Your brand is the public face of your company. More than just a logo, color and font choices, brand is how you communicate your mission and vision, value proposition and expectations about customer experience. Brand quality and consistency can increase revenue by 33%, so it’s not surprising many organizations are looking for ways to maximize their brand’s potential.
It all starts with an audit. A B2B brand audit provides an overview of where your brand currently stands in relation to organizational goals, identifies strengths and weaknesses, and empowers you to make data-driven decisions. Think of your brand audit like a medical checkup for your organization—it helps diagnose and treat problems that might be impacting the health of your brand and, in turn, your bottom line. To get you started, here are six steps you can take to conduct a B2B brand audit at your company.
1. Create a framework
Brand audits can be complicated. To stay organized, your first step should be creating an audit framework including assets and elements to review from internal, external, and customer perspectives. Before you start reviewing materials, make a list of topics to cover and questions related to each. Focus areas for your audit should include:
- Voice: What is your brand’s personality? How do you speak to customers?
- Values: What are your mission and vision?
- Product positioning: How do you want customers to feel about your products and services relative to the marketplace?
- Company culture: What do your employees think about your brand and products?
- Logo and colors: When was the last logo revision? Is your color palette similar to your competitors’?
- Website: Is your site mobile-friendly? Are you using UX best practices?
- Social media: What is your most impactful channel? Do you need influencer marketing?
- Content and collateral: How often do you create blog posts, white papers, videos and other material of value to prospects? What types of content perform the best?
- Public relations: How well known is your brand compared to competitors? Are there areas of expertise where your organization can be seen as a thought leader?
- Sales process: Does your sales team have materials for all stages of the buyer journey?
- Support services: Are your customers happy? Do you perform proactive support outreach?
2. Review your website
Website analytics are key to understanding how your audience is interacting with your digital brand. 93% of B2B customers will conduct website searches before buying, so optimizing your site is a brand audit necessity. Is your site traffic growing, declining, or flat? What is the average time spent on your top pages? Your audit should include a data deep-dive to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Traffic analytics will tell you if interest in your brand is growing. Pageviews can provide insight into popular content, and bounce rates will show you the areas of your site that aren’t performing well.
3. Study your social media
Do you know what your engagement rate is on LinkedIn or if your new PR push resulted in more followers online? Tracking and analyzing your social media channels will provide you with invaluable information about customer demographics and interests and help you identify influencer marketing opportunities. Public social feeds are responsible for 52 percent of online brand discovery, and a detailed audit can help you identify and target new audience segments.
4. Talk to your customers
When was the last time you sent a customer survey or did post-sale outreach? Have you been losing regular customers to competitors? If you aren’t measuring customer satisfaction, you could be missing crucial insights that are costing your business—86% of B2B buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. There are a number of ways you can solicit feedback from your customers:
- Sales follow up
Setting follow-up meetings for post-sale service and support is an easy way to keep your customers engaged. Scheduling regular communication with your customers will make your outreach more personal and impactful and will help reinforce your brand values with every interaction.
Surveys help you learn more about your customers, their needs, and if your business is currently meeting those needs. You can use surveys to discover new audience segments, create content, or solicit feedback about new features or your product roadmap.
Your net promoter score (NPS) is a measure of customer satisfaction. Simply put, the higher your NPS, the more customers would recommend your product or service to a friend or colleague. Collecting NPS data can provide immediate feedback from current customers about the state of your brand.
5. Perform a competitive analysis
The last step in your brand audit is conducting a competitive analysis to learn what your competition is doing and where you stand in the market. You can start with a SWOT analysis for each of your main competitors while assessing their brand, audience, and services. For a more detailed view, there are a number of tools specifically designed to track competitor data like SEO rankings, backlinks, digital ad spend, and social engagement. Comparing these numbers with your company’s will allow you to see any gaps in brand perception and help you identify competitive advantages and new audiences.
6. Take action
Once your brand audit is complete it’s time to create an action plan to make the most of your new insights. Create a report with your findings that highlights any problem areas or opportunities and identify the actions that should be taken to resolve each. For example, you can use your audit data to identify top-performing content and build more effective marketing campaigns. Ongoing testing and result tracking will tell you if you’re hitting the mark or need to make further adjustments.
Need help putting your plan in motion? Whether this is your first brand audit or you’re a seasoned pro, PMG is here to help you build and optimize your B2B brand. We have a long history helping companies like yours define their strategies, deliver on their objectives, and crush their revenue goals. Contact us today for a free 20-minute consultation.