Apr '24

Ensuring brand consistency: A guide to performing a visual brand audit

Tom Bradley in Branding & Marketing

Brand guidelines document design by Root Studio

In the fast-paced landscape of business with multiple team members creating content and sharing documents on a daily basis, it’s easy for a brand to become out of control and as such, creating a framework for consistency is vital to achieving successful brand recognition.

Your brand is not just a logo or a slogan; it's the essence of your business, encapsulating your values, culture and unique offerings. But how do you ensure that your brand remains consistent across all touchpoints? The answer lies in performing a visual brand audit.

What’s a visual brand audit?

A visual brand audit is essentially an evaluation of how your brand is currently being shared externally across all platforms and materials. It involves scrutinising every aspect of your brand to ensure coherence and alignment with your overarching goals and values.

Wilkin Chapman brand consistency

Why is brand consistency so important?

Brand consistency fosters trust and loyalty among your audience. When customers encounter your brand, whether it's on your website, social media, packaging or wrapped across the side of your van, they should experience a cohesive and unified message. Inconsistencies can lead to confusion and dilute your brand’s impact.

How do I define my brand?

Of course, before you go ahead and evaluate your current position, you first need to define a set of golden rules to measure against. Defining your brand involves delving into various elements:

Visual Identity: Your logo, colour palette, typography and imagery (branded assets and illustrations) all make up your visual identity. This should be consistent across the field.

Tone & Voice: Establish a consistent voice and tone for all communications, this could be formal, friendly, informative, funny or passive aggressive - the choice is yours but make sure that it’s consistent, otherwise you run the risk of sounding like your brand has a multiple personality disorder.

Company Values & Culture: Clearly articulate your values and integrate them into every aspect of your brand.

Customer Profiling: Understand your target audience's demographics, preferences, their journey and behaviours to best cater for their needs with your own branding. More about profiling here.

Competitor Analysis: Analyse how your competitors are positioning themselves to differentiate your brand effectively and discover opportunities for market disruption. More about competitor analysis here.

Create a Framework/Action Plan: Using the information above, establish a strategic plan outlining steps to maintain brand consistency.

Audit step 1: Collate your marketing materials

The first step towards brand consistency is to assess your external marketing efforts. This might include your:

  • Website

  • Social media

  • Sales brochures & leaflets

  • Advertising

  • Exhibition displays

  • Packaging

  • Presentation materials etc.

Audit step 2: Collate all other external-facing materials

Your marketing efforts only tell half the story, there will be countless other applications of the brand that work their way into the public realm and this should be captured and measured too. These items might include:

  • Business stationery

  • Sales materials

  • Contracts

  • Tender documents

  • Customer communications

  • Signage & livery

  • Uniforms etc.

Audit step 3: Measure your collection for brand cohesion

Assess the items that you’ve collected according to your established brand framework to identify discrepancies and areas for improvement.

In some instances you may discover that you wish to refine your brand strategy based on your findings so remember that this process can be a two-way street and the goal is to establish a house style that covers all the bases.

Brand guidelines design by Root Studio

Audit step 4: Produce a set of brand guidelines

Establishing a comprehensive set of brand guidelines can be a great way to ensure brand consistency across the board. This document should outline rules and standards for using the branding across all the platforms and applications that you’ve identified during the audit. 

Using your new guidelines you, or your designer, can create a suite of branded templates for staff to use moving forward. This will allow you to continue creating branded content and literature safe in the knowledge that you’re singing from the same hymn sheet as other team members. 

This can be taken a step further by producing a digital brand asset management system (BAM) that is used to collate and coordinate all brand assets and templates among team members. The great thing about taking this digital is that you can quickly and seamlessly update guidelines for all team members without the fear that there is a rogue, historic version of the guidelines in use by a select few.


In conclusion, a visual brand audit is a crucial step in ensuring brand consistency and integrity. By reviewing all aspects of your brand and creating comprehensive guidelines, you can maintain a strong and cohesive brand identity that resonates with your audience. Whether you choose to conduct the audit internally or enlist the help of professionals, any investment in brand consistency is an investment in the long-term success of your business.

If you would like assistance performing your own visual brand audit then please get in touch.

Thanks for reading

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