What Is a Brand Analysis?
Find out how to use a brand analysis to improve your company's competitive position and create an actionable plan to grow market share.
March 28, 2023
It is difficult for companies to stand out in the crowded marketplace. Many brands give in to the temptation to make bigger, bolder promises as they struggle to outperform competitors. But, despite their good intentions, most fall short. As a result, consumers have become cynical and skeptical of brands in general.
Yet, to compete, your company must remain unique. So, what can you do to help your business distinguish itself from competitors and develop a reputation for being a reliable and trustworthy brand?
To do that, you must know two things: first, it’s imperative to understand how consumers perceive your brand in relation to its competitors. Second, you must know what distinguishes a strong brand in your sector from one that fails to make an impact.
Thus, the need for a brand analysis.
This process examines your current brand and its strengths and weaknesses. The final analysis shows you how to improve several aspects of your brand, including its competitive positioning.
Now, let’s look at the brand analysis process and how the insights from an analysis will help you improve your brand identity.
What Is a Brand Analysis?
A brand analysis is an evaluation of a company’s strengths and weaknesses—its market position, product portfolio, pricing structure, ideal customer segments, and more.
Though not as in-depth as a brand audit, companies will get strategic recommendations from this assessment to help them improve their brand strategy, communication, and align offerings with what consumers want. This information can also help you develop effective marketing strategies and assist executive leadership with pricing decisions, budgeting, and product development.
An effective brand analysis relies on customer feedback. Gaining insight into your customers’ desires and buying behavior can help your business increase sales and customer loyalty.
By performing a brand analysis every quarter, businesses can monitor their direction. Over time, the company can establish a baseline for performance and measure it against future analyses to determine whether the company is on track to meet its business goals.
What Is a Brand Audit?
A brand audit helps organizations uncover strengths and weaknesses, improve target audience quality, become more competitive, and reduce marketing expenses.
What Does a Brand Analysis Include?
Before starting a brand analysis project, companies set goals related to the company’s objectives or strategies. They should develop goals tied to the elements that shape their company culture and brand identity. This includes external branding elements, such as competitive analysis and the visual identity, and internal branding (i.e., employee feedback).
To gain an edge, companies need to determine what makes a brand stand out in its field. Businesses can use this information to develop a stronger brand. For example, if an organization wants to establish a premium brand identity, it must first know how the marketplace defines a premium brand.
The brand analysis begins by exploring the company’s existing customer base. The analysis team gathers customer demographic data—age, gender, location, occupation and interests—and explores their buying behavior. It is important to understand customers’ needs and preferences related to the brand’s products or services. Customer surveys and market research trends related to similar products or services in the same industry can be helpful for this part of the project.
The next step is to look into what other companies are doing. This requires brands to take an objective view of rivals when looking at their online presence, identity, and pricing strategy. Businesses can use what they learn from competitors to increase the value of their own offers.
Once the brand analysis is complete, the auditor or analysis team puts everything together. This final report includes insights that enable brand leadership to understand the dynamics of their customers, competitive positioning, and communication strategies, such as digital advertising and PR campaigns.
The final report may also include a review of the brand identity, responses from survey or focus groups, or marketing analytics. With these elements, it becomes easier to create cohesive messaging and marketing ideas that target the right people based on values that align with the brand.
Benefits of a Brand Analysis
Let’s look at the benefits a company can get from a brand analysis in more detail.
Provides an Objective View of Current Business Processes
Many companies prefer hiring a third-party auditor to perform the brand analysis. An auditor can maintain an objective point of view throughout the process. This is sometimes difficult for internal teams to do. Since brand leadership and employees are involved with the business every day, they aren’t always able to see the company the way their customers do.
An external brand analysis provides new ideas to help the company gain market share or increase revenue growth. These ideas can help businesses gain clarity on what must change in order for the brand to become more successful.
Historical data regarding sales, website traffic, revenue, and more play an important role in determining if current strategies are successful or if modifications need to be made. Understanding these trends helps company leadership and marketing teams adjust business strategies and make more informed decisions.
Improves Sales and Marketing Efforts
A study conducted by McKinsey found B2B decision-makers are no longer loyal to brands they have worked with for a long time. Instead, they prefer to purchase from companies that use an omnichannel marketing strategy. This type of strategy is more complex than traditional marketing.
Conducting a brand analysis allows companies to assess the buyer’s journey and develop touchpoints for potential customers at each stage across multiple channels. As part of this process, companies should test different messages and media channels to assess customers’ responses before making changes permanent.
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.
Help Companies Set Strategic Goals
A brand analysis can uncover valuable information that may have been overlooked. These findings can help companies adjust current business goals or set new ones that are more accurate.
For example, by studying the target audience, companies may find that they are not going after the most profitable customer segments. Businesses can refine their audiences and develop more effective messages to attract qualified buyers.
Conducting a brand analysis also allows businesses to identify weaknesses in their product or service offerings. The company may find other product benefits that make more of an impact on the target audience. The company may also discover that its messaging has been confusing the target audience.
Data-driven insights from an analysis make it possible for companies to set reliable revenue and marketing goals.
Helps a Company Decide If Rebranding Is Needed
Sometimes, it may be difficult to know whether a change in direction will resolve stagnant growth, or if a rebrand is in order.
Companies can use sentiment analysis or competitor intelligence to determine which areas of their brands need improvement or whether a complete change might be necessary. This research will also help evaluate customer loyalty, unmet needs, and how well products fit within a target market—all essential information needed when deciding to rebrand.
A brand analysis can help executives and CEOs answer to a key question: is it wise to invest time and money into a new brand strategy or brand identity program or simply keep what you have?
How to Conduct a Formal Brand Analysis
In the sections that follow, we will explore the primary steps in the brand analysis process.
Analyze Your Existing Brand
When you are reviewing your brand architecture, the first thing you should do is analyze the brands that already exist. Different brand types can be designed strategically to serve specific purposes.
During analysis, look for any inconsistencies in how these individual brands interact with each other. You want to make sure they all work together to build an overarching brand image customers recognize and trust.
Ensure your core brand is recognizable across all the sub-brands. Consider any that don’t add value to your core offerings. You don’t want to confuse or frustrate customers with too many variations. In some cases, you may find that you need additional sub-brands.
Talk With Brand Team Members
Gathering data for a brand analysis can come from various sources, including your team members. To get accurate and useful information from them, it is essential to have an effective process for collection and analysis.
First, identify the key stakeholders in your business who may provide the most valuable feedback. These people could come from different departments or those with specific expertise, such as marketing or product management. You should also make sure everyone involved is aware of how important their feedback is to the success of your business.
Next, create a standard questionnaire or document template where all relevant information can be collected easily from each respondent. The questionnaire should include questions on topics such as customer satisfaction, the brand’s value proposition, brand loyalty, and competitor landscape. Make sure these questions are concise and clear. Don’t forget to explain how their answers will be used in the report.
Establish clear expectations and deadlines before taking their responses. Also, ask for constructive feedback along with their answers if needed. Always ensure confidentiality throughout the process by using secure communication tools such as encryption so no one can access sensitive information.
Gather Customer Feedback
Gathering customer feedback from surveys and questionnaires is used to improve the brand strategy or adjust product marketing. This data gives company leadership a clear picture of how a product or service is being received by the target audience and can help with decision-making for future strategies. From this process, brands can develop ideal audiences, add-on features or services, and perhaps even new products.
Analyzing feedback helps marketers figure out what customers want from the brand’s content, products, and services. It also enables them to create more effective and engaging content and advertising campaigns.
You can use customer feedback data to shape your brand’s visual identity and how you market the business. Data makes it easier to refine the customer experience, such as improving the website user interface or responding more quickly to complaints. All these activities become more relevant when the company intends to measure how each one affects return on investment.
Besides surveying existing customers and leads through forms or emails, companies can engage potential users on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Assess Your Existing External and Internal Branding
It is critical to assess your visual brand, company values, and message when performing a brand analysis.
To assess your visual brand, consider the appeal and layout of existing branding materials. Look for design features that could cause confusion or distract the audience from the intended message. Also determine how cohesive these items feel—do they all clearly reinforce the brand promise? If not, consider streamlining visuals and adjusting marketing campaigns using a consistent color palette, typeface, and logo across various materials.
The second step includes looking into your current values and mission statement. Do these still reflect what you want to present about your company? Are there any areas for improvement or better ways of conveying them? For example, if you want to portray your brand as an ethical business with a commitment to sustainability initiatives, then it might be helpful to incorporate these values into visuals and verbiage more clearly.
Finally, review how people respond to the brand’s image once they engage with it. Are they able to discern what services your brand offers? Do they feel compelled by the brand messaging to take action?
Keep track of customer responses over time—whether good or bad. Doing so will reveal changes you should make for upcoming campaigns or projects.
Competitor analysis involves studying their products, services, pricing strategies, customer reviews, and website content to better gauge their position in the market. This process can help you identify opportunities and create strategies that will give your brand a competitive edge.
Begin by gathering information about your competitors. Research their products and services, as well as promotions or discounts available. Look over customer reviews and complaints or feedback from past buyers. Knowing what people are saying about your rivals can show you how to approach marketing your own brand.
Next, analyze competitors’ pricing strategies. Find out how they compare to yours and how they might adjust their prices based on seasonal or industry trends. Check any offers or deals they offer on larger orders or bulk. You may be able to counter their creative pricing strategy with one of your own.
Research the advertising channels competitors use, such as social media, paid search ad campaigns, display ads, and so on. Note which platforms they leverage most. This can help you determine how to use your marketing materials and platforms. Even if they aren’t currently producing results, there could be potential opportunities that you have not yet uncovered.
Your analysis should also consider aspects like competitors’:
Usability metrics (such as loading times and navigation)
Overall presence in brick-and-mortar stores
After you have reviewed all competitor data, take time to run through hypothetical scenarios under different conditions and circumstances. This may reveal even more ideas to help your brand become more competitive.
A Brand Analysis from The Brand Auditors
Take charge of your brand’s future with an analysis crafted specifically for your organization. The Brand Auditors’ consultants bring an unbeatable combination of real-world experience and top-level industry knowledge to a unique service process.
Our powerful insights and recommendations will help you identify how to improve your current brand strategy and the best possible solutions to help your company navigate the competitive landscape. As a result, you will reach success faster, better, with higher profit and fewer risks.
If you would like more information, email me personally at [email protected].
Until next time,
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 increase ROI and reduce marketing expenses.
- Increase ROI on lead generation and sales conversions.
- Reduce marketing expenses.
- Strengthen brand positioning to become more competitive.
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