How Well Do You Know Your Brand?

During the COVID19 pandemic, we heard a lot of people say "I just want to get back to normal life again." Even though we're no longer in crisis and we're back to going about our day, "normal" will never really be normal again. For companies of all shapes and sizes, whether you're on Main Street or Wall Street, keeping up with consumer, customer and employee expectations has never been this challenging.


Remote work for the past two-and-a-half years has changed how employees interact, how leaders lead, how companies connect to customers, how corporations connect to shareholders, and how consumers connect to brands. Even though companies are expected to spend over $4 billion on influencer marketing this year, influencers and consumers are burning out in a world of constant, 24-7 digital advertising on every platform known to man including streaming services, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tik-Tok, YouTube, spam email, spam texts, etc...


Not knowing where your brand stands in a world of constant noise and over stimulation will eventually kill a brand's value. And the longer a company has blinders on to this reality, the more vulnerable the brand is to a competitor snatching up your stakeholders while you're looking the other way.


So, how do you solve a problem like that? Two words: Brand Audit


In today's volatile climate, having a clear and honest understanding of how your brand is perceived is the first step in developing a marketing and communication strategy that actually works. How can you know what to say and how to say it if you don't know the opinions of your stakeholders and the true perception of your brand? How do you know if you're meeting the expectations of your clients, customers or employees if you don't ask them about it on a regular basis?


This goes beyond surveys. Surveys are only as good as the transparency of the questions you're asking. Surveys can be very helpful and, if administered the right way, can be insightful and valuable. But to truly uncover the reality of brand perception, an audit that incorporates conversation into a deeply thought out Q&A customized for a specific target audience, is the only way to get a clear picture that can influence your ongoing strategy.


Brand audits provide an opportunity to:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses

  • Understand the internal and external perception of your brand

  • Improve processes and business plans

  • Improve communication and messaging

  • Ensure you're targeting the right audience with the right messages

  • Align with client expectations and ensure positive product or service experiences

  • Strengthen relationships with clients, vendors, and employees

  • Improve recruitment messaging and employment branding


Brand auditing isn't new; huge, global consumer brands have been doing it for years, which is why B2B businesses have never really considered it because the general perception of brand auditing is that it's just for the big consumer brands.


But in today's digital world, every brand is exposed to the elements of consumer perception. If you're looking for investors, new clients and customers, recruiting for new talent, or just want to strengthen employee engagement and connection, spending the time and resources to build an annual, biannual or quarterly audit is always a good investment in your future.


Keep in mind, conducting your own brand audit using an internal team is never a good idea. A brand audit should always be administered by an unbiased third party. The subjects should feel safe knowing their feedback is anonymous and their names will not be shared with the company. Otherwise the feedback will not be authentic or unbiased and will have no value in developing a strategy that works. You need to hear the unfiltered truth, no matter how much it stings.


Here are a few resources and articles to think about to get you started down the right path.

I'm always available for insight and advice!

Gia Palazzolo

giavanna@zologrp.com

www.zologrp.com


How do to a brand audit: Score.org

What is a Brand Audit and why do you need one? Raww.com

A Seven Step Guide to Performing a Brand Audit: Brandwatch.com

How and Why You Should Conduct a Brand Audit: Neil Patel







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