The Brand Optimization Checklist

The Brand Optimization Checklist

Every so often, it can be useful to step back and evaluate how well your brand is defined and what, if anything, can be optimized about the brand for greater market success. The following checklist is a compendium of brand-related tools, traits and attributes to help you assess your brand from a 360 degrees perspective. To be sure, not every brand situation is the same and not all of these are appropriate or important for every brand. But review of your brand against this checklist will ensure that you consider all of your options for brand optimization, even if you do not choose to take action on all of the items listed here.

Customer-Related

 Have you sufficiently defined your primary and secondary customer targets beyond demographics (e.g., psychographic segmentation, personas)?

 How aware are your customer targets of your brand, and is that changing?

 Do your customer targets know your brand promise/differentiator(s)?

 Do you engage with your customer targets outside of purchase (e.g., on social media)?

 Do you know who your brand’s social influencers are/could be?

 Do your customer targets see your brand as authentic and transparent?

Competition-Related

 Have you audited your immediate and competition in the past 6 months or so?

 Do you know what your competition is doing and saying?

 How different is your brand objectively from the competition?

 Are you following what other brands are doing in the market, or are you leading/doing things differently?

 Do you know who your brand’s social influencers are/could be?

 Do your customer targets see your brand as authentic and transparent?

Employee-Related

 Do your employees know/understand/appreciate your brand promise/differentiator?

 Does leadership take the brand seriously (i.e., walk the talk)?

 Does your staff “live” the brand pillars and values?

 Are your employees advocates for your brand?

Brand Tools

 Is your brand strategy (vision, mission, value proposition/position, pillars, promise) codified (i.e., written down, distributed and used)?

 Have you re-affirmed and/or updated your brand strategy in the past year?

 Do you know how to express your brand pillars effectively through sensory cues to each of your customer targets?

 Do you have a messaging blueprint or messaging document that defines the key messages your brand needs to communicate to each customer target?

 Do you have a brand style guide/manual to ensure the brand is properly expressed across the organization and across all communications channels?

 If you have multiple brands, do you have a clearly articulated brand architecture that clarifies the roles and inter-relationships among your brands?

 If you acquire/divest brands, do you have a brand architecture “playbook” to decide how to handle the addition/deletion of individual brands?

 Have you articulated the acceptable balance between short-term sales and marketing efforts and long-term brand-building efforts?

Brand-Expression

 Has your website been optimized in the past 6 months?

 Are you active on at least two social media channels?

 Is your brand listed with the top 30 listing sites?

 Do you regularly publish fresh, brand-related content (e.g., blog posts, social media posts)?

 Do you regularly measure metrics on your brand’s health/reputation (awareness, mentions, sentiment, etc.)?

 How seamless is your brand experience across communications channels?

 How responsive are you to questions/comments on any given channel?

 When was the last time your “refreshed” your brand look and feel? Is it time?

Brand Protection

 Does your brand have active and registered trademark, patent and/or copyright protection?

 Do you enforce your intellectual property rights vigorously?

 Do you have a brand disaster/recovery plan?

Brand Opportunities

 Have you recently (last 6 months or so) considered what other products/brands you should acquire to enhance your brand?

 Have you recently (last 6 months or so) considered what other relationships, processes or partnerships would benefit your brand?

 Have you evaluated the pros and cons of licensing out your intellectual property?

 Have you evaluated the pros and cons of licensing in someone else’s intellectual property?

 Do you measure and track the financial value of your brand?

 

Frank Schab
fschab@six-degrees.com

An experienced marketing and branding strategist, Frank has been helping clients optimize the value of their brands through insightful analysis and effective strategy for more than three decades. Along with holding positions at General Motors and Pfizer, Frank served as a Managing Partner at Interbrand New York and VP of Global Brand Research at Opinion Research Corporation before co-founding Six Degrees. His brand-building work in various sectors including hospitality, medical device, pharmaceutical, automotive and technology has taken him to 17 countries on four continents. Frank holds a doctorate in psychology from Yale University and speaks fluent German.

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