We don’t know about you but at Red Shoes, we love the start to a new year. It is a great time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in 2023, including our very own rebrand launch. In fact, the new year is an ideal time for brands to focus on their branding, starting with an audit. This is the perfect time for your business to benchmark your current brand efforts, position in your industry and track your growth and progress throughout the year. A brand audit will provide valuable insights and help you allocate time and resources effectively to achieve success. Let’s take a minute to answer some common questions that we get asked about brand audits.

What is a brand audit?

A brand audit is when you take the time to catalog the way you use your brand assets and how they resonate with your desired audience to create your desired outcome.
At Red Shoes, we provide an outside perspective and fresh look through a comprehensive brand report that highlights how your brand is currently viewed by potential clients, customers and patients. We examine you brand use for consistency, clarity and cohesiveness and provide recommendations on opportunities for brand elevation. The brand audit also provides benchmarks for current and past marketing efforts that can be used to compare a company’s overall external branding strategy to its competitors.

Audits should contain a full accounting of the materials involved (so for a brand audit, it should include key messages, logos, colors and account for all different types of digital and printed materials).

When conducting a brand audit, Red Shoes looks for a defined explanation of what your business does and your unique selling proposition. Red Shoes also identifies your target audiences and what you promise to deliver to them. We also look for consistency in current external marketing material and suggest ways that your business can stand out from competitors.

What is a social media audit? Is it part of a brand audit?

We recommend that companies conduct a social media audit annually. While this can be performed internally, if you want to do a more detailed analysis, Red Shoes suggests involving a third party for a full, comprehensive audit with a renewed perspective to help you develop a social strategy, when your content starts to feel tired or when you feel overwhelmed in content creation. Basically, a social media audit is a great reset and helps social media messaging become more strategic and effective moving forward.

When is the ideal time for an audit?

We always suggest that companies align the timing with business goals. A lot of times, this is the beginning of a fiscal year or when a company finds themselves starting with a new marketing campaign, has a change in internal marketing team leadership or begins a relationship with a new agency.

How do you know when a company can complete a brand audit internally and when should I hire a third party?

Companies can do some auditing internally, and should complete this process on a consistent basis to create regular benchmarks. However, hiring outside eyes can elevate this practice for two key reasons. First of all, you don’t know what you don’t know. Outside agencies can help identify basic things that can get overlooked in the day-to-day tasks and can provide a valuable outsider’s perspective that isn’t clouded by, but instead simply educated by, industry trends or history. Also, an outside perspective helps you ask the right questions to move your brand forward, not just stick with the current status quo.

A brand audit is an essential investment for any business, big or small. It helps you refine your messaging, identify areas of improvement, create a consistent visual identity and improve the customer experience. By conducting a brand audit, you can align your brand and business’s values and communicate your unique value proposition effectively. Contact Red Shoes to learn more about our services and start the year on the right foot.

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