How customers can guide your brand to success

Posted on
March 28, 2023

This article explores the significance of customer brand audits. It highlights the importance of targeting diverse stakeholder groups for comprehensive insights that could help immensely in the branding process.

Building and maintaining a strong brand is essential for long-term success in today's highly competitive business landscape. A brand represents the company's identity, values, and promises to its customers. Conducting a customer brand audit becomes a critical first step in the brand-building process to ensure that a brand resonates with its target audience and effectively delivers on its promises.

Air Mattress

In an eye-opening customer brand audit, Airbnb discovered that many customers associated their brand with air mattresses rather than the unique home-sharing experiences they offered. This finding led Airbnb to realize the need for a rebranding effort to better convey their value.

Taking feedback to heart, they embarked on a comprehensive rebranding journey involving market research, design experts, and stakeholder input. The successful rebranding transformed Airbnb's visual identity and realigned it with its vision, showcasing its commitment to meaningful travel experiences.

Businesses should utilize customer brand audits as essential tools to evaluate and redefine their brand identity based on customer feedback.

This article explores the significance of customer brand audits. It highlights the importance of targeting diverse stakeholder groups for comprehensive insights that could help immensely in the branding process.

Understanding Customer Preferences:

One of the primary reasons why a customer brand audit is indispensable is that it provides valuable insights into customer preferences. By directly engaging with current, prospective, and former customers, businesses can understand what aspects of the brand they like, dislike, and find most appealing. These insights can inform crucial decisions regarding brand messaging, product development, and customer experience enhancements, ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Managing Customer Expectations:

Customer expectations constantly evolve, and meeting or exceeding them is crucial for brand success. A customer brand audit helps businesses identify and understand their target audience's changing needs and expectations. By soliciting feedback and opinions from diverse stakeholder groups, such as current and prospective customers, employees, and industry experts, companies can uncover valuable insights into the expectations customers have from the brand. This knowledge enables businesses to align their brand strategy, positioning, and offerings accordingly, ensuring they stay ahead of the competition.

Identifying Brand Perception Gaps:

Perception plays a pivotal role in shaping a brand's image. Conducting a customer brand audit allows businesses to assess the alignment between their intended brand image and how it is perceived by stakeholders. Companies can identify gaps between their intended brand message and perception by collecting feedback from various stakeholder groups, including customers, employees, and industry experts. These insights enable organizations to refine their brand positioning, messaging, and communication strategies, ultimately strengthening their brand identity.

Gaining Diverse Perspectives:

Targeting a range of stakeholder groups with different perspectives on your brand is essential for a comprehensive understanding of your brand's perception and impact.

To start with the customer brand audit, you can use these sample questions as a basis for your questionnaire. Remember, the key is to ask open-ended questions that encourage customers to provide detailed and honest feedback, which you can use to make strategic decisions to improve your brand.

Current customers

They provide valuable insights into their experiences and preferences, helping you identify areas of strength and improvement.

Sample questions to ask:

  • What comes to mind when you think of our brand?
  • How likely are you to recommend our brand to others?
  • How often do you think of our brand when making a purchase?
  • What specific words or phrases would you use to describe our brand?
  • Rate our brand compare to others in our industry regarding recall?

Prospective Customers

Prospective customers offer a fresh perspective and can provide feedback on brand messaging and attractiveness.

Sample questions to ask:

  • Have you heard of our brand before?
  • What do you think the brand offers that sets us apart from competitors?
  • How likely are you to consider our brand when purchasing this category?
  • What is your initial impression of our brand based on our marketing and messaging?
  • What would you like to know about our brand before making a purchase?

Former customers'

Former customers' perspectives shed light on the reasons behind attrition and opportunities for winning them back.

Sample questions to ask:

  • What made you choose our brand in the past?
  • What led you to stop purchasing from our brand?
  • Have you tried any of our competitors since stopping to purchase from our brand?
  • How would you describe your overall experience with our brand?
  • What could improve your experience with our brand?


Employees, as internal stakeholders, contribute unique insights into the alignment between brand values and company culture.

Sample questions to ask:

  • How familiar are you with our brand?
  • Can you accurately describe our brand's core values and messaging?
  • How often do you hear customers mention our brand?
  • Do you feel proud to be associated with our brand?
  • What improvements could be made to increase brand recall among customers?

Industry experts

Industry experts provide an external perspective, offering valuable advice and market trends.

Sample questions to ask:

  • How would you describe our brand to someone who has never heard of us?
  • What do you believe sets our brand apart from others in the industry?
  • How familiar are you with our brand compared to others in the industry?
  • What improvements could be made to increase brand recall among customers?
  • What are our brand's strengths and weaknesses in terms of memory?

Leadership team

Equally important are the people who run the business, such as the leadership team, whose vision and decisions directly influence the brand's direction.

Sample questions to ask:

  • How would you describe our brand to someone who has never heard of us?
  • What distinguishes our brand from our competitors in the market?
  • How has our brand evolved, and have we successfully maintained brand consistency?
  • What metrics do we use to measure brand recall, and how do we compare to our competitors?
  • What steps can we take as a leadership team to ensure that our brand remains relevant and memorable in the minds of our customers?


Engaging suppliers/partners helps assess the brand's impact on the broader ecosystem and foster collaborations.

Sample questions to ask:

  • How would you describe our brand to others?
  • What makes our brand unique or different from other brands in the market?
  • Have you noticed any changes in our brand over time? If so, what are they, and how have they affected your business with us?
  • How important is our brand to you as a supplier?
  • Have you had any issues or concerns about our brand or its impact on your business? If so, how were they resolved?


Lastly, understanding competitors allows businesses to differentiate themselves, adapt strategies, and seize opportunities in a dynamic marketplace.

Sample questions to ask:

  • How do you perceive our brand in comparison to your own?
  • What do you consider to be our brand strengths and weaknesses?
  • Is our brand effectively reaching our target audience?
  • What are some areas where our brand could improve?
  • What do you think sets our brand apart from others in the market?

What Next:

Incorporating customer brand audit findings into the brand identity depends on the nature and significance of the insights gained. While all the results should be carefully considered, not all may directly influence the brand identity. It is essential to focus on the key findings that align with the brand's core values, positioning, and target audience.

Brand identity represents a brand's unique essence and personality, encompassing its values, attributes, and visual elements. The brand audit findings that strongly resonate with the desired brand identity should be given priority. These findings can provide valuable insights into customer perceptions, strengths, and differentiators contributing to the brand's identity.

Balancing integrating new insights and maintaining consistency with the established brand identity is crucial. Incorporating every single finding may dilute the brand's core identity and confuse the target audience. Instead, consider the conclusions that reinforce or enhance the existing brand identity, ensuring that any adjustments or additions align with the brand's overarching strategy.

Additionally, it is essential to validate the brand audit findings against other data sources, such as market research, customer feedback, and industry trends. This helps corroborate the insights and ensure they accurately reflect the brand's identity and positioning.

Ultimately, the brand identity should be a carefully crafted representation of the brand's values, aspirations, and unique attributes. While brand audit findings should inform and shape the identity, curating and prioritizing the insights that align most closely with the established brand essence is essential.

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