Two people performing a Brand Audit

What Is a Brand Audit?

Justin Lynch
Justin Lynch

Brand Strategist & Co-Founder

A Brand Audit is a systematic process designed to help you objectively review and improve your brand. In the end, the goal of the audit is to have your brand in alignment with itself. 

But why do we need Brand Audits?

The answer is simple — to improve consistency. Brand Consistency is the foundation of your brand, but many businesses fail to maintain a consistent brand.

The reason for this varies.

Sometimes it’s a failure of utilizing proper branding tools (in fact 69% of companies don’t use a brand or style guide). However, most of the time it’s simply that marketing teams are constantly overwhelmed and don’t have the resources to put the proper care into maintaining the business’s brand. When this happens inconsistencies start to prepare. A Brand Audit is your tool to identify and fix those inconsistencies.

Brand Audit Goals

Every successful Brand Audit accomplishes three things:

  • Re-establishes the tonal and visual elements of the brand
  • Provides a comprehensive review of current branded collateral
  • Creates a gameplan for fixing any issues found during the audit

Brand Audit Process

Re-establish Brand Elements

Your brand is composed of tonal and visual elements. For many brands those elements start in alignment but grow apart over time. So, during the Brand Audit process we want to get them back in alignment. 

Tonal elements

The tonal elements of your brand include your brand’s purpose, positioning, and benefits. It’s not uncommon for a brand to change these elements over time, so take the time to confirm and adjust as needed.

Visual elements

Once you’ve re-established your tonal elements you can then confirm and adjust your visual elements. The visual aspects of your brand include your color palette, typography, and overall visual style.

Need assistance?

If you need assistance with establishing these elements check out the Brand Building article.

Review Current Branded Collateral

After you’ve re-established your brand elements, it’s time to see if your current branded collateral is in alignment.

During this process you’ll be spending a lot of time gathering and sorting all your collateral. I’m not going to lie — it’s not much fun, but it is necessary.

To make this as painless as possible it’s important to have a way to track all of your collateral. Our complimentary Brand Audit Package comes with a handy spreadsheet so you can quickly jump right in.

When all your branded collateral is gathered and sorted it’s time to review it. During this step you’re simply looking at the collateral itself and seeing if the tonal and visual elements match your re-established brand. If you find any inconsistencies note them down and set the collateral aside. 

At the end of this process you’ll have a stack of collateral that needs to be updated along with notes on what the issues are.

Create a Gameplan to Fix Brand Issues

The last part of the process is to create a gameplan for how you will fix any issues. Not all collateral is equal though. So, it’s important to prioritize which collateral gets updated first.

Once again our complimentary Brand Audit Package can assist you with prioritizing your collateral.

After you have your prioritized list, the last step is to actually update your collateral. This can be done in-house or outsourced to a marketing agency. There are pros and cons to both. Ultimately the decision will be based on your team’s bandwidth and budget.

Brand Audit Resources