Unhappy with your visual brand? Feeling stuck and lost and not sure what to do? Why not audit your own brand.
Don’t worry, you are not alone. I have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt myself. You see, in August 2018 I decided to rebrand my business and as a graphic designer, this is the most difficult thing you can do, to rebrand yourself. After spending some time really looking at my own visual brand, I knew something needed to change.
Now, some might say it was easier for me, because I could clearly see what needed to change when it came to my brand, but the design side of it was a lot more difficult. I had a very clear idea as to the new look and feel I wanted to create and I think I spent about two hours searching for the ‘perfect’ font (yes, this really does happen) and I found it in the end. Phew! I also deliberated over 3 shades of navy blue where to the naked eye they probably looked like the same shade of navy blue, but trust me, they were different. It’s the same when you choose paint colours, am I right?!
Anyhow, back to the point in hand, after spending some time really looking at what was happening with my brand and business, I realised a few things:
• My dream customer had changed
• I had simplified my offerings to one core premium branding package
• I had increased my prices
• I’d made some significant mindset changes with the help of my business coach, Kirsty Carden.
• And my brand didn’t reflect any of the above.
That was hard to admit at the time, especially as a graphic designer, but as business owners, lessons are presented to us all the time. So based on the in-depth work I had already done, it was time to look at what I needed to do next to rebrand my business.
What is a brand audit?
A brand audit is a great first step in the right direction to figuring out what you need to do next, which areas of your brand you need to make improvements in and a great tool to re-align your brand. You can look at the performance of your brand, see if you’re on the right track according to the goals you set yourself for the year and also see where you’re positioned within your marketplace and if that’s where you want to be.
Why do a brand audit?
Firstly, auditing your brand will help you gain clarity around what’s currently working and what isn’t, including not only the visual aspects of your brand, but in terms of the essence of your brand.
An audit will help you decide which direction to go in next with your brand to start making positive improvements. You’ll know what steps you need to take next and come up with an action plan to do just that – take action and make it happen. You’ll be able to see what your competitors are doing and how you can stand out from the crowd with a distinctive brand so you become someone’s favourite.
If you’ve been burying your head in the sand about your brand, but deep down you know something needs to be done about it, then auditing your own brand is going to encourage you to take action. And even though it’s the first step in making a significant change, it’s going to be so much for the better and your future self will benefit from you making a decision to do something about your brand now.
Get the brand audit workbook here.
What’s involved in a brand audit?
You will need to set some time to one side to complete your brand audit, but that time will be well spent when you gain clarity on your next steps.
A brand audit isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s going to require you to really analyse your brand and question any negatives that come up.
- Taking action
It’s all good and well auditing your own brand, but it’s imperative you take action straight after, otherwise how else are you going to move forward.
Within a brand audit, you want to be looking at the following:
One piece of advice I really want to share with you is stop overthinking things. I see a lot of business owners do this and I am guilty of doing this myself as well at times. Sometimes simplicity is best. So when it comes to auditing your brand, I don’t want you to spend hours upon hours analysing everything because you’re just going to feel overwhelmed. Instead, set a certain amount of time to answer each question and then move onto the next when the time is up.
To help you audit your own brand, I’ve created a workbook for you, which you can get here.