With virtually unlimited access to social media platforms, online forums, and personal blogs, consumers have more opportunities than ever to talk about your brand — and what they say matters more than ever. Each review or mention helps build or erode your brand’s reputation, so it’s important that you do all you can to control the narrative.
Whether you are building or revamping your brand, one way to take the reins is to perform a comprehensive brand audit to examine every aspect of your brand and evaluate consumers’ perceptions of your business. By intentionally engineering a positive and consistent experience for consumers, you position your brand as knowledgeable and trustworthy — encouraging them to bark (nicely about your business) instead of bite.
As a master distributor, we lead manufacturers through brand audits as part of our partnership, and here’s what we’ve learned are the key elements of this initiative:
Step 1: Look Inward
The first step to any brand audit is introspection. Revisit why you began your business, which groups of the population you intend to reach, and what impression you hope your brand will leave on your target audiences. Review your mission and vision statements and evaluate how the key players in your company influence your company’s image. Identify what differentiates you from the competition and what problem your product or prescription hopes to solve. These formative assets will serve as the basis for your brand story.
Step 2: Project Outward
Once you’ve established or reviewed your brand’s core characteristics, decide if and how you have effectively communicated your brand’s purpose, values, and personality to your audience(s). Objectively examine how each of your external assets shapes audiences’ perceptions of your brand, and remember that consistent messaging is key. You should evaluate the following:
Your website. Have you built a successful digital presence that’s optimized for search rankings? If not, here’s how. Does your website provide an easy way for consumers and partners to get their questions answered? This could be as simple as having an easy-to-find FAQ page or a chatbot that pops up when someone visits your site.
Your logo. Your logo should combine several elements of your brand identity, including its purpose and personality. It should also resonate with your target audience(s) and fit well with the voice and tone you choose for your business.
Your social media presence. Are you regularly posting on social media platforms that your audiences frequent? Your posts should be tailored to engage your specific target audience. For example, you may engage veterinarians by sharing product-training videos and positioning yourself as a partner, but distributors will be more interested in bite-size bits of industry insight and trending conversations.
Maintaining consistent messaging across channels and understanding your business’s market niche helps position your brand as knowledgeable and trustworthy. It can also help distributors explain your value to veterinarians, increasing sales.
Step 3: Plan and Partner
After you’ve assessed the effectiveness of your current branding efforts, you’ll need to come up with a game plan.
Working with a master distributor and forward-thinking marketing partner such as EPiQ can help you move through your brand audit and create a strategic marketing plan that reforms your brand’s reputation.
We will work with you to:
- Form a concrete understanding of your target audience(s) by analyzing their pain points, financial motives, and geographical limitations.
- Segment your campaigns and messaging to target each of your audiences individually to personalize their content and experiences.
- Test your product against competitors, objectively identify its market niche, and communicate its unique points of sale.
- Determine where your product will sell best. Generally, products intended for pet owners sell better on e-commerce sites, and products intended for veterinarians should move through distributors.
- Analyze the effectiveness of your social media, advertising, marketing collateral, and pricing.