Brand auditing is a crucial method for rapidly growing businesses that may be struggling with consistency in regards to brand perception. Brand auditing provides a clear perspective of how well a company’s brand is performing and how exactly the brand is presented to customers by employees, franchisees, and even third-party vendors.
If your goal is to create and maintain consistency between your corporate office and your franchisees, a brand audit is an excellent place to start. You may have a general feeling for how your brand is accepted in the marketplace, but if you want to gain clearer insight into how franchisee growth is affecting your brand, brand auditing is an important step for your business.
Brand auditing can be performed transparently or covertly, depending on the needs of your business and what you hope to accomplish. In many situations, a covert brand audit may be more beneficial to your business because the auditors will discover how your employees and franchisees communicate your brand and your brand’s principals when no one is looking. It is impossible for a business owner to be everywhere at once, so hiring an unbiased outside firm to perform the brand audit is of key importance to understanding how your brand is being projected by franchisees. That way, you can focus on running your business, and the brand auditing firm can focus on analyzing the perception of your brand. A third party firm can also likely provide a less biased brand audit than an internal employee may provide.A third party firm is motivated by the goal of identifying opportunities for growth and development of your brand, whereas an internal employee may be motivated by one metric over another, as opposed to what is in the best interest of the brand.
Brand auditing helps keep your franchises consistent is that it identifies any discrepancies facing the business from a positioning perspective. Brand auditing takes into account aspects of sales and marketing such as pricing and promotional offers, finding any inconsistencies that exist between franchisees and corporate requirements. After all, if two franchisees are offering different sale prices on the same items, this could speak to a larger brand issue and effect how your company is perceived in the marketplace by consumers and competition alike. Brand auditing finds these issues and fixes them, creating consistency across all franchisees.
Brand auditing also serves to identify how your brand is performing against competitors. In the case of franchisees, some franchisees may be competing in nearby or similar markets, so this creates an additional level of competition. Brand auditing helps to ensure that customers from one franchise are not being cannibalized by another franchise. Brand auditing examines franchise-to-franchise relationships in addition to outside competitor relationships, and an effective brand audit will help franchises work with one another to grow markets overall.
When your business follows a franchise model, it is crucial that franchises are consistent in their offerings and presentation of the brand. Brand auditing helps ensure that your business is consistently presented, helping to grow and strengthen your brand.