brand audit

  A brand audit enables the organisation to know what factors are contributing to a brands performance. An audit gathers and evaluates information about the brand and competing brands. It can be used to answer questions such as; what is my brand? What is the core proposition of my brand? What do my customers/clients/employees think about my brand? Who are the competing brands and what are they doing? What opportunities are emerging and what can threaten the brand?

To do this, each student must first agree an appropriate level of analysis (corporate, umbrella, or product brand) and an appropriate geographical coverage (global, regional, or local). Then you must gather information on characteristics such as; brand essence, brand positioning, differentiating attributes, presentation of the brand, and monitoring and evaluation processes.

A variety of sources should be used to assemble this profile. You should consult business publications, trade magazines, journal articles, books, and company sources such as annual reports and websites. Market research evidence would also be beneficial.

The following is provided as guidance to your audit:

Brand Inventory:

• Identify all brand elements (logos, symbols, characters, packaging, slogans, trademarks etc)
• Identify and analyse the pertinent attributes of the brand (pricing, communications) and other relevant marketing activities.
• Profile direct and indirect competitive brands for points of parity and points of difference.
a. Understand what consumers’ current perceptions may be based on.
b. Assess perceptions of line and product extensions by customers and distribution channels.

Brand Exploratory:

• Analysis of any prior research studies.
• Analysis of media – interpretation of brand and product category.
• Generate exploratory quantitative survey and analyse results
a. Uncover current knowledge structures of the core brand and its competitors. Develop a detailed and accurate profile or “mental map” of brand knowledge structures from the brand exploratory.
b. Determine depth and breadth of brand awareness, brand image and necessary points of parity and points of difference with respect to the brands competition.

Part B: Brand Plan – Stretching/extending the Brand

This part is forward-looking. Your task is to assess the sources of brand strength for your given brand and suggest ways to leverage that strength in terms of a specific line/brand extension (of your own choosing). Ongoing and new initiatives should be considered at a strategic level (brand positioning and extension, product and geographical portfolios, etc) and at a tactical level (names, logos, designs, packaging, communications, etc.). Please note that both creative and executional detail for your line/brand extension is expected.

Progress report seminars

• You are required to attend progress report seminars at appropriate intervals during the semester as outlined in the seminar schedule. This will not directly contribute to your final grade. The purpose of the progress seminars is to help you manage your time and give you the opportunity to gain feedback and prepare work during the seminar rather than leave it to the end. It is in your best interests to treat this seriously and resolve any issues at this stage rather than let these carry across into your final report.

Module Learning Outcomes:

1. 1. Discuss the concept of branding, detailing key business benefits.

2. Critically evaluate the influence of branding on consumer decision making
3. Explore contemporary issues and challenges in brand management.
4. Critically evaluate brands by conducting a brand audit and appraising the information gathered for brand planning.

Overall you will be assessed on the focus/scope of your audit, evaluation of the brand, use of theory/frameworks, factual content, research support and appreciation of the business context.

Criteria for the brand plan include: use of insights from the audit, specific proposals for your brand extension, imaginative solutions, and the plausibility of proposals. As such there is a larger grade weighting for your plan.

the company I would like to talk about H&M the clothing company.