Conducting A Brand Audit

Conducting a Brand Audit

Introduction

You have a total of two weeks to finish your brand analysis report and should complete the seven steps of this project by the end of Week 4:

Step 1: Review Slate Case File

Step 2: Review the Branding Elements

Step 3: Research Slates Competitors

Step 4: Discuss Competitors Branding Strategies

Step 5: Present Your Research Results

Step 6: Complete Your Brand Analysis Report

Step 7: Submit Your Work

If you have any questions, ask your instructor. To get started, click Step 1: Review Slate Case File.

Step 1: Review Slate Case File

INBOX: 1 New Message

Subject: Thinking about the consumer and branding

 

From: Jillian Best, CEO, MCS

To: You

Attachments:

Slate Case File

Good Morning,

I have attached the Slate case file to this email. It provides additional details you will need to inform your work with Carlos Chance, their head of branding.

Branding is a very important element of marketing. As you work on this project, it is imperative that you stay focused on the consumer. Remember that a companys customers do not buy features; they buy benefits, both tangible and intangible. It is also critical to understand customers and how the brand influences their buying decisions.

Best wishes,

Step 2: Review the Branding Elements

Through correspondences with Carlos about his expectations for the brand analysis report, the focus of your analysis starts to become clear:

INBOX: 1 New Message

Subject: Focus of Brand Analysis

From: Carlos Chance, Head of Branding, Slate, Inc.

To: You

Hello,

Primarily, we want you to examine the branding strategies  of our competitors, as well as any brand extensions and their branding packaging decisions.

This report will function as a brand audit that allows us to examine our competitors strengths, weaknesses, customer expectations, and our own relative position in the market.

These details form the basis of the main branding elements. I met with our CEO, Shanice Watts, and she wanted me to emphasize the following eight categories we would like you to analyze in your report about our two biggest competitors:

brand personality

brand image

brand identity

brand differentiation

brand positioning

brand communication

brand loyalty

brand equity (including financial equity)

Slates executive teams are really looking forward to your report. Thanks for helping us with this.

Best,

Carlos

Step 3: Research Slates Competitors

To carry out this assignment, you need to understand Slates competitors brand strategies, their consumers, how to acquire market knowledge through primary and secondary research, and how to use that knowledge to build and support a brand.

To start your research, visit the websites of Slates two biggest competitors and review both scholarly and reliable nonscholarly sources to explore their branding decisions. Your research of the two companies should focus on the branding elements discussed in the previous step.

Consult a minimum of two scholarly sources and eight reliable nonscholarly sources (10 total). Make sure that you use reliable, nonscholarly sources such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Barrons.com, Morningstar.com, Money, Forbes, Fortune, Financial Times, theWall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as the UMUC Library databases such as Hoovers and ABI/INFORM.

In addition, explore the following branding websites for relevant content:

www.adage.com

www.adweek.com

www.brandchannel.com

www.ama.org

www.cmo.com

www.marketingprofs.com

Then proceed to the next step, where you will discuss branding strategy.

Step 4: Discuss Competitors’ Branding Strategies

Importance of Branding

As you are researching Slates competitors, Carlos asks you to participate in a meeting on the importance of branding with his team.

Review the meeting details, then go to the discussion area and begin by posting your main response to Carloss questions. Support your arguments with one scholarly and one reliable nonscholarly source. Then respond to at least two postings in the discussion group. Complete all discussion posts and responses by the end of Week 3 at the latest.

Review the MBA Discussion Guidelines for instructions on participation in discussions.

In the next step, you will respond to your bosss request for a vetted list of references you are using to support your report.

Meeting details:

Meeting on Social Media Platforms

Carlos Chance, the head of branding at Slate, Inc. soon hosts a kickoff web meeting asking for the case team’s insights into the company’s logic on brand strategy.

“Social media is considered an important marketing communication channel, and it’s a crucial element of a company’s branding strategy,” Carlos stresses. “There has been shift from text-centric to visually oriented experiences in social media platforms. The trend toward visual social media,” he continues, “has been mainly driven by the increasing popularity of smartphones, as well as the enhancements in mobile internet services” (Li & Xie, 2020).

“I want you to research and discuss the role social media plays in an organization’s branding strategy,” Carlos adds. “Business-to-consumer, or B2C, companies leverage social media platformsmostly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterestto target and engage their customers. I also want you to recommend two social media platforms, including those listed here, and discuss how companies can leverage them to enhance their branding strategy.”

Contribute your thoughts in the Slate, Inc.’s project team discussion area, and discuss your ideas with your team members.

References

Step 5: Present Your Research Results

When you are just about finished with your research, MCS CEO, Jillian Best, decides to check in on your progress. She emails you requesting that you provide a list of the sources you are using for analysis:

INBOX: 1 New Message

Subject: Sources for Slate Project

From: Jillian Best, CEO, MCS

To: You

I know that youre deep into your analysis of the Slate, Inc. case, but I wanted to preview your work and check in on the  sources of information you are using to develop your report. Slate has asked to examine the sources of secondary research that we are using in our report to ensure their quality and originality. Accordingly, I want you to share the list of references you have been using to research Slates competitors.

Deliverable: Provide a reference list derived from your research that has a minimum of two scholarly and eight reliable, nonscholarly sources (10 in all). 

I suggest using reliable nonscholarly sources, such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Barrons.com, Morningstar.com, Money, Forbes, Fortune,  the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as UMUC Library databases, such as Hoover’s and ABI-Inform.

All sources should be referenced using APA formatting.

Thanks for your hard work,

Jillian

Step 6: Submit Your Brand Analysis Report

Deliverable: Based on your research of the two companies brands, write an eight to nine-page report (four pages on each company under its own heading, and each brand element discussed and supported separately under its own subheading) that addresses the following branding elements:

brand personality

brand image

brand identity

brand differentiation

brand positioning

brand communication

brand loyalty

brand equity (including financial equity)

As you examine these branding elements, your report should also answer the following questions:

How strong are the companies brands in the market?

What are the factors contributing to their strengths and weaknesses?

How are these two brands competing against each other? How strong is their global performance?

How do consumers perceive their brands?

Are there any sub-brands? Are there any brand extensions?

Support your work with course readings, scholarly sources, and reliable nonscholarly sources, such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Barrons.com, Morningstar.com, Money, Forbes, Fortune, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as UMUC Library databases, such as Hoover’s and ABI-Inform. All sources have to be cited using APA formatting, both within the text and in the reference list.

Your report to Carlos should be eight to nine pages, excluding cover page, the reference list, and appendices. Any graphs, tables, and figures should be included as appendices. Your report should have one-inch margins and be double spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. The report should be organized using headings and subheadings to improve its readability.

By midnight on Sunday of Week 4, submit your report to the dropbox in the final step of this project.

Step 8: Complete Your Brand Analysis Report

Deliverable: Incorporate any revisions to your final Brand Analysis report.

Also, include the following:

A one-page executive summary that highlights the most important findings of your analysis.

A Go/No Go recommendation with your rationale at the end of the paper.

A one-page table in an appendix at the end of the paper that compares the eight brand elements for the two brands.

Your final report to Carlos should be eight to nine pages, excluding cover page, executive summary, the reference list, and appendices. Any graphs, tables, and figures should be included as appendices. Your report should have one-inch margins and be double spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font. The report should be organized using headings and subheadings to improve its readability.

Submit your final report to the dropbox in the final step of this project.

 

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