Updated: May 17, 2021
Before you decide whether your brand needs a refresh or a total rebranding, I recommend you complete a brand assessment exercise. A brand assessment gives you insight into how your brand is currently resonating with your target audience, what message it is communicating, and whether or not it embodies your true purpose and values.
Start with a checklist.
Check lists are great to keep you organized and on-task. They also make sure you haven't missed anything. When it comes to your branding, even small details are important!
Lucky you—I created this checklist to help you get started.
Do NOT ask your friends and family for help.
It is so tempting to ask a friend or family member's opinion. Don't you do it! Unless the person you are asking is a branding expert AND gives you a solemn vow of honesty, I promise it will just cause more confusion and frustration.
Even if you ask them for their “unbiased” opinion, that will never happen. Think about it, do YOU want to tell someone you love that their logo is outdated or that the "sage green" they chose for their brand color looks more like baby-puke green? Don't put your friends and family in the position of choosing between honesty and your feelings.
Also, your friends and family already know who you are and what your business is about. They can naturally fill in the gaps of your branding … but your customer's can't.
Look to your previous clients.
Ask them why they wanted to work with you. Ask them how the experience was and if they would work with you again. If not, see what happened and if they have any insight on what you could have done differently. Yes, this part of the process can be painful. Growth can be painful. Growth is good. Stick with it.
Also, you can always look back at previous conversations with your past clients and see if there was any confusion on their part that you could change to avoid that in the future.
Ask your best customers specifics about your brand. What does the logo communicate to them? What 3 adjectives come to mind when thinking about your brand? Does the messaging in your marketing materials match their experience? First-person insights from your target audience is extra helpful in determining which parts of your brand are working and which are not.
If you have employees ask them as well.
Poll your employees and ask them about the visual brand, the culture of the company, and how they preserve the brand. If they work with clients directly, get them to ask their connection what it's like working with the company. Trust me, your employees will be brutally honest.
When I worked at Triad formally known as Triad Retail Media, we did a Brand Forward Day event where we got all 600 plus employees involved in the rebranding process. We asked them about the company from a visual, culture, and messaging point of view. Ninety-percent of them said to kill the shopping cart … RIP shopping cart.
Ask a total stranger for their opinion.
This is fun! Reach out to people who would be your ideal client or target audience and ask them what their first impression is about your brand. Social media is a great place for this exercise.
Keep in mind, you need to be open to criticism.
Get comfortable with constructive criticism, because you will get it. Your ideas, visuals, and values will all be out there for raw review, which you want and need. People will take the chance to be really open with you. You don’t want them to stroke your ego; that won’t get you anywhere. Be open and listen, you will pick up on trends to follow and avoid.
After your brand assessment, hire an expert.
I am not just saying that because this is what I do. I recommend working with a professional because after your brand assessment, you will have all this data about your brand but be left wondering, "What the hell does all of this mean?"
I can tell you. Actually, any branding expert can tell you. (But I hope you will consider me. We've spent such a great time together on this blog, haven't we? I feel like we already know each other. Let's make it official!)
When looking for a professional branding expert make sure to learn as much as you can about them. You want to make sure their values and style align with yours. Also, don’t tell them too much about yourself. Remember you need them to remain unbiased to bring your brand to life.
Are you ready?
Click Here to book a discovery call with me. In the meantime, have fun completing your brand assessment!