Today we’re talking about brand assets – and how to align all the assets your business has! This is a particularly important step for growing businesses to take, and also one of the most satisfying. Far too many businesses think that their marketing is just hit or miss, or that that they need to keep coming up with new ideas. Auditing your brand assets is all about gathering all your content and seeing just what it can become!
For companies that already have a marketing system in place, auditing plays another very important role: It helps businesses take a look at all their different content and make sure it’s all consistent – matching tone, product info, promises made, even colors and visuals. This keeps all marketing content on the same page, and shows exactly where the brand is at. It’s especially vital for companies that may have changed content strategies or logos a few times in the past but haven’t really thought about it.
Internal vs. External Asset Auditing
There are two different types of brand assets that companies should audit – internal and external. But what does that mean, exactly? Here’s the difference:
Internal brand assets: These are the brand assets that customers are less likely to see, but influence all your marketing work. That includes your brand values, vision, mission statement, and goals for your company culture. It also includes all the information you have about your customers, your target audience, your industry, your products, and data on how people interact with your business.
External brand assets: These assets are the things that customers/leads will see. That includes your signs, logos, and any marketing materials you send out, from flyers in the mail to emails. It also includes your online presence, like your entire website and all your social media profiles.
Internal Brand Audit Questions
All right, let’s start out with some of the most important questions to ask about your internal assets. Note that these questions are a great starting place, but you should always tailor your audit checklist to your own unique situation as a company (and we can help out with this if you have questions).
- What is the brand’s purpose and goals? This covers the basic content like mission statements, why you make certain products/services, what need you fill, etc.
- What is the brand’s story? This is about the history of the brand, but also what makes the brand difference, special, and emotionally resonant.
- What is the brand’s promise? What problems does the brand solve? What things does it make easier? How do these things compare with competitors?
- Does the brand have a clearly defined audience? Does it have audience target goals? This can involve buyer personas and many other useful tactics.
- Is there a brand guide to follow? Do all employees (not just marketing) understand and have access to this guide.
External Brand Audit Questions
Again, these questions are just examples and starting places for your full audit (that link has 130 questions to ask)! But it should include:
- Does your brand have a distinct tone? How and where is this tone used?
- Is there a professional logo?
- Does the brand need an alternate logo for certain content? Has it been created? Is it similar enough to the primary logo?
- What fonts and colors does the brand use? Do they match up across platforms? Are they the same for offline and online materials?
- What other unique graphics, icons, themes, patterns or other imagery does the brand have?
- What do the brand’s business cards look like?
- Does the brand have consistency across social media accounts? Does it use the same templates for information (bio, description, etc.)? Do the logos and information all match? Is the business tone used the same across social media?
- What does the brand’s website traffic look like?
- What does the brand’s website content look like? Does this content match the logos, images, and other content previously discussed?
- Does the brand have or need a media kit for news announcements?
- Does the brand have clearly defined product/service descriptions across all media?
- Does the brand have a good tagline?
One Last Note: Who Should Be Involved in Answering These Questions?
Generally, business leaders and executives should be the ones involved in a basic audit. A deeper audit will probably need more information supplied directly from various business teams, but in this case it’s important to give teams enough time to compile all the information and answers need. Sometimes far-reaching audits must consult customers as well, usually through surveys or interviews – this may be referred to as the “third” kind of brand audit, as it provides information on how your customers see brand content. Remember, the goal is consistency across all brand materials, and a deep understand of how the brand works.
Do you think that you’re ready for a brand audit? Then it’s time to start making plans for one. And we have more good news: We can help out! Here’s a great checklist, based on the information discussed in this episode, that we can offer to help get your plans off the ground and start asking the right questions to find your assets. We also have a few spots left open in our COACH beta program to get more one-on-one training, so while you are checking out our checklist, think about signing up for COACH, too!
Finally, if you enjoyed this episode, please take a moment to like and subscribe. It really helps! Until next time.