When Is It Time for a Brand Audit?

Much like committing the time to an extended vacation or taking the plunge on a new professional opportunity, there’s rarely a clear “good time” to rebrand your company. We’re all far too busy to have such a disruption to our day-to-day lives and to-do lists. But sometimes, you’re forced to do it—and when you come out on the other side, you’re so glad you did.

Rebranding your company can feel expensive in terms of time, money and energy. It will certainly take a lot of resources to do it the right way. So how do you know if it’s the right time to do the work to refresh, or completely remake, your brand?

First, let’s talk about what a “brand” is. While it’s certainly an important component, a brand is more than a logo. A brand starts with the core values of an organization. What does it stand for? What vision does the organization have for its impact on the world? What mission is the organization looking to accomplish?

A brand is the outward expression of those values, vision and culture. What does it look like visually? How does the messaging and tonality sound? How does the organization make its customers and employees feel?

At the most basic level, your brand should align with those core elements. If you feel that your brand and your organization may be disconnected, a brand audit is a great way to determine if a refresh, or a full-blown re-branding effort, may be in order.

Here are some questions to ask and things to consider when taking stock of your brand:

  1. What has changed in your company since it started or since the current brand was established?
    Are you selling new products or services? Have you dropped any offerings? Is your company larger or smaller than it was? Have you brought on new leadership or executives?
  2. Has your target customer changed?
    Is your average customer getting younger or older? Do you find that more men or women are buying your products or services than before? Are sales skewing to a particular geographic region? Are your customers becoming more or less price sensitive?
  3. Are your measurable metrics growing at the rate you’d like?
    Are your company’s sales slowing down, or even shrinking, over the past six to 12 months? Is your website traffic stagnant? Are the right prospects engaging with you on social media? Is your e-newsletter open rate increasing? Is your conversion rate going down?
  4. How has your industry or environment changed?
    Are there new competitors or products in the market? How do your competitors position themselves relative to your company? Are you at risk of becoming obsolete or surpassed by the new kid on the block? Are there visual positioning or messaging gaps you could take advantage of?
  5. Does your logo or other visual materials appear dated?
    Have design trends changed, while your logo has stayed the same? Did an image that seemed timeless 7 years ago now look out-dated? Did you choose popular colors that are no longer in style, or no longer reflect your brand? Would you like to look more modern?
  6. Is your messaging consistent?
    Do your printed materials, website and social media convey a consistent message? Do you have a set of guidelines for your visual appearance and your content’s tonality and style? Is there anyone actively enforcing those guidelines in your organization?

If any of these questions make you concerned that your brand may no longer match the current reality of your organization, or don’t reflect where you want your company to go, it may be time to take an in-depth look at whether your brand needs some updating.

Feeling overwhelmed, or in need of some help or advice? Branding is one of the services we offer, and we’d be happy to guide your organization through the brand audit process. Give us a ring!

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