The Ultimate Guide to Brand Analysis

Is your team struggling with a business problem? Discover how a brand analysis can reveal the underlying cause and what to do about it. Read our blog for more.

POST UPDATED:

May 20, 2024

what is a brand analysis

A strong brand is your most powerful asset. Yet, many businesses can't pinpoint which aspects of their growth strategy are holding them back. And if you can't do that, it's going to be difficult to connect with the right potential customers.

A brand analysis is a process designed to address this problem.

Table of Contents

    Understanding brand analysis and its importance

    A brand analysis helps an organization gain critical insights about its current market position. For example, the company might learn there is a disconnect between their messaging and most profitable customer segments. Or they may find the company's image has become outdated, making it appear as though the organization itself is falling behind the times.

    Because business leaders are so involved with the daily tasks of running the organization, they cannot always identify what is holding the business back. An analysis of the brand’s performance helps them get an objective view of it, inside and out. The findings will provide them with the information and data they need to make more informed decisions that drive growth and build a competitive advantage.

    The scope of a brand analysis

    The scope of brand analysis encompasses both internal and external factors that impact its success. Examples are the company's reputation, customer perception, and competition landscape.

    The key components of brand analysis

    To perform a competitive brand analysis, a company must look at several components, such as:

    • Market research: Data on the target market, industry trends, and competitors' strategies.
    • Positioning: Evaluate how consumers perceive the company in relation to its competitors.
    • Brand reputation: Gauging public perception of your brand.
    • Customer analysis: Reviewing demographics, behaviors, and purchasing patterns to identify patterns and trends.
    • Competitive analysis: A study of competitors' strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and market share.
    Brand Development (Click to expand)

    The evolution of brand analysis in the digital age

    The brand analysis process has evolved with the rise of digital media and technology. Today, businesses have access to a vast amount of data that can be used to gain insights into almost every aspect of their market.

    Social media listening tools, AI tools, web analytics, and online surveys are just some of the methods used in modern-day brand analysis. These tools provide marketing teams with more reliable and accurate insights.

    Enhancing brand identity and unique selling proposition

    A brand analysis can be used to enhance a company's identity and market positioning. Businesses can also use the findings from an analysis to refine messaging and their unique selling proposition. Insights such as customer values, consumer perception, and associations make this possible. Companies can also learn more about customer pain points to create a stronger emotional connection with the target audience.

    For organizations to expand and grow, they must be able to identify gaps in the market that they can capitalize on. An analysis will help them do this. For example, you may discover unmet customer needs or underserved segments. You can develop new products or services that close these gaps, which also enhances differentiation.

    Brand management analysis in strategic decision-making

    Would you like to make strategic decisions with a higher degree of confidence?

    The findings from a brand analysis provide valuable insights and data that enable company leadership to refine their strategic decision-making processes. For example, findings might include feedback and sentiment analysis from the customer base, which enables businesses to pinpoint areas for enhancement and address any problems. This proactive approach is critical in maintaining a positive brand image and excellent customer support.

    CEOs, CMOs, and other managers can use a brand analysis to evaluate the efficacy of marketing campaigns. Findings will help them adjust strategies and tactics for optimal impact while optimizing the marketing budget. Businesses can ensure their marketing efforts are not only effective but also strategically aligned with their overall objectives.

    Brand Identity Flow Chart (Click to expand)

    Maintaining a consistent brand image

    In today's digital age, a brand's image can be tarnished in a matter of minutes. Negative reviews or social media backlash are just a couple of examples. An analysis enables businesses stay on top of their reputation and maintain consistency across all channels.

    By monitoring and addressing any discrepancies or inconsistencies in their brand voice and image, businesses can take steps to ensure trust and reliability. This, in turn, can lead to increased customer loyalty and retention.

    Evolving with changing consumer preferences

    Consumer preferences constantly evolve. Businesses must adapt to stay relevant. Through brand analysis, companies can learn more about the changing trends and consumer behaviors that impact their success.

    By staying up-to-date on emerging market trends and shifting customer perceptions, businesses can proactively adjust their strategies and offerings to meet the needs and wants of their target audience.

    Brand analysis vs. brand audit (Click to expand)

    A company brand analysis vs. a brand audit

    Understanding how a brand analysis differs from a brand audit is key for businesses aiming to boost their market position and match their strategy with what customers expect. Both are vital for strategic management, but they serve unique roles and focus on different aspects.

    A brand analysis zeroes in on particular issues or chances in the brand’s external scene. It's usually done to tackle specific challenges like breaking into a new market, facing off against competitors, or jumping on new trends. This process includes:

    • Deep research into market trends, consumer behaviors, and the competitive field.
    • Spotting specific opportunities or weaknesses.
    • Strategic advice aimed at using these insights for growth in specific spots.

    A brand audit provides a thorough review of the company's internal and external presence. It aims to check for consistency and alignment with core values and goals. Key parts of an audit involve:

    • Looking at all the ways a company communicates to make sure it's consistent and makes sense.
    • Checking business performance in terms of people knowing about it, staying loyal, and its brand positioning.
    • Making sure the organization's internal culture matches and supports what it stands for.

    Get a review of your growth strategy, competitors, and target audience.

    Determine how your company's internal and external branding impacts its competitive position and marketing efforts.

    Comprehensive steps for conducting brand analysis

    Step 1: Establish clear goals

    Before getting started, it's essential to define clear objectives. Some common objectives for a brand analysis include:

    • Identifying friction and areas of improvement in the customer experience
    • Evaluating the performance of marketing strategies and campaigns
    • Measuring online reputation and addressing any negative perceptions
    • Tracking trends and shifts in consumer preferences

    Step 2: In-depth target audience research

    Understanding the target audience is a major key step in the brand analysis process. Companies must gather as much customer data and information as possible, such as demographic information, which includes age, gender, income levels, and geographical locations. However, this step also requires deeper insights into their preferences and perceptions. Sales data, website analytics that reveal user behavior, and purchasing behavior reports are examples that can help you develop deep target audience insights.

    Understanding these aspects allows for a more tailored and impactful marketing strategy, ensuring that the company can create a more engaging and meaningful connection with consumers.

    Step 3: Competitor analysis and market positioning

    Another critical aspect of analysis is to study your direct and indirect competitors. Researching them can shows you what strategies they use, branding styles, and how they attempt to position themselves in the market. This research can show you not only how others see your competitors but also opportunities to strengthen your market positioning.

    When you analyze competitors, explore their target audience, the unique selling points and messaging they use, and their overall brand image. This information can help you identify your distinct strengths and weaknesses in comparison to others.

    84 percent of companies reported that using SWOT analysis helped them set strategic goals more effectively.

    Source: Balanced Scorecard Institute

    Step 4: Internal analysis

    In addition to understanding external factors such as competition and customer preferences, it's also essential to conduct an internal analysis of your brand, including your company's values, mission, and overall brand identity.

    Examining the internal aspects of your brand can help you identify areas for improvement and ensure that all aspects align with the desired image and messaging. It also allows for a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the brand from within.

    Step 5: Brand identity consistency check

    Consistency plays a pivotal role in successful branding. To achieve consistency, companies should regularly conduct visual and content consistency checks. The goal is to ensure that all elements, including the logo, color scheme, typography, and core messaging, are perfectly aligned and presented uniformly across various platforms. Alignment not only enhances brand recognition but also strengthens its perceived value and trustworthiness in the market.

    Qualitative vs. Quantitative

    Step 6: Processing the data

    A brand analysis involves intense study of the data, feedback, and information collected in the initial stages. Here's how to manage this phase effectively so you can develop a new brand strategy.

    Consolidate and categorize data

    Start by gathering all the information you've collected into one database. Include market research, what customers have said, information on competitors, and details on how your company has been performing. Then, organize this information into categories like market trends, what customers do, the competitive field, and overall performance. This way, it'll be easier to analyze and refer back to.

    Perform qualitative and quantitative analysis

    Quantitative analysis

    Statistical tools and software can help you analyze numbers. Check for patterns, trends, and oddities in things like sales numbers, market share, website visits, and net promoter scores.

    Qualitative analysis

    To analyze qualitative data like customer feedback and competitor strategies, use content analysis methods. Look for recurring themes, feelings, and views in the data. This approach will help you understand how people see your brand, what your customers need, and where your competitive strengths or weaknesses lie.

    Benchmark against industry standards

    Look at how your results stack up against industry standards, competitors, and best practices. Doing this will show you how you measure up to competitors versus what the industry expects. You'll see what you're doing well and where you can get better.

    Identify strategic insights

    Analyze the data and extract key strategic insights to help with decision-making. Search for ways to boost your brand’s strengths, reduce weaknesses, take advantage of market opportunities, and protect against outside threats. These insights need to match your goals and lead to practical strategies.

    Develop actionable recommendations

    Based on the insights you have gathered, it's important to come up with clear, actionable recommendations. These should tackle the opportunities and challenges we've identified, with the goal of boosting brand performance, making customers happier, and getting ahead of the competition. Recommendations might include making your products better, improving how customers experience your services, tweaking marketing strategies, or kicking off new innovation projects.

    Internal and external data for brand analysis (Click to expand)

    Step 7: Performance Metrics and KPIs Evaluation

    Evaluating key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial for understanding if a company's growth strategy is working. It's important to look at metrics like brand awareness, which measures familiarity among consumers, customer engagement, which looks at how customers interact with a business, and return on investment (ROI), which tells you how profitable branding strategies are.

    By regularly checking these metrics, businesses can keep an eye on how well their branding is doing, pinpoint where they need to get better, and make smart choices to boost visibility and presence in the market.

    Brand analysis tools and technologies

    To do a brand analysis the right way, companies need to use various tools that help them collect, analyze, and understand data. Here's a list of both AI-powered and traditional tools aimed at giving businesses clear, useful insights for their brand analysis report:

    Brandwatch - An AI tool that captures real-time data about your online presence. It sifts through social media platforms, blogs, and forums to give you insights into what people think about your brand, lets you keep an eye on its overall health, and tracks discussions about it.

    Google Analytics - Crucial for any business online, it provides deep dives into website traffic, how users behave, and conversion rates, helping businesses see how visitors engage with their site and pinpoint areas to improve.

    SEMrush - A do-it-all digital marketing tool offering insights into SEO, content marketing, competitor analysis, PPC, and social media marketing. Its monitoring feature helps you keep tabs on where your businesses are mentioned online and the sentiment around it.

    SurveyMonkey - Direct feedback from customers is key, and SurveyMonkey lets businesses craft custom surveys to gather consumer insights, gauge awareness, and check customer satisfaction levels.

    HubSpot - Offers a range of tools for marketing, sales, and customer service, effectively managing your online presence. Its CRM is especially good for looking at how customers interact with your brand across multiple marketing channels.

    Using these tools, you can get a fuller picture of where you stand, how it's viewed by people, and where you can improve or lean into your strengths.

    Brand analysis models and frameworks

    SWOT analysis in a brand evaluation

    A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is a common framework used to evaluate an organization's current position and potential for growth. This model assesses internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats) that can impact success.

    SWOT Analysis (Click to expand)

    Leveraging PESTLE analysis for external environment insight

    A PESTLE (Political, Economic, Sociocultural, Technological, Legal, Environmental) analysis can provide a holistic view of the external environment and its impact on the brand. This model can help identify potential challenges and opportunities that may arise from factors such as changing political or economic conditions.

    The importance of brand equity models

    Brand equity refers to the value and perception that a brand holds among its audience. There are various models used to measure equity, such as the Keller's Customer-Based Brand Equity model, which focuses on building strong customer relationships through brand awareness, loyalty, and associations.

    Brand Value vs. Brand Equity

    Brand analysis: Uncovering insights, navigating challenges

    Analysis is a crucial tool for understanding your market position and guiding strategic choices. However, some challenges to be aware of include:

    Data bias: Internal data might get biased due to over-optimism or marketing focuses. External data, like surveys or online reviews, can have issues with how representative the sample is, giving a skewed view of what customers feel. To avoid these issues, get data from a mix of sources, double-check facts, think critically, and make sure your sample sizes truly reflect your target market.

    Decoding qualitative data: Qualitative feedback—what your customers think and feel—can be complex, filled with emotions, opinions, and sometimes silence. So you must listen carefully, pay attention to the details, and spot recurring themes and subtle hints. Employing qualitative analysis methods and working with experts can help you make sense of this complex information and turn it into practical actions.

    Embracing the overlapping enigma: Data points can be complex, similar to overlapping Venn diagrams, offering a detailed view. For example, a customer might compliment your product but criticize the delivery. This mix of feedback, though difficult to navigate, helps us understand the situation better. Embrace this complexity, search for patterns among differing opinions, and keep in mind that contrasting viewpoints can uncover important truths.

    Transforming insights into action: Insights are valuable, but their real worth comes from how we use them. For example, turning “Wow, customers love our packaging!” into a strategic plan takes creativity, clear priorities, and teamwork.

    Ready to transform your brand?

    At The Brand Auditors, our focus is on finding growth opportunities and planning how to beat the competition. If you're facing challenges, looking to improve, or considering a rebrand, our detailed brand analysis is designed to help you succeed.

    Take the first step towards excellence. Reach out now and watch your business reach new heights.

    Chris Fulmer PCM-Brand Auditors

    Chris Fulmer, PCM®

    Brand Strategist | Managing Director

    Chris has over 15 years of experience in brand development and marketing. He has designed strategies across various industries, such as technology, B2B services, and healthcare. His expertise includes brand positioning, competitive analysis, content marketing, and web development.

    Click to learn more about Chris

    Are you ready to find out how a brand audit can transform your business?

    Our brand audit process is a comprehensive analysis designed to help companies optimize performance.

    • Increase ROI on lead generation and sales conversions.
    • Reduce marketing expenses.
    • Strengthen brand positioning to become more competitive.

    We guarantee satisfaction or get your money back! Schedule a discovery call with a brand auditor to find out more.

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