Objective, impartial advice
An objective, impartial brand audit can be invaluable to firms for:
1. Assessing brand value.
Under or over-estimating the brand value could lead to under or over investment, and a failure to fully realise the commercial value of the brand.
2. Reviewing brand and marketing effectiveness.
Reviewing brand and marketing effectiveness of companies in the portfolio, and the efficiency of the brand architecture within each company. Ensuring that the brand appeals to all the relevant stakeholders – including potential partners, investors and staff as well as customers.
3. Identifying brand risk.
Making sure that appropriate risk amazement and mitigation plans are in place.
Adding value in transactions
Brand audits are also very valuable for companies and Private Equity firms actively managing their portfolio through acquisitions and divestitures:
Evaluating the brands of target companies, and assessing potential brand synergies and brand risk
Developing a post-acquisition brand strategy to secure and grow the brand value when it comes into the portfolio, e.g. should the acquired brand be maintained, gradually transitioned, or replaced with an existing brand - and how and when.
Valuing brands in preparation for company sales.
We can target our brand audits to address specific issues, or look broadly at brand performance and marketing efficiency, identifying opportunities to make the brand more effective in driving revenue growth and profitability. Key questions we typically address are:
Is the brand well-positioned or under-performing?
Do your brand proposition and values still appeal to all of your target stakeholders?
Is your brand promise believable given your history and your brand experience?
Are you brand applications all consistent with your guidelines?
Is your brand proposition really distinctive versus competitors?
Is the brand effective in attracting customers, winning market share and growing revenue and profits?
Could the brand architecture be more effective?
Do you really need all of the brands?
Is there a niche in the market that could be exploited using an additional brand?
What costs could be saved by reducing the number of brands?
Are corporate and product/service brands effectively endorsing and reinforcing each other?
Could the brand communications be improved?
Is the messaging clear and compelling?
Are the messages about relevant qualities that appeal to your customers and other stakeholders, and different from the competition?
Are all of the branded communication consistent, and projecting the same personality?
Does the creative work support the messaging?
Are the communications cost-effective and focused?
Hensley Partners helps clients in both the development of brand strategy, and in training executives in brand strategy frameworks, tools and techniques.
Brands are critical for future revenue, so the brand strategy needs to address how the brand platform can be leveraged for innovation and growth? And how can the brand lead the rationalisation and transformation of the organisation?
The role of a brand is to give the people who know it confidence and attract them to choose it over other alternatives. So a good brand strategy is based on fact-based market insight - understanding what drives people to make the choices they do; provides a clear brand platform for messaging and design; and has a set of actionable plans for communication and change management to deliver the desired brand experience.
Our brand strategy services include:
Customer analysis: researching B2B and B2C audiences: from interviews with B2B decision makers to global quantitative research studies - developing insights into what they are looking for and what drives choice.
Competitive analysis: evaluating strengths and weaknesses of your product and service propositions versus competitors.
Capability analysis: evaluating which are the distinctive capabilities of the company that can lead to differentiation and future growth.
Brand positioning: developing a brand platform that fits the corporate strategy - including the vision and mission, the brand essence, brand promise, brand personality - that will resonate with target audiences.
Brand architecture: defining the role and scope of the different brands in the portfolio.
Brand Guidelines: setting out guidelines for communications and behaviours that fit the brand positioning - and identifying those that don't.
Communication & Change Management
Brand communication: developing internal and external messaging and communication plans, so that the brand proposition is consistently and effectively communicated internally and externally at all touch-points, including owned, paid and earned media.
Change management and execution plans to ensure that all staff are aligned with the strategy, and that the brand experience is consistent with the promise at all points not he customer journey.
We work with our clients in bringing their brands to life through effective design.
Brand Identity Design
Designing logos and identity systems for all visual brand applications.
Creating identity design guidelines, so that marketing teams, internal communications, corporate communications, and the work of external advertising and PR agencies all has a consistent look and feel.
Physical environments: designing retail stores and branded office environments.
Digital environments: designing websites, social media and other digital channels.
Customer engagement: aligning the whole user experience with the brand promise, consistently and effectively across all touch-points.
Staff engagement: ensuring that the organisation is aligned, through internal communications, events, training and other change management.