I realized I was our toughest client today. During our quarterly leadership meeting, we processed many issues. Several came from our Sales and Marketing team. They challenged me about how we talk about Spry Digital. Our new Chief Revenue Officer pushed back on our niche and target markets. The leadership team questioned my resistance to change. I was defensive. I was holding on tight to what we have been. I was scared of change. Me. Scared of change.
After shedding a few tears and sharing my concerns with the team, I left our planning meeting and went for a long walk. I mulled over what the team said. I processed their challenges and reflected on why I reacted the way I did. Their enthusiasm to position us to resonate with more potential clients and grow our business was evident. I realized I was feeling what so many CEO founders experience when their leadership (and families) challenge their brand. Going through a brand audit can be painful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some advantages to having an outside agency conduct a brand audit.
What Is Included in Your “Brand"?
When we look at a client’s brand, we take into consideration many factors, including business goals, long-term strategy, and key stakeholders’ perceptions of the brand as it is and what they intend it to be.
Once those factors are understood by all, we take a close look at the building blocks that make up the brand. These include facets such as brand voice, key messaging, user experience, and visual identity. To ensure our perspective is holistic, we also conduct a competitor brand audit of similar organizations in your industry. Combined, this research gives us the necessary context to paint a complete picture of how your brand is perceived by those outside your organization.
Your Business Has Evolved
Most business models evolve over time. You may think you are doing what you always have done, but the reality is that businesses change as time passes. These changes may include what we do, how we do it, or how we deliver a service. If you were lucky to create a new market originally, the market and competition today may look very different. Technology has a huge impact on businesses. A 2018 Deloitte survey found that digitally advanced small businesses earned two times as much revenue per employee . And all these changes affect your brand.
It doesn’t matter if you are a B2B or B2C company, understanding the buying behavior of your customers is essential. Reviewing your target markets, conducting a competitive analysis, and analyzing your audience personas are critical to attracting new customers. In a 2022 Forbes article by Gary Drenik , the self-serve B2B tech buyer is discussed. Millennials and Gen-Zers comprise 65% of the workforce, and they prefer to conduct the majority of their buying journey in secret. Most of them (including me) avoid talking to salespeople until they are ready to buy. This shift in behavior may leave your messaging or logo falling flat in your target market's eyes!
Evolution of Terminology
Every year, I find a new term popping up in the tech world that is shiny, exciting, and going to change our lives. I started digging into it only to discover that our industry “rebranded” a technology that has been around for decades but is being talked about in a new way. Has that happened in your industry? Are the words you use confusing your buyer? Reviewing your messaging and thinking about how you talk about your business can shift how people think about buying from you.
Yes, It IS Time for an Audit of my Brand
If you don’t remember the last time you reviewed your brand, it probably is time for an audit. When you are ready to take the leap, we are here for you. Our team is gentle in the process. We will take a fresh look at your brand and provide recommendations while preserving your history. Take the first step by completing our contact form today. We can’t wait to help your brand be all it can be.
- Small Business Technology Trends | Deloitte US
- What Significant Shifts In B2B Buyer Behavior Means For 2023 (forbes.com)
Meet the Author: Sheila Burkett
Sheila Burkett, Co-Founder and CEO of Spry Digital, is a networker, mentor, collaborator, philanthropist, and community leader. Her passion is helping women and people of color succeed in technology, in business, and as humans. In every facet of business and community, Sheila is a champion for helping people feel like they belong and can thrive.
She is happily married and a proud mom of three amazing men and two dynamic daughters-in-law. In her spare time, she can be found reading, gardening, and shopping for antiques. Most recently, she has been honored as a 2023 St. Louis Titan 100 and 2022 YWCA Leader of Distinction.