Hearing two different things from the same source can be frustrating. If a marketing campaign promotes a product as a premium good that will satisfy luxury tastes, the sales team should obviously avoid closing deals by pitching it as the most affordable option available. Unfortunately, that sort of thing happens all too often. Marketing and sales departments that function independently of one another often undercut each other’s efforts. In today’s digital arena, where minimal barriers for competition provide a plethora of noise, prospects make decisions quickly and move on. A weak and confusing impression can fracture a company’s image with its prospects, and truly represents an opportunity lost.
So, how do you make sure your company is capitalizing on every touch point with cohesive messaging? One way to start is by conducting a brand audit. This specialized type of audit assess how effectively your brand messaging is performing in the market, and provides direction on how to gain more traction. It begins with a research phase that identifies and assembles all the communication channels associated with your company, and evaluates how aligned or misaligned the various messages are in respect to one another; as well as what collectively is being said, how it is being received, and how unique it is compared to the competition.
A brand audit also looks at whether or not visual designs are in harmony with each other. Does the tone and style of the copy sound as though it is coming from the same source? What underlying values are being communicated? Are they in line with the company’s overall positioning goals?
After identifying areas where messaging can be improved, the next step in an effective brand audit is to produce a document that provides the entire company with clarity and direction in all communications efforts. Often called a brand book, it contains brand usage guidelines with details that address each department’s needs. The result is that departments like sales and marketing, that need to rely on one another, are able to operate with greater ease and effectiveness.
Conducting a brand audit and developing comprehensive brand guidelines is an extensive undertaking that requires specialized knowledge and an objective, unbiased perspective. For this reason, many companies engage with an outside creative agency to provide these services. Do you think this might be a good option for you? Download our quick quiz and find out.