A successful brand audit being performed

How to Successfully Perform a Brand Audit

Justin Lynch
Justin Lynch

Brand Strategist & Co-Founder

A Brand Audit can be quite an undertaking. Between evaluating your brand, collecting branded collateral, and then analyzing each one it can make your head spin.

Luckily, a step by step process will make your Brand Audit go a lot smoother.

While there are many suggestions on how to do a Brand Audit, like this process from SCORE, many fail to focus on the most important part of your brand — it’s purpose, position, and benefits. If you don’t audit those aspects of your brand, you won’t achieve the transformational benefits of this process.

Step by Step Process

Step 1: Brand Purpose

Every great brand has a purpose behind it. It’s important during this step that you clearly outline the purpose of your brand. You can’t have a successful Brand Audit with a clear brand purpose.

Step 2: Brand Positioning

When there is a disconnect between who the brand wants to attract and who it actually attracts it makes it difficult to properly market your brand. This is why brand positioning is one of the most important aspects of your brand. 

During this step you need to clearly outline what makes your brand unique and who you’re trying to target with your brand.

Step 3: Brand Benefits

When evaluating your brand benefits, you need to start at the end. The goal is to determine what transformation your brand offers to customers. This information influences how your brand talks to your customers.

Step 4: Gather Branded Collateral

Gather all your branded collateral. We recommend gathering anything that was created in the last 3 years, but you may decide to go back further. Once you’ve gathered everything, sort them into categories (ex. banners, brochures, social images, etc). 

Oh, don’t forget to grab your brand guide/style guide if you have one.

Step 5: Prioritize Collateral

Once you’ve gathered all your collateral, it’s time to prioritize it. This helps you save time and allows you to focus on the most impactful collateral first.

Luckily the process can be fairly easy. Simply create a grading rubric that you can apply against all your collateral.

Or, we have a spreadsheet in our Brand Audit Package that auto calculates scores for you based on a few simple questions.

Step 6: Review Collateral

It’s review time! During this step you’ll be reviewing your collateral to see if any changes need to be made to them.

Start by reviewing your highest priority collateral first. When reviewing each piece of collateral consider how well that collateral meets the following criteria:

Visual Criteria

  • Does this collateral use the correct version of our logo?
  • Does this collateral use the correct colors?
  • Does this collateral use the correct typography/fonts?

Tonal Criteria

  • Does this collateral align with our brand values?
  • Is the content of this collateral designed to attract our target persona?
  • Does this collateral accurately convey our primary brand benefit?

Step 7: Batching Updates

Updating collateral uses a lot of resources, so it’s important to make the update process as efficiently as possible. Luckily, there’s a simple way to do that — batch your updates together.

Follow the method below (in order) to group your collateral into different categories. Then in Step 8 we’ll discuss how to effectively execute the updates.

1. Separate collateral based on visual and tonal criteria 

When you separate collateral this way it shows you which skill sets you’ll need to make the updates. Visual updates will require a graphic designer and tonal updates will require a copywriter. You’ll want to separate them into three groups: visual updates only, tonal updates only, and ones that need both updated.  

2. Separate collateral based on whether it’s physical or digital

Physical collateral requires printing/manufacturing — which means it takes more time before customers will see the new collateral. This is the reason we separate the collateral further into physical and digital groups. 

You should now have up to six categories of collateral:

  • Physical collateral that needs updates to it’s visuals
  • Physical collateral that needs updates to it’s tone
  • Physical collateral that needs updates to it’s visuals and tone
  • Digital collateral that needs updates to it’s visuals
  • Digital collateral that needs updates to it’s tone
  • Digital collateral that needs updates to it’s visuals and tone

Determine Who Will Do The Audit

I won’t lie — brand Audits take a lot of resources to execute correctly. This is why determining who will do the audit is a critical step. You need to be honest with yourself about the resources and time you have available to you.

Do-It-Yourself

If you choose to do your own Brand Audit we highly recommend our Brand Audit Package. This self-guided package provides you everything you need to successfully audit your brand.

Cover of the brand audit checklist digital workbook

Get your brand on track

Brand Audit Checklist

Learn the process we use to help businesses identify issues with their brand. This self-guided package provides you everything you need to successfully audit your brand.

Simply click the download button. No email required!

Hire Outside Help

If you have a large brand or don’t have enough resources to do your Brand Audit internally, we recommend hiring an agency to do the audit.

Having an outside source allows them to provide an unbiased evaluation of the brand. Also, it frees you and your team to focus on other important marketing goals.

If you’re on the fence about hiring outside help, we offer a complimentary Brand Audit. This quick audit will give you a taste of what it’s like when someone else is doing the audit.