Elevating Results Through Strategic Brand Audits

Arlene Wszalek, EVP, Strategy & Innovation, 08.24.23

08.24.23 Arlene Wszalek, EVP, Strategy & Innovation

Why a Brand Audit?

We believe conducting a brand audit is crucial for establishing and maintaining successful client relationships. Our multi-dimensional audit encompasses a comprehensive review of strategy, audience and market trends, paid media, earned media, owned media, and creative. The end result is an executional plan which includes a detailed, prioritized list of action items needed to achieve client KPIs.

The AGM Approach

We treat each brand audit as a transformative exploration, aiming to unearth hidden opportunities, reveal and resolve weaknesses, and ultimately enhance the client's brand. What truly distinguishes our audits, though, is how we integrate analyses of paid, earned, and owned media.

By meticulously assessing these channels and how they augment and amplify each other, we gain a comprehensive understanding of the state of the brand or product and can holistically identify strengths as well as areas for improvement. At the same time, we thoroughly evaluate creative assets, ensuring they align with the brand's essence and resonate with the target audience.

But First, the Audience

Our process begins with an in-depth analysis of the audience, competitive landscape, and positioning.

We refine and often recommend the target audience based on market insights and brand goals and objectives. Once we identify the audience to analyze, we conduct a full interrogation into their media consumption habits, means of brand discovery, and more. This insight fuels our media strategy and even shapes company branding and initiatives - allowing us to effectively reach the audience where they are.

In addition to providing an understanding of the audience and their behaviors, we equip the brand with market insights, identifying areas for opportunity as well as potential challenges and how to overcome them. We evaluate market trends to capitalize on key beats and themes, and we analyze the competition to create points of differentiation. This analysis overall shapes the positioning that the brand will take on within a particular market, speaking to a particular audience.

Media Assessment: Optimizing Exposure and Engagement

Successfully marketing a brand requires a multi-channel approach. Our brand audit goes beyond the traditional examination of paid media, delving into the performance and effectiveness of earned and owned media.

  • Through our analysis of paid media, we evaluate existing media plans, ad tech, setup, and reporting, identifying key strengths and areas for refinement. This lets us optimize media spend, ensuring every dollar invested generates maximum impact.
  • Earned media, which includes public relations, experiential activations, social media, and influencer activations, provides valuable insights into the brand's perception and customer sentiment. By understanding the dynamics of earned media, including an in-depth special media engagement analysis and social media strategy effectiveness evaluation, we can harness the power of positive interactions and mitigate challenges.
  • Owned media, including websites, apps, and CRM, represents the brand's direct communication with its customers. Since owned efforts are foundational to marketing, we evaluate the effectiveness of these platforms, beginning with a comprehensive SEO audit, ensuring they are consistently aligned with the brand's messaging, are free of errors, and are optimized for maximum engagement.

Creative: Amplifying the Brand Experience

A brand's visual and sonic identity must authentically represent its core values and resonate with its target audiences. We assess creative elements such as logos, imagery, typography, and messaging to ensure they form a cohesive and compelling brand image.

The Benefits: Empowering Both Client and Agency

Conducting brand audits at the beginning of each client relationship and periodically updating them provides a range of benefits, including:

  1. Clarity and Direction: The brand audit lets both client and agency gain a clear understanding of current market position, identify new opportunities, and set growth goals.
  2. Competitive Advantage: Through in-depth analysis of the competitive landscape, we help our clients identify unique differentiators and strategies to outperform rivals.
  3. Brand Cohesion: By examining all media channels and evaluating creative assets, we ensure brand messaging and identity are consistent across all touchpoints, resulting in enhanced brand cohesion and recognition.
  4. Optimal Resource Allocation: Brand audits help optimize marketing budgets by identifying inefficient spend and redirecting resources towards the strategies which generate the highest impact.
  5. Long-term Partnership: By conducting brand audits regularly, the agency and client are continuously aligned, fostering a long-term partnership centered around growth and success.

Conclusion

Our brand audits deliver insights that empower our clients and their brands to grow, differentiate themselves, and outperform competitors. While we generally conduct them at the outset of a larger engagement, for select clients we also offer them as a standalone service. Intrigued? Get in touch.

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