Every so often, a company needs to take a look at their brand and how it presents itself externally (and, equally importantly, internally) to make sure the work they are doing is still in alignment to their mission.

There’s a specific secret weapon that companies can use in order to do this, while at the same time figuring out ways to revitalize and re-market their brand: an audit. 

Most people hear the word “audit” and think of finances and getting spreadsheets and invoices in order, but what we’re talking about is different.

Why an Audit?

If we define an audit as an “official inspection of an organization’s accounts, typically by an independent body,” then one can see how it can be applied to an organization beyond finances, applicable to HR structures, marketing strategies, and more.

Sometimes being entrenched within an organization means that you have trouble viewing it from the point of view of a customer or client.  An audit conducted by a third party can give you a greater sense of the messages your organization is conveying and how your company comes across from an outsider’s perspective. 

Define Your Auditing Goals

Before you decide to do an audit, it’s important to understand why you are doing one. Are you looking to see if your company’s mission, vision, and values are coming across coherently and cohesively? Are you trying to pinpoint your company’s culture or any issues within it? Or are you mostly focused on your external brand – the design, messaging strategies, and tone of your marketing materials? 

Once you’ve figured out your auditing goals, it’s time to take a deeper look. 

Tips and Expectations for an Audit

  • Prioritize Honesty: It’s important to go into an audit with an open-mind and an authentic eagerness to grow. Your organization might get critiques or suggestions that don’t fit in with your own personal connection to the brand. That’s okay! Don’t just be amenable to honesty – prioritize it. An audit isn’t going to help you if it’s sugar-coated.
  • Focus on How Your Brand is Perceived: To determine your brand perception, you’ll need to look at a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data. Review your channels and social media stats, share customer or employee surveys, check website analytics and sales data, and take a peek at what your competitors are doing to compare with your own brand.
  • Analyze Results and Ideate Solutions: After you’ve compiled data, the audit doesn’t end. Analyze the information you’ve collected and work with your team to brainstorm ways to solve for the gaps or challenges you encountered during the research phase.
  • Create Action Plans & Timelines: Once you’ve identified potential solutions, it’s time to put together an action plan – with deliverables and deadlines for all involved teams – to maximize your success post-audit. Also important is a way to track said success: How are you going to measure your results and progress? Create a timeline to track performance shifts – audits can lead to big changes, but big changes don’t happen overnight. Don’t stop before you start because of unrealistic timelines! 

Investing time, energy, and money into an audit of your organization can be extremely beneficial. Spending quality time focusing on your organization is helpful to better understand your brand’s perception, realign internally, and make a plan for success.

Did you know that NEWaukee offers professional audits for organizations that are looking to revitalize their brand? Contact us here to learn more and get started! 

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