Do You The stand by position Your Brand? It’s Time for an Audit.

Even though many executives will rightfully declare that they understand the advantages of a great brand, the larger test is how well they defend it when things fail.

Take Target’s recent credit card security breach that potentially compromised as much as 70 million customers who, until that point, expected the national retailer to safeguard their identities. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time — through the holiday shopping season — and can likely cost them in the tens if not vast sums of dollars in lawsuit settlements, penalties and lost revenues.

Yet to Target’s credit, they arrived very early to notify and apologize to those that were affected in addition to the consumer-buying public, supplying a ten percent discount on all purchases made the weekend ahead of Christmas. It is the mark of an excellent company; one which lives up to its promise by trying to create things right when things be fallible.

Target’s Security Breach Stresses the necessity for Better Cyber Security

At most basic level, a brand is a couple of both tangible and intangible items — stories, illustrations, activities, statements, culture plus much more — that collectively invite a person or entity to enter a “memorable” relationship with a business. This customer relationship and experience will subsequently generate brand equity for your business, thus creating new and repeat sales.

In order 2014 gets underway, I’d encourage your executive team to attempt a brand audit process that encompasses five general elements:

Brand communications . Review past and current advertising and promotional materials that also contains website and social media. Determine if the messaging is clear, concise and — most significant — relevant. Get other people who are not mixed up in day-to-day responsibilities of fabricating such collateral to provide their two cents. It can help prevent “group think.”

Brand strategy. Review the company’s business and marketing plans and measure it against what the brand is meant to represent. This will be a frank overview of the organization’s strengths and weaknesses together with an evaluation of the marketplace opportunities and threats that could support or potentially impede the success of the business.

It is time to Embrace Your Brand

Brand positioning . Take a genuine look at the way the company’s brand is put and how it measures up to your competition. Even better, interview or survey key management and staff in what they believe to be the company’s positioning and mission together with their understanding their beliefs about the brand, either real or perceived. Some surprising truths — both negative and positive — should come forth.

Customer journey . Review how customers look for the company’s particular services or products, who are their influencers and what their buying pattern is. The knowledge from their perspective is vital that you understand since it is all area of the brand.

Customer analysis . It’s vital that you perform both qualitative and — if budgets allow — quantitative research to comprehend customer loyalty, perception, awareness and attitude towards the brand. Customers can make or break a brand by just how much, or how little, they embody it.

It’s likely that, many companies already are doing a large amount of this, but probably in a piecemeal manner without the entire participation of the C-suite. Enough time has come to embrace the potential of the brand and its own full revenue and valuation potential. Let’s make 2014 the entire year to understand the brand’s full capabilities in elevating an organization’s important thing.

5 Branding Ideas to Supercharge Your Sale

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