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Words do this to us. They feed us even before we see. They build expectations. They are things too. And they lead us to see other things in a certain way. Words activated like and paired with the visual are the message.

A Brand Audit Is Like Figuring Out Why This Shoe Is In Your Closet

Andrea Chesney

You think you know your wardrobe. You think you know your closet. You think you remember why you bought that, and why that happened, and what that’s for. You think it’s mostly fine. And maybe it’s the, you know, too warm too cold sudden rain unexpected wind that’s throwing the occasional wrench into your cupboard of sense, planning and style. Because, you have a wardrobe brand statement somewhere, right? So it must all be fine, right?

Well. When we do a brand review or creative audit, we dig. We hunt. We find out what’s wedged between the hangers and under the grey jacket and what’s actually stuck in the box that has always been marked “black booties” as everyone knows. Because nine times out of ten, being THISCLOSE to your brand means you’re overlooking something the customer will see instantly when she walks up to get something to wear thinking you’re supposed to be the one who has the superb hand-cobbled black boots and black 4-ply cashmere. You’re supposed to be the one who references Town & Country and Duchess Kate and quiet Swiss-ness on Geneva boulevards to her. But, oh hell: when she looks at what you’ve got, she comes up with this shoe, or that tattered box, and sees a mess back there (what’s a mess once in awhile, you save some money right? and were in a hurry so it’s okay, yeah? No) and some bent cardboard, and dust and stuff that should have been swept out and things that don't fit the expectation...and this moment is burned into her mind now. This burp, this mess, this stale odd cheap moment is her new view of you. This shoe and the grey dust around it! She now thinks hmm, maybe she doesn’t really know who you are, and wanders away, and tells a friend… 

You don't want that. Because in real life with a brand, these blips and misses and blind spots can take on a sort of deadly nuclear glow and begin to deactivate everything you're working hard to build. Thus, a timely regular deep brand audit of your creative, messaging and what’s really happening can get this shoe, and what it says to people, out of your brand wardrobe. We look out for the dangerous thin edge of the wedge. Or stacked bootie.