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Back to School for Your Business: Six Important Brand Questions

Aug 21 2017

by Louise Pritchard

The Southern Coterie blog: "Back to School for Your Business: Conducting a Mini Brand Audit" by Louise Pritchard (photo: Kathryn McCrary)
A visual brand story at The Vine. (photo: Kathryn McCrary)

This time of year is always an exciting time in most households. Children going back to school, the start of after-school activities, and let’s not forget College Football season. Many of you are also back at your desk full force, fresh off of markets in Dallas, Atlanta or High Point, or from vacations with your families. This more intense pace forces us to bring clarity to the chaos we call our lives. We normally do this by evaluation, organizing and streamlining so our families and lives run smoother. It is also a great time of year to do the same for our brands. We are not talking a major overhaul but an opportunity to review how your business and customer base has evolved in the last three quarters, fine tuning those things necessary to help your brand messaging current and authentic.

One great tool for accomplishing this task is a Mini Brand Audit. Ask these six questions of yourself, staff and others to find out whether you need to refresh your brand.

  1. Is your brand messaging consistent across all platforms and does it echo the values of your company?
  2. Have you evaluated the analytics of all your branding platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. to see if the demographics that you are currently marketing to are the same people coming to your social media platforms? Does your target market need adjusting?
  3. Are you still able to differentiate your brand from the competition? Can you articulate your distinctive selling points?
  4. Do your current logo and tagline reflect the current state of your business? Are they outdated?
  5. Have you added new products and or services that are not reflected in your overall messaging? Would this change the consumer’s perspective of your brand?
  6. Have you asked for customer feedback on your brand? Knowing what works for your customer should be at the foundation of any change to your brand. What feedback are you getting from your customers on social media and your website?
  7. Do you have the time and bandwidth and/or perspective to do this on your own? Might an outsider’s perspective of your brand help get you where you need to go?

If any of the items above need to be addressed, it might be time to take your company through a full brand auditing process. Do not freak out and go screaming through your office or store saying, “I don’t have time for this!” It does not need to be a laborious task, though input in = the end product. Do not try to take on a brand audit completely on your own, as you will run the risk of skewing the data with your own biased opinions of your brand. Instead, work with a team of individuals inside or outside of your company that can help you gather information, evaluate and form an objective conclusion. If you really want to take a serious look at your brand messaging and overall brand strategies, seek out a firm that specializes in that area. For the most part, you get what you pay for. True experts in this area will make your job mush easier and you will end up with an actionable plan that will save you money in the long run.

The bottom line is; if you know how to tell your story through strong and impactful brand messaging, you will save time and money with those you hire to do your social media, public relations, graphic designers and the like. In other words, this Brand Audit and messaging exercise is the conversation you must have before you attempt any advertising, PR, or social media strategies.

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Louise Pritchard View More Blog Posts from this Author

Louise Pritchard is an experienced professional with progressive leadership roles and a successful track record in cross-industry strategic market development, relationship management and business problem solving
Ms Pritchard brings her creative problem solving and critical thinking approach to each client. Her passion and drive is evident in helping each client to discover the "ah-ha" moment when new ideas and strategies transform their brand strengths into results for their company,
Ms. Pritchard founded Pritchard Volk Consulting, LLC, in 2001 after nearly 30 years in the business arena. Her experiences with FORTUNE Magazine, as Southeast Division Manager, Director of Marketing of Holiday Inn Worldwide, Director of Marketing of Egleston Childrens Hospital and other high level marketing positions helped her form the philosophy and process for her consulting business. She is also an Executive Partner at the Mason School of Business, College of Williams and Mary MBA program.

She is a Auburn University graduate and an avid SEC football fan. With four grown daughters pursuing their careers in various part of the country, she and her husband enjoy their off time visiting them in Charlotte, Savannah, Atlanta and LA.

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