Audit corporate brands

1. Establish a framework of brand audit goals and criteria. Review the corporation's marketing strategy and brand audit goals with the organization's point person or team.

Determine what assessments and criteria the brand audit will encompass. If possible, work with stakeholders in the company or third parties that plan to use the results of the audit. Identify what will be evaluated during the audit and what criteria determine the conclusions of an audit. For example, a brand audit can focus on determining: What elements of customer service exceed or fail to meet a predetermined customer satisfaction threshold through collected NPS metrics. Whether publicly accessible branding and logos have all been modified at the conclusion of a rebranding process, and if those materials present a cohesive brand image.

2. Compare all current digital assets and internal marketing materials to current branding initiatives, and assess whether they uphold the company’s current branding.

For example: Older digital images and productions may have outdated logos and fonts.  Some assets may not uphold current diversity standards, environmental goals, or other unique brand attributes. Marketing materials may reference items or services no longer offered.

3. Evaluate the corporation's business website and social media for branding compatibility and performance.

For the website, look at: Heat maps that identify engaging elements of on-page content. Finding broken links and pages with errors. Identifying demand generation and lead generation content pages with high conversion rates. Identifying pages with high bounce rates or slow load times. For social media accounts, look at: Percentage of new subscribers over time Share metrics of individual posts Direct feedback from the public. Identify website content and social media posts that actively and positively engage audiences.

4. Compile current and recent press clippings, assessing how the media views the corporation.

Evaluate the corporation’s reviews on online review sites and by third-party companies. Identify frequently stated positive or negative attributes.

5. Poll customers that are past, present, and prospective to find out their opinions of your brand.

Create online polls to elicit customer feedback after the checkout process is complete, after users visit three different content pages, or at other stages of customer interaction. Use marketing channels such as subscription email lists, social media pages, and direct mail requests for feedback. Survey general consumers through social media polls and questions to gather feedback, anecdotes, and suggestions. While text feedback can be valuable, include questions with quantitative answers for simple assessments and analysis.

6. Review HR data, such as exit interviews, and current staff to discover internal perceptions of the company.

Some methods of feedback may include: Prompts to provide a Net Promoter Score on a department- or company-wide basis. Online surveys through SurveyCrest or other tools. Requests for feedback through anonymous surveys and suggestion boxes. Round-table meetings in which employees feel comfortable providing honest feedback. Look for problematic areas where the corporation’s brand lives up to its promise or fails to do so.

7. Use competitor analysis tools to compare brand strength, domain authority, website traffic, and other measurable data.

Some online analytics tools that can compare the primary brand’s metrics against competitors’ include: Moz compares the keyword strength and domain authority of competing websites. Pi Datametrics compares brand impact across multiple campaigns from competitors. Brandwatch Consumer Research compares a primary brand’s social media output and engagement metrics to competitors’.

8. Create an audit report that includes your analytical methods, your findings, and recommendations for any necessary corrective action.

For example, an internal audit report that assessed customers’ opinions of the company’s services through a Net Promoter Score would: Identify the questions and scoring mechanisms that were used to find the Net Promoter Score of the company. Explain the resulting score and any identified outliers or complications with the data, for example, call center service could receive a score of 4 while other measured aspects scored above a 7. Compare the score to previously established goals and criteria. Identify areas for growth and create improvement plans that address low-scoring areas.

9. Meet with key stakeholders to present your findings and discuss the next steps.

Hold a debrief meeting where you discuss the report and answer any questions attendees may have. For internal audits, this meeting should also establish the future audit framework for brand audits that assess the improvement plans put into place. For external audits by competitors, key stakeholders can determine strategies to outperform the brand’s assessed weaknesses.