Retail Brand Audit

Retail Brand Audit

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Retail Brand Audit

Recommendations for a 1 hour brand audit process

Brand Audit ProcessThere could be a number of reasons for carrying out your brand audit and there are as many metrics to be considered in order to get the answers, as far as the reception of your brand is concerned.

Your brand needs to stand out and a regular brand audit will make sure that you stay different.

So, what is included in a brand audit? The process involves a number of elements which would I will explain. You may be looking to acquire more customers, or your business may have taken a downwards slope, or maybe your revenue is going down. No matter what, even if your business is doing well, it is essential to do a regular online brand audit [see this Smart Insights brand audit template for a suggested structure to use]. For me, completing a brand audit is essential if you want to know if, why and how you are winning or losing.

Why every business should carry our a brand audit?

The reasons include:

  • Position of your business: A thorough brand audit gives you a complete report about the current position of your business. This includes rankings on search, engagement on social media, and how you stand against your competitors. This further helps in devising a new strategy to enhance an online brandif the amplification is not powerful enough.
  • Discover the strengths and weaknesses of your online marketing: A brand audit shows the strengths or the weaknesses that in your overall branding techniques. It also helps you in knowing if your weaknesses are dominating to an extent that your online engagement rate, conversion rate are declining. A thorough competitive analysis of brand will let you know where you stand and fall against your competitors.
  • Helps in meeting the needs of your prospects: Your prospects are looking for some information, products, or services online. Your audit will help you in knowing exactly what drives their decisions to turn them into your customers. It could be a product, a content strategy, a landing page that could have propelled a certain action from your prospects.
  • Understand audience perception about your brand:  It will help you understand exactly how your brand is being received by your prospects. There may be times when a customer could have been unsatisfied with your services, resulting in a negative online review. On auditing your brand, you will be able to know the trouble points within your business and sort them out.

Questions to ask before undertaking your brand audit

  • How is your brand received by your audience? A thorough analysis of your brand perception is a must; it lets you know what the audience sentiment is. Sentiment can be gained through various online monitoring tools to monitor all the comments, and reviews posted by your clients to know how your brand is received by your targeted audience.
  • Is your brand message slear? One mistake many brands make is that they beat the same story to death in their content marketing strategy, boasting about themselves and their achievements. Your audience wants to see something that could relieve their pain points. That is why they are coming to you in the first place. This helps your brand in establishing an authority in their thoughts.

Let’s take the example of a brand message from Google

When it comes to marketing, you will find it tough to argue with anything that Google comes up with. They deliver services in the simplest form. With this brand message, not only does Google advertise the spirit of their own innovation, but also encourages self-discovery telling the audience that they have the potential to make the best out of web. It sounds commercial and also tells us that passionate people could make the best out of the web.

  • What is the customer persona?  Are you targeting the right audience? All your marketing efforts should focus on your customers, and you should be recognizing the ideal customer and base all the efforts on that analysis. What is the age, gender, job profile of your customer, in addition to his decision taking ability and the pain points are some of the major points that help in identifying the customer persona? The brand audit will go nowhere if you don’t know what you are targeting.
  • Are your customers fulfilling your required action? You are promoting your brand with a purpose. You may be looking to increase your followers, or send across a social message, or even enhance your conversion rate. For each and every thing that you want your audience to perform, you will need an effective call to action which forms an integral part of your brand promotion, and hence, your brand audit.

The most effective brand audit processes

1. Find how your company is referenced across the Internet

With the help of numerous online tools, you will be able to see your brand mentions across the web. The best tools are Social Mention, Google Search, Google Alerts, and Mention.

There are a number of things that you could know by monitoring your brand:

  • Where you are doing a good or a bad job?
  • Which are the areas that need improvement?
  • What is the customer/audience base?
  • What is the need of the customer?
  • Are there some bad reviews about your brand?
  • Is the customer suggesting something?

2.  Analyzing the content

It could be tedious analyzing a website’s content, however by now most online marketers and brands admit to the fact that website content plays a major role in establishing a brand. A well planned SEO audit of the website content is mandatory for the overall brand audit:

  • Check out the ranks of the pages and see for which terms the pages are ranking.
  • Identify the purpose of the page and its content. Do they both justify each other?
  • Is the content on the webpage delivering on the expectations of the business?
  • Is the information useful to the target audience?
  • Find out if the page has been duplicated on some other website?
  • See if the page has all the targeted keywords used in search by your target audience. The same applies to the URL of the page, meta-descriptions, title, and the body.
  • In addition to the website content, your offline content is something that adds to your credibility. Thus check out all content that you have published as a guest writer to see the popularity, comments, if it is useful to the audience. Also check if the information in the content is in tune with the current trends.

[Editor’s note: We recommend these 3 tools for comparing content marketing sharing effectiveness].

3. Claim your profiles

Most of the online directories will give you the option to get ownership of your company page, so that you could edit the given information any way you would like to.

The verification process involves confirmation via the email sent to you. Once you are verified, you will have a quick access to your company’s account and could update the information.

4. Analyze Traffic

It is worthwhile analyzing the traffic that is being generated through the website. An essential part of your brand audit is how much your website is able to attract as far as your visitors are concerned. Just sit down, take a deep breath and look through your Google Analytics that will give a lot of information. The main information to look through from your Google Analytics are:

  • The number of visitors
  • Traffic Sources
  • Bounce Rate
  • Avg. Visit Duration
  • % New Visits
  • Returning Visitors
  • Mobile Traffic & Conversions

The Bounce Rate: I have dedicated one whole point to this because it is vital for a business to know which part of their website is unsuccessful in holding new visitors’ attention – or not. You can identify the content on poorly performing pages to make the content more interesting.

One of the main reasons for a high bounce rate of a page is that customers don’t get their desired information in an engaging manner. In addition to that, low quality design, too many ads, and more add up to the pathetic bounce rate. Anything higher than 50% is definitely alarming, and you need to give it immediate attention.

5. Feedback from company employees/associates

Your sales team plays an important role in your overall brand enhancement process, as they are in direct touch with your prospects. They know how your brand is being looked upon by your prospects. In addition to that, you could have a reseller tell you how their customers feel about the products or the services that you have sold through resellers.

Also, ask your staff how they look up at the company. How they find the image and the values of the company? What are their aspirations and how would they like to see the brand grow in the future. These little things matter the most when building a strong existence for the brand.

6. Value Proposition and how you stand out from your competitors

What is your value proposition? How do you define your brand? How do you stand out from your competitors?

Check out if you are stating your value proposition and that it clearly defines your goal to the customers. The brand should be described in a clear cut way. Everything associated with your brand – the brand name, logo, content, pictures, should all be copyrighted to avoid any hassles later. All your digital assets are valuable. Ensure that no other brand has copied it. Also brand value is dependent on the fact that you are not copying any other brand.

7.  Survey your customers

A great way to know brand perception is by running online surveys – see for example these customer survey and feedback tools. It is a quick and effective way to check how customers feel about your brand. There could be many questions pertaining to your brand that you could ask your customers. Here are a few questions that you could use:

  • Why did you select us for your needs?
  • How would you rate the information given on the website?
  • How did you find the navigation on our website?
  • Were you queries handled effectively on our website?

8.  Monitoring your social media presence

The aim of the social media audit is to help the businesses in identifying the best ways to utilize social media. The following points are essential is social media audit:

  • What the company is trying to achieve through social media?
  • Is the company successful in getting business through social media?
  • Evaluate the current strategy. What type of content is planned by the company to develop the social media campaigns?
  • Which topics/areas are targeted through the content? Do they cater to the needs of the audience?
  • What is the publishing frequency across all the social media networks?
  • Identify the difference between you and the competitors’ social media strategy with a thorough gap analysis.
  • Who are the targeted audience?
  • Is the company successful in building positive influence?
  • How many social stats (likes, comments, shares, tweets, and more) have been generated?

Wrap-up

Managing your online brand requires an ‘always-on’ focus and dedication from a team to to continuously review and improve your online interactions.

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