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Brand audit

March 9, 2023

The Stealing Share Brand Audit and Sources of Strategic Control

The Stealing Share Brand Audit

Stealing Share conducts a comprehensive brand audit as part of our standard rebranding process. It is an analysis that examines where your brand stands now. And what it does going forward. 

We also conduct brand audits for companies as a standalone exercise to keep the brand relevant, checking for brand drift (the over-complication of marketing influences on a brand message). This is how to do a brand audit— examine every sacred cow.

Many companies experience brand drift. The most crucial message and the singularities of tone and look can be lost among the increasing flow of less meaningful messages.

Brand drift often happens when product benefits or category table stakes overtake the brand message. Companies can backslide, and that is dangerous to a brand’s impact.

Brand auditThe Brand Audit examines every avenue of your brand communication, from printed materials to online messaging, advertising, public relations, and much more. This is the purpose of a brand audit.

The goal is to find where problems exist within your brand, then find ways to fix them. We rate your brand’s performance on a scale of one to five (one being unsatisfactory and five being excellent). We identify and measure the nine critical characteristics of a brand’s health and persuasive ability.

Elements of the Brand Audit

  1. Meaning & Direction (How the mindset of the customer brand is defined)
  2. Positioning (The space a brand owns in a prospective patient’s mind that sets it apart from competitors. And explains why and when it should be their preferred choice)
  3. Differentiation (The perception on the part of the target audience that brands and their products and services are different from those of competitors)
  4. brand auditRelevance (How vital a brand is to its target audience, based on the delivery of perceived functional and emotional benefits)
  5. Consistency (The uniformity of all the messages conveyed about a brand). This includes attitude and tone, logo, theme line, taglines, signage, signature systems, press releases, advertising and marketing, social media, and internal communications.)
  6. Brand-Product Relationship (The actual relationship between the brand and the product value represented by the brand. The product must be meaningful and make sense from the brand’s perspective.)
  7. Equity Markers (A brand’s vantage points and points of differentiation. A tangible element representing the brand and, when seen, heard, or experienced, reflects the brand favorably.)
  8. Coherent Management (Brand management ensures all contact points, marketing, HR, locations, and external communications adhere to the brand standards charter.)
  9. Brand Equity (The practice of periodic market studies designed to measure brand meanings and associations to ensure continued market growth.)

A brand audit process that works for you

Our brand audit process is actionable because our work is actionable; we don’t leave you with just a list of problems. We give you the strategies and tactics that lift all those characteristics to a 5 rating.

We aim to allow your brand to work harder for you and create preference beyond the specific category benefits. As a result, when we finish auditing your brand, we don’t simply identify problems but suggest the means to correct all the issues.

When is the right time to request a brand audit? How do you conduct a brand audit? How do you do a brand audit? We recommend that every brand has one every two years.

The old rule of thumb of every five years is outdated. The markets are changing faster, and competition for brand space is increasing.

How long does it take to do a brand audit?

The process takes four weeks, and the final presentation is in-depth and illuminating. The entire process begins with an exploration of the competitive set.

That requires the strategist to research your space, identify all the competitors and map their position and brand promise.
With this competitive exploration, the valuable real estate that offers the most significant opportunity for growth is evident.brand audit

Our Brand Audit includes Sources of Strategic Control

In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, the success of a brand is heavily dependent on its ability to create a unique and compelling identity that resonates with its target audience.

A brand audit is a comprehensive examination of a company’s brand health and effectiveness in the market.

One critical aspect of this process is the evaluation of sources of strategic control, including assets, products, prospects, reach, and knowledge.

This examination ensures that the brand’s core elements are aligned, empowering it to thrive and adapt to ever-changing market dynamics. Stealing Share’s practice of grading each source on a 10-point scale amplifies the significance of this evaluation. Let’s explore why assessing sources of strategic control is essential for any brand audit process.Sources of Strategic Control in a brand audit

Understanding the Foundations of Brand Identity

Sources of strategic control serve as the bedrock of a brand’s identity. By evaluating these sources, Stealing Share comprehensively understands what differentiates the brand from its competitors.

Assets, including tangible and intangible resources, reflect the brand’s overall strength and financial stability.

 Products represent the core offerings and their relevance to the target market.

A Brand Audit points the way to market share growth

Prospects encompass the potential growth opportunities, while reach highlights the brand’s ability to connect with its intended audience.

Lastly, knowledge refers to the brand’s expertise and understanding of its industry. This holistic evaluation helps Stealing Share identify gaps and strengths in the brand’s identity, paving the way for strategic improvements.

Uncovering Competitive Advantages

An in-depth evaluation of sources of strategic control allows Stealing Share to identify and leverage the brand’s competitive advantages.

By assessing assets, the company can determine if it possesses unique resources that can be utilized to differentiate the brand and create barriers for potential competitors.

Our brand audit identifies opportunities

Evaluating the product ensures it meets customer needs and expectations, fostering brand loyalty and retention. Identifying promising prospects and understanding the reach of the brand’s marketing efforts allows Stealing Share to capitalize on untapped opportunities and expand its market presence.

Leveraging knowledge evaluation reveals the brand’s expertise and enhances credibility and trust among consumers. By identifying and optimizing these sources, Stealing Share enables brands to outperform competitors in the market.


Aligning Brand Strategy and Execution

An effective brand audit necessitates thoroughly examining the brand’s sources of strategic control.

This process facilitates the alignment of brand strategy and execution, ensuring that all elements of the brand’s identity are consistent and complementary.

Misalignments between a brand’s desired image and its operational reality can confuse consumers, diminishing brand loyalty and trust.

The 10-point scale employed by Stealing Share offers a quantifiable measurement of alignment, guiding brands to make targeted improvements where necessary.

This alignment enhances the brand’s ability to deliver a coherent message, elevating its appeal and fostering strong connections with its target audience.

Enhancing Customer Perception and Loyalty

Sources of strategic control in a brand audit

A brand’s perception in the minds of its customers significantly impacts its success.

Evaluating sources of strategic control allows Stealing Share to understand how the brand is perceived by its target audience.

The company gains insight into whether the brand meets customer needs and expectations by assessing assets and products.


Looking from the customer's viewpoint

Understanding prospects and reach helps identify areas where the brand can improve its visibility and expand its customer base.

Knowledge evaluation ensures the brand is perceived as an authoritative voice within its industry, enhancing credibility and trust.

Armed with this knowledge, Stealing Share can guide brands in crafting strategies that bolster positive perceptions, leading to increased customer loyalty and advocacy.

Adapting to Changing Market Dynamics

Adaptability is crucial for a brand’s long-term success in today’s rapidly evolving business environment.

Evaluating sources of strategic control provides Stealing Share with a clear picture of the brand’s current capabilities and limitations.

 With this understanding, brands can identify improvement areas to stay relevant and competitive.

Additionally, regular assessments help brands stay agile, allowing them to respond effectively to changes in customer preferences, market trends, and technological advancements.

By using the 10-point scale to grade sources of strategic control, Stealing Share enables brands to make data-driven decisions, positioning themselves for sustained success in the face of uncertainty.

What are your sources of strategic control?

Sources of Strategic Control in a brand auditEvaluating sources of strategic control, including assets, products, prospects, reach, and knowledge, plays a pivotal role in any brand audit process.

In the highly competitive business landscape, a brand’s ability to excel in these areas can be the defining factor in achieving sustainable success and forging lasting connections with its target audience.

The Unveiled Dangers of Brand Stagnation

Importance of Periodic Stealing Share Brand Audits

Maintaining a relevant and resonant brand identity is paramount in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace, where brands strive to capture consumer attention and loyalty.

A brand is not just a logo or a name; it’s a living entity that encapsulates a company’s values, promises, and emotional connection with its customers. However, as markets evolve and consumer preferences shift, brands can face the danger of stagnation, losing touch with their target audience, and falling behind their competitors.

This is where a Stealing Share brand audit emerges as a crucial tool to unearth lurking dangers and reignite a brand’s relevance.

Uncovering Hidden Hazards

The Stealing Share brand audit is a comprehensive assessment designed to evaluate a brand’s current standing and alignment with market dynamics and consumer sentiments.

The process entails a deep dive into the brand’s messaging, visual identity, and customer perception, seeking discrepancies and areas of improvement.

This audit is not a mere exercise; it’s a strategic necessity that can unveil a range of hidden dangers that, if left unattended, can have far-reaching consequences for a brand’s health and success.

You are at risk by neglecting to do a brand audit

1. Erosion of Relevance:
Consumer preferences and societal trends are constantly evolving. What once resonated deeply with an audience might be irrelevant or even offensive today.

Without periodic brand audits, a company risks becoming out of touch with its target market, gradually eroding its relevance. When a brand no longer speaks the language of its customers or aligns with their aspirations, it loses its power to connect and engage.

2. Dilution of Differentiation:
In a saturated marketplace, differentiation is the key to standing out. A well-executed brand strategy defines what sets a company apart from its competitors.

However, failing to conduct regular brand audits can lead to a dilution of this differentiation. Over time, a brand’s messaging and identity might become generic, blending into the background noise, and failing to capture attention.

This can hinder growth and even lead to a loss of market share.

3. Inconsistent Messaging:
A brand’s identity is not confined to its logo; it’s an intricate tapestry woven from various elements like messaging, tone of voice, and visual cues.

Inconsistencies in these aspects can confuse consumers and dilute the brand’s impact. A Stealing Share brand audit helps identify such inconsistencies and offers an opportunity to streamline messaging, resulting in a more coherent and memorable brand experience.

4. Alienation of Core Customers:
When a brand undergoes changes or evolves without a clear strategic direction, it risks alienating its core customer base.

These loyal customers have associated the brand with specific values and attributes. A sudden shift can leave them feeling disconnected and unappreciated.

A brand audit ensures that any changes align with the brand’s core essence, minimizing the risk of alienating loyal customers.

5. Failure to Adapt to Trends:
Design, technology, and consumer behavior trends can rapidly shape the marketplace. Brands that fail to adapt risk falling behind and becoming irrelevant.

A brand audit serves as a reality check, helping identify areas where adaptation is required to stay current and appealing to a changing audience.

The dangers uncovered by a Stealing Share brand audit are not isolated incidents but symptoms of a larger issue: complacency.

Brands that ignore or neglect these dangers expose themselves to significant risks that can have dire consequences for their long-term success.

Market share erosion

A brand’s inability to connect with its target audience due to irrelevance or misalignment can result in a loss of market share. Competitors attuned to changing market dynamics and consumer preferences will seize the opportunity to capture the attention of disenchanted consumers.

Damage to existing brand equity

Brand equity, the intangible value a brand holds in the minds of consumers, is hard-earned and easily eroded. Ignoring the findings of a brand audit can lead to inconsistent messaging, diluted differentiation, and alienation of core customers—factors that collectively contribute to a decline in brand equity.

Negative Public Perception

In the age of social media and instant communication, negative perceptions can spread like wildfire. A brand perceived as out of touch, inconsistent, or unresponsive to its audience’s needs can face backlash and damage its reputation.

Missed Growth Opportunities

Failure to adapt to changing trends and consumer preferences can result in missed growth opportunities. A brand not in tune with its audience will struggle to identify and capitalize on emerging market gaps.

Costly Rebranding Efforts

If the dangers uncovered by a brand audit are left unaddressed for an extended period, they might necessitate a complete overhaul of the brand. Such rebranding efforts can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky, especially if they are reactive measures rather than proactive strategies.

Don't wait until the market turns on your brand

A Stealing Share brand audit serves as a beacon of light in the competitive darkness of the modern marketplace. Uncovering the dangers of irrelevance, inconsistency, and complacency allows brands to recalibrate, realign, and reignite their connection with their audience.

The risks of not conducting such audits are manifold and can lead to brand equity erosion, market share loss, brand repair, and missed growth opportunities.

Brands that recognize the importance of periodic brand audits demonstrate their commitment to staying relevant, resonant, and ready to thrive in a dynamic and ever-evolving business landscape.