BRAND AUDIT FOR SMES. IS IT POSSIBLE?
Time and time again, we see famous brands losing relevance with younger customers and rising market trends simply because they don’t seriously take brand auditing into consideration to know their true position in the market and what’s the zone for improvement.
Brand audit is a complicated process as it can cost several tens of thousands of dollars to perform. However, with all the outcome results and a detailed panorama of brand, customer and market you will see this really worth it.
But you don’t need to impose the stereotypes and huge data requirements of large corporations on SMEs as it will not be effective. Your company can have your own brand audit report with a more affordable price if you follow these below steps.
1. Internal review and discover what was missed
A thorough brand audit is likely to bring to light all sorts of inconsistencies, obsolescence and issues in market targeting affecting your brand awareness, web conversations, page views, or any other metric of success you’re currently tracking. In the internal review process, all the departments have to participate and each has their own role as below:
- Executive Board: evaluate the assessment of the level of understanding of brand management and communication
- Communication Department: evaluate communication effectiveness based on previous marketing materials on each marketing channel.
- Product Department: evaluations of the efficiency of cargo management, import and export processes;
- Customer service: evaluations of customer care effectiveness, personnel criteria.
2. Customer and competitor review
Alway catching up with every competitor’s action will help you define the right strategy and act promptly . Competitors are identified based on brand similarities and brand differences. They are usually divided into 3 main groups: low competition, similar competition, and superiority. For each group, there will be an analysis to see the competitive influence on market and customer. This analysis will help you identify market problems and action that needs to be taken to overcome those competitors.
In terms of customer analysis, it will be divided into 2 groups: current users and potential customers.
- Group 1 is based on the file of old customers who have been using the service. In this group, you have to re-analyze the criteria of geography, preferences, behavior, satisfaction and suggestions. In addition, you have to dig deeper to define what are the winning points in their mind and what should be improved to raise their brand love and keep them stay with your brand.
- New potential file group can be the competitor’s user or non-user. With this group, you have to define why they don’t use your product and why they use your competitor’s product. It can be an awareness problem that customers aren’t aware of your brand, but it can also be perception and motivation problems. Knowing these problems will help you propose the right action to attract and convert the competitor’s customer to your brand users.
3. Market analysis and provide inside for future development
Brand audits not only reveal pain points in your brand perception or the weaknesses in every execution tactic but also open the door for new ideas, demands, trends for your brand to jump in. Perhaps the brand assessment will inspire a new product, service, or idea based on the feedback you received from your target audience.
In this step, let’s open your mind to absorb every rising trend outside but don’t forget to take them seriously into your consideration to define which is the potential zone your brand should invest time and money and which you will gain if your brand jump into it.
4. Pave the way for improvement
Once you understand a problem, it will be a little bit easier to propose a solution. Brand audits give you the potential opportunity to tackle the issues that are damaging the perception of your brand and provide you with honest feedback on what your target audience is looking for. Before you propose solutions, just remember you can not solve all the problems at once so you have to make a list of important issues that need to be addressed first. It’s right to follow the 80/20 rule that “80% of outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any given event.”