Using the competitive audit
Present audit at the end of the research phase.
Use learning to develop new brand and positioning strategy.
Use audit to inform the design process.
Consider meaning, shape, color, form, and content that the competition does not use.
Use audit when presenting new brand identity strategies to demonstrate differentiation.
Understanding the competition
Who are they?
What do their brands stand for?
What markets/audiences do they serve?
What advantages (strengths) do they have?
What disadvantages (weaknesses) do they have?
What are their modes of selling and cultivating customers/clients?
How do they position themselves?
How do they characterize their customers/clients?
What are their key messages?
What is their financial condition?
How much market share do they hold?
How do they use brand identity to leverage success?
What do they look and feel like?
Process: Competitive Audit
Who are leading competitors?
Who most closely resembles the client, and in what ways?
Which companies compete indirectly?
List information needed.
Examine existing research and materials.
Determine if additional research is required.
Consider interviews, focus groups, online surveys.
Examine competitive positioning.
Examine brand personality.
Identify key messages
Themes from advertising and collaterals
Examine visual identity
Marketing collateral materials and website
Sales and promotional tools
Examine naming strategy
Core brand name
Naming system for products and services
Descriptors and domains
Examine brand hierarchy
What type of brand architecture?
How integrated or independent is the core brand in relation to subsidiaries or sub-brands?
How are the products and services organized?
Experience the competition
Visit shops and offices.
Purchase and use products.
Listen to a sales pitch.
Call customer service.
Start seeing opportunities.