Odds are that when you hear the word audit you shiver in distaste as you think of taxes and the CRA. However, auditing isn’t just for finances, and it doesn’t have to be so negative. This official inspection process is a useful tool when you want to take a closer look at just about anything.

For instance, an audit of your marketing department would help you uncover what is working versus falling flat with your ideal consumer. Now, imagine conducting an audit beyond a very specific department. Imagine you wanted to look at your brand as a whole.

Let’s review the top five reasons why auditing is beneficial for your business. A yearly brand audit  

  1. Helps you better identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business.
  2. Allows you to determine the position of your business.
  3. Encourages you to plan corrective strategies.
  4. Guides the alignment of your offerings with the expectations of your consumers.
  5. Uncovers perceptions (positive, negative, neutral) about your business.

There isn’t a business owner in the history of business owners who is not at least curious where their brand is positioned in the marketplace. However, it is easy to get caught up in believing what you are doing works, and maybe it does. The point, though, is that if you can be better then why not be better?

“Elementary, my dear Watson.”

The next step in your investigation is to create an auditing framework that will keep you from becoming overwhelmed.

Here are some elements that should always be considered for a brand audit:

  1. Your main competitors

Don’t just assume you know who they are. With a little digging, you may find that your main competitor isn’t who you thought. Doing your research and digging deeper is key as landscapes change quickly.

  1. What’s your website’s purpose and use?

Having a website is important for any business because it does a lot of heavy lifting for your brand. At the end of the day, your site is there to better serve your consumers. Always consider it from a user-friendly point-of-view. Clear writing gets your message across and increases user satisfaction.

  1. Consumer attitudes.

Like Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” That being said, it is always a good idea to hear directly from your customers to find out how they perceive and speak about your brand.

  1. Your differentiators.

To get right to it, you need to know how your pricing, quality of services/products, and so on stands against your competitors. A helpful tool to organize this data is using a 4 Ps analysis. It sounds scary, but it incredibly informative.

  1. Your strengths and weaknesses.

Listen, we all want to be the superman of our specific industry. Nevertheless, even superman has his weaknesses. Try using a SWOT analysis to help your breakdown your strengths and weaknesses since these are the pieces that you can control!

Remember, you’re the boss! Don’t let your brand intimidate or overwhelm you. All your hard work will pay off!