This is the sixth in our series using our workbook Developing Your Nonprofit Brand. We’ll be posting a new blog every 2 weeks. Download it and follow along with the exercises. By early 2020, you’ll be on your way to having more impact in the new year.

Missed a post? Start here.


Review: What is a Brand Audit?

It’s simply an assessment of where you are now. The audit uncovers your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The audit is critical to determine your differentiation and positioning, which is the essence of branding. Your discoveries will help you plan corrective actions and strategies.

There are 4 parts to a brand audit:

  1. communications,
  2. activities,
  3. competitors and
  4. stakeholder interviews.

Putting it All Together

In the workbook, turn to pages 12–13: “Outcomes from the Brand Audit.”

If you’ve been following along, you’ve now completed the brand audit. Yay! Now we need to summarize and synthesize your findings by filling out the questions on pages 12 and 13.

Our workbook leads you through the discovery process in a particular order where each step builds on the previous. This should enable you to see things more clearly and come up with some insights about your brand. 

Your Findings

The outcomes from your audit should lead you to some conclusions about what makes your organization unique. How do you answer the final question: What unmet needs do you address and do you address them in a unique way? Keep in mind that uniqueness can be a regional distinction, i.e., you are the regional branch of the YWCA. Your answer to this question is going to be critical going forward in building your brand.

Getting Help

While all the steps leading to this point can be accomplished with an in-house team, this is where you may consider hiring outside consultants.

A branding consultant can help at the beginning of the process by facilitating discussions around issues that your internal team is sometimes too close to see. We’ve had clients tell us again and again that our outsider perspective was essential to examining their assumptions about what people knew about them. Or, even simply what names people used to refer to the organization.

At this point after you’ve completed your brand audit, a branding consultant can help by synthesizing your findings and begin to help set goals for strengthening what’s working and taking corrective action for anything that needs a course change. 

Have you noticed that we haven’t even begun talking about designing anything yet? We hope that you’re now on board with our definition of brand—how people feel about you.

Brand is not a logo.

Stay with us for the next post on differentiation and positioning. We have a simple formula to help you craft your positioning statement.