How To: A 5 Step Brand Audit
Your first impression isn't always in person. It can be an email, your website, your social media, your building signage, your voicemail recording, your logo.
We want to walk you through 5 areas of your brand that we all need to audit at least twice a year. We will tell you what to look for, how to improve it, and why it is important for your brand. Let's dive in!
Area 1 | Your Branding Assets
Branding is more than a logo. It's your first impression! We want to start with the aesthetics of your brand. But that is not where we will stop. Although the logo is important, it is not the whole brand. It lays a foundation for the rest of the aesthetics of your brand.
I encourage you to audit your:
3. Color palette
4. Graphic elements used frequently
Ask yourself 3 questions:
Does my brand aesthetic align with my business today?
Does it reflect our personality and our quality?
Does it attract our target audience?
If the answers are no, then you may need to consider a brand refresh or a full rebrand. If you need help understanding the difference, we have a blog post for you! We can also help you with your brand refresh or rebranding. Contact us!
Area 2 | Your Website
Your website is more than a place on google. It's your first impression! Your website is working for you while you are busy working on the tasks in front of you. It's working for you even when you aren't. But in order to do that, it needs to be easy to navigate, clear, and visually impressive. Websites provide legitimacy and differentiate you. Gone are the days of throwing up a website so you can check a box. As consumers, webpages are how we research brands.
A full website audit can be pretty in-depth so let's start small:
1. Is your website optimized for mobile devices? Does it work well on a cell phone?
2. Does your website look like your brand or does it look like a template with no effort?
3. Are all the dates correct on your site? Outdated information is a giveaway that you don't pay
attention to details.
4. Quality of images and graphics communicate quality of your brand, services, and products. Do they
need to be updated?
If you realize your website is not updated, schedule a meeting with your website manager to make updates. That will give you a deadline to make a list of changes! We can also help with a website audit when we work with you on your creative strategy. Contact us to learn more about a Creative Strategy Package.
Area 3 | Your Brand Photography
Your Brand photography is more than headshots. It's your first impression! Brand photography is incredibly powerful because it communicates in ways that words can't. It differentiates your brand from the competition. It shows your attention to detail. The quality of your brand and the quality people can expect from you are shown through your brand photography. And it provides content for all of your other marketing and design.
I want you to audit the following images for your brand and see how they are differentiating you, communicating for you, and showcasing quality:
1. Headshots of each current team member
2. Team photos
3. Product photography to show its features
4. Photography of your services or your team in action
5. Photography of your location so customers can find you
6. Evergreen/long lasting brand photography that can be used on your website and social media
If you need help seeing examples and learning more about brand photography, see our blog posts.
Area 4 | Your Email Signature
An email signature is more than contact information. It's your first impression! The email signature is often under utilized and under appreciated as a part of your brand. But our emails are usually the first correspondence we have with people. Our email signature should be working for us. It should show our logo, our style, and communicate where someone can learn more.
Every signature is different, but here are the items you should have:
2. Full Name and Title
3. Business Name
4. Contact Info: Email Address and Phone Number,
5. Website URL or link to information the reader should go check out
6. Social Media icons linking to your profiles
If you need help designing your email signature for yourself or your team, we recommend these resources:
2. www.mail-signatures.com - especially good for teams of people
Area 5 | Your Social Media Profiles
Social media is more than marketing. It is your first impression!
Here's a few things to check when auditing your social media accounts:
Check your bio and make sure it is telling people what you do and how you can serve them. Tell them what you want them to do by including a call to action. Make sure you include your location city or state (this is how people can find you). Consider using link.tree as your Instagram bio URL so that you can list multiple reference links. (see our account as an example!)
Check your profile picture and banner/cover images. Are they current? Do they fit in the spaces correctly?
Follow local businesses and all partners.
Invite team members, businesses, and friends to like your page every 6 months.
If you need more help with your social media, check out these blog posts we have!
Remember a brand is not a logo or picture or a product. It is the total experience of having a relationship with you. That may sound overwhelming but the good thing is - it is ongoing. It is a process. You can keep working on it and refining it.
We're here to help! If you have any questions about branding yourself or your business, reach out.
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