It’s no secret that staying healthy is important. But what many people don’t realize is just as essential are regular screenings to identify potential health problems before they become serious, or even life-threatening! This same principle can be applied for your brand too; you need constant checks if you want a long lifespan and success in business.
A strong brand impacts everything from sales and profits to the employees you are able to hire. But how can you know if you’re on the right track? By conducting a brand health check, you can find out exactly where to make improvements.
In a brand health check, you’ll go through every aspect of your brand to see what’s working and what needs to be improved.
This includes three steps:
- Assessing the external environment
- Determining internal strengths and weaknesses, and
- Developing an action plan for improvement.
A brand audit can be done periodically (e.g., yearly or bi-annually).
Step 1 – Assessing the external environment vis a vis your brand
Who are your competitors, how do they position themselves and how do customers perceive them? How do customers learn about your brand and competitors? What’s the current brand sentiment toward you and your competitors online, in the news, and among employees at other companies?
This involves gathering information from several sources: market research reports, brand studies, business publications, industry analysts’ reports, social media monitoring tools, online brand communities, customer feedback surveys, employee surveys—and even soliciting feedback from competing companies themselves. The more information you have about what people are saying about your brand and competitive brands, the better equipped you will be to make important decisions.
You should also consider external factors. For example, changes in legislation may affect how an organization operates so it would be important to change the brand action plan accordingly. Furthermore, changing market trends will influence consumer demand which will result in adjustments to the brand’s strategy.
Step 2 – Determining internal strengths and weaknesses
You need to evaluate your competitive advantage objectively. What are you doing better than anyone else? Why are your customers loyal to you? Once you’ve identified what makes your brand successful, find ways to communicate this internally (and externally) so that employees embrace the brand’s values.
You’ll need to assess your brand across multiple dimensions. Some of these include financial health, brand equity, brand differentiation, brand awareness and brand positioning. When it comes to brand positioning, for example, who is your target audience? How do they differ from other segments of the population (i.e., demographically)? What drives them? How does your brand appeal or connect with their interests and needs? How well does the market understand your brand—compared with how well you think it understands.
Step 3 – Develop a Brand Action Plan
Vision without action is pure hallucination. Once you have conducted a brand health check, the next step is to develop an action plan for improvement. A brand action plan is a document that lists brand-building activities an organization will carry out, the outcome, and the measurements. It can also help define priority areas for future brand marketing efforts.
The following list provides the steps of developing a brand action plan:
- Identify activities
- Determine measures
- Determine timeline
- Set budgets &
- Review progress at regular
What are your thoughts on how to conduct a brand health check? Are there any other tips you would like to share with us that we missed in our post? If so, please let us know. As always, thank you for taking the time to read this blog post and be sure to sign up for our upcoming workshop about how brands can measure their health!