Does your brand need a refresh? A 3-Step Audit to Evaluate Your Brand

by La Macchia Group

The New Year is in full swing, and we hope one of your 2019 resolutions is to think about your brand. When was the last time you refreshed – or even overhauled – your brand? It’s the right question to ask for financial institutions that want to strengthen their market position and attract and retain employees, members, and consumers. There are a variety of reasons why financial institutions need to regularly reevaluate their brand identities. Perhaps you’ve got some new competition. Your brand is a great way to differentiate yourself.

A brand is your organization's identity, essence, and tone of voice; it is the personality of your business.

Maybe you’re expanding your target audience and aiming to entice a different demographic profile, your brand can help you do it! Or, maybe, it may simply be that your business has grown to the point that your existing brand is now limiting its full potential.

Before we consider whether your brand identity needs an update (or an overhaul), let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what a brand really is. Most think a logo and tagline constitute a brand, but, when done well, a brand is so much more than that. A brand is who you are as an organization and who you aspire to be. It is the lens through which your employees, members and consumers see you. That image is then communicated through all delivery channels and aspects of the User Financial Experience to engage consumers with all five senses.

When done well, your brand can drive business success – both internally and externally. Your employees are your brand ambassadors, they live and breathe your brand. When employees take ownership of and engage with your brand, it supports the recruitment and retention of top talent. The external impact of the brand is how you’re viewed by your consumers and members of the community. It is what differentiates your business from the competition, and quite honestly, the ‘noise’ of other brands we’re exposed to every day.

So, now that we’ve unpacked the idea of a brand a bit, it is time to ask yourself–how healthy is your brand? Is it time for a refresh? The first step in evaluating the status of your brand, is a brand audit.

Brand Refresh 1

  • A good breadth of your marketing communications, both print and digital (print examples of your digital items)
  • Photos of your employees volunteering at community events
  • Examples of your corporate attire or logo wear
  • Photos of the interior and exterior of your buildings
  • Is everything consistent? Is it consistently good
  • Is it relevant? Does it speak to who your consumers currently are and who you want your consumers to be?
  • Is it exciting? Or is it tired?
  • Is it fresh and current? Or is it dated and boring?
  • Does all of this speak to who you are as an organization and who you aspire to be?
  • Does it reflect a point of view and personality?

Brand Refresh 2

Brand Refresh 3

  • Do consumers experience a similar level of service across the organization?
  • Are consumers greeted similarly on the phone and in person?
  • Are your consumers greeted the same by different employees?
  • How do your consumers feel and what do they experience when they walk in the door of your branch?
  • What do they see?
  • What do they smell?
  • Is there something for them to taste – perhaps some coffee or a snack?
  • What do they hear? (Are they greeted? Is it quiet? Is there music?)
  • What do they feel – both textures of the finishes and their emotional response to the experience?
  • Are the branches consistent with each other?

This exercise is about exploring your brand on a deeper level and providing insight into some of its strengths and weaknesses.

Did you find some weaknesses? We can help. La Macchia Group can come alongside you and your employees on your brand journey and help you chart a new course for a unified, engaging, relevant brand that highlights your voice and your priorities. We know you’ll see results in business growth – and employee, member and consumer satisfaction.