The main purpose of the brand audit is to identify as accurately as possible the current state of the brand in all aspects. Compared to the marketing audit, whose main purpose is to prepare a plan for improvement of the company's marketing performance, the brand audit is much more focused on the customers. It measures the "health" of the brand and reveals the brand value sources. The result of a brand auditing is the solution how to increase the value of the brand.
The typical brand audit consists of both business and customer perspectives:
Company perspective seeks to answer questions such as what products and services are currently offered, how are they marketed and how are they branded.
Client perspective explores what are the deeper perceptions and beliefs which create the meaning of the brand for the customers.
By combining these two points of view, guidelines are created in the form of customer insights which are to be implemented in order to increase the brand value. Higher brand value leads to stronger brand preferences, i.e. improvement of the sales and market share, including prie premium. Ultimately, it increases the company's revenue from both sales and higher value of the brand as an asset.
The brand audit consists of two main phases: Brand Inventory and Research.
The brand inventory aims to create a comprehensive overview of all distributed products and services up-to-date as well as their branding. The process can be described as cataloging in visual and descriptive form of all physical and verbal manifestations of the brand: the name, the logo as in every possible form created and distributed, the brand symbols, the character, the packaging, the slogans, other trademarks or sub-brands and their elements, variations of the products or services, characteristics of the brand, price, communication, distribution policies, and other brand-related marketing activities.
Brand Inventory helps determine the possible basis of customer perceptions and reveals the level of brand consistency (is there any difference between the branding examples?). Although it is a descriptive approach, the brand inventory can help generate ideas on how to better manage the brand equity.
The research aims to explore what the consumers think and feel towards the brand. Its goal is to provide better understanding of the sources of brand equity, as well as to identify the possible pain points. It uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative research to identify and evaluate all brand-relevant associations. Starting point of the research can be the information from previous studies or discussion with the organization’s team.
For real brand equity audit it is crucial to conduct evaluation also of the main competitors, taking into account their positioning based on points-of-parity and points-of-difference.