple of years. The major stake holders of the company should take part.
Primary Value Proposition
Your primary value proposition is all about how your brand delivers value to your target market. Are you delivering value by being a product/service leader in your market? Or do you deliver the cheapest product/service due to optimized operational efficiency and cost management? Or perhaps you stand out from your competition through superior and stellar customer service and experience?
Understanding how your want to differentiate your brand in the market and then finding a value proposition is critical to the success of a brand.
Emotional Index of your Brand
Brands that connect with us emotionally gain market share and dominate segments. Inspect your brand messaging to see if you are promoting “features” of your product/service or the “benefits”. If you are just talking about the features then chances are that you are not really connecting emotionally with your audience.
A feature is an element of what something does or is. For example, an MP3 player’s feature is 1GB of memory. The benefit is that the user can store over a 1000 songs on it.
Features do have a place in your marketing and messaging but you have to figure out the balance and how to effectively use each to gain maximum response from your audience.
The level of emotional connection your brand has with it’s customers is defined as the Brand Emotional Index™ (BEI). This is a word I have coined and am quite proud of it! It can be measured by the level of emotion people feel towards your brand. Ok. I admit, you can not really measure this index and emotional branding is not a science. But you need to be aware of this index and try and perceive it’s presence.
Does your brand have a high or low BEI™?
Brand Significance Index™ (BSI)
Understanding what your brand means to your customers can be a powerful weapon. Do those meanings align with your brand pillars and vision? Is this how you wanted your brand to be perceived? How significant is your brand to your customers?
Again, a term I coined is the Brand Significance Index™ (BSI) and can be defined as the significance your brand has in the minds of your customers and usually represented by the importance they place on your messaging.
If you are not sure how much significance your brand has then it is time to conduct a survey with your most loyal customers. Ask them direct questions about what your brand means to them or how they feel about interacting with your brand.
One of the best ways to connect with your target audience and create an emotional impact is to figure out your brand’s personality traits. Imparting a personality on your brand and making it human is a worthwhile exercise.
Personification will help bring out traits that you want your brand to have and your target audience to feel and experience. Start with at least five personality traits. Do you want your brand to appear to be warm and friendly? Or clever and sophisticated? Perhaps funny?
To figure out these personality traits, think of your brand as a person. How would you describe that person? It may even be useful to find a role model and think of you brand as that person.
When most people think of a brand, they invariably remember the logo, icon, a slogan or even a jingle. But at the most basic level, a brand is a promise. It is much more than your company logo design, your corporate colors or any other brand assets. The brand promise you make to your target audience and the world at large is what makes or breaks your brand.
Figuring out a brand promise will ensure that all your messaging, marketing, customer service and product/service quality all align with your vision and mission. You can periodically look back and see if your brand is keeping in line with the promise you made to your customers.
In a crowded market place, it is critical to differentiate your brand and make sure you understand how you can position your brand in the right way to attract the right kind of customers, conversions and ultimately larger market share. Brand positioning is a critical element of your business success and requires some careful thought and attention.
Brand positioning is critical if you are operating in a competitive market segment. It depends on your value proposition and if of course more involved than I can write here. If you would like to find out how to create your brand positioning strategy, then sign up for my Ultimate Brand Builder Course!
One of the most important ways of connecting with your target market and your audience and to create the perception of a luxury brand is through telling a story. Most businesses do not even think of a brand story. They point to their website or their marketing material”. A brand story is not what you say on your website or what you say in your marketing material. Well, not strictly what you say but it is not what you’re trying to convince your target market about. It is not about trying to convince them to make a purchase or to buy something in that moment.
A brand story is something that will create this perception in your target markets minds that will translate into loyalty down the line. Of course eventually into conversions and sales.
Hopefully, by now, you appreciate the importance of conducting a brand audit – even if you are a new brand and the seven brand attributes that you need to evaluate and configure to ensure that you have a Fortune 500 brand in the making.
This article is one of the lessons from my Ultimate Brand Builder Course. By completing the course you will have built a robust and stunning brand that will be poised to attract your target audience and dominate your market space.