When I begin working with a new client, my on-boarding process usually begins with a marketing and brand audit. A little like a tax audit, but not nearly as unpleasant, I lay out all the existing marketing efforts and measure not only the ROI of each practice, campaign, and strategy, but it's impact on my client's core audience and brand. You would be surprised how many dead-in-the-water marketing tactics are being used year after year simply because that's how its always been done.
If you've never went through a marketing or branding audit, here are 5 questions to help you determine if your brand is charting a clear path towards a strong community of engaged brand ambassadors, or if it is falling flat and needs new life.
One | What Does Your Audience Know About You?
Let's start with this question, because without the correct answer, your brand is in trouble. If you were to ask your customers, clients, and fans, right NOW, what you do, what do they say? Several months ago, I spent some time surveying one of my client's customers asking them this seemingly simple question, but the responses weren't simple. Over and over, it became clear that my client's audience had an unclear understanding of my client's mission, services they offered, or who they served.
Maybe you've never surveyed your customers, or maybe it's just been a while. In either case, it's important to your brand and success that you ask them about THEIR perception of who you are and what you offer to them so you can make sure your brand is telling a clear and compelling story throughout your community.
Two | What's Your Engagement Like?
A strong brand not only tells the compelling story of your business, but it also engages your audience to action. If you're in the beginning stages of your business, you may have to wait several months to measure the strength of your brand story, but if your company is more established, the statistics of your online presence can be telling.
Don't pay as much attention to the number of followers you have, as to the comments, shares, and mentions you company has on social media. The most powerful brands have a tight-knit online community of brand ambassadors who engage and promote frequently. If your engagement is consistently low, you may need to spend more time making sure your content represents your brand, and that your brand is as strong as possible.
Three | Where is Your Brand Going?
As your business grows, your brand will grow with it. If you haven't already, write out your business' mission, value proposition, and brand story. Now that you have that in writing, map out where you want your brand to go and grow in the coming months or years. If your current brand doesn't allow for changes or flexibility, it may be time to reevaluate and chart a new course.
Have more questions on brand story and development? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to setup a consultation and keep watching the Taylor Brand Consulting Blog for more great tips, trends, and tricks in nonprofit and small business marketing!