Brand Audit projects
In MKT 430: Strategic Marketing for Product and Brand Managers, students work with real businesses to analyze their brand equity and provide data-driven business recommendations in a semester-long client-facing brand audit project. In the past, the brand audit project has consisted of several branding frameworks used to analyze and evaluate the overall brand equity, examples of which can be explored below.
The Value Wheel is a marketing framework and visual tool that breaks down a brand's value into its different sources of revenue. By deconstructing the areas from which a brand derives its value, decision-makers can prioritize and strategize where they should focus their marketing efforts going forward. The value wheel can help small businesses to identify and focus on their most profitable sources of value.
See an example of a value wheel below:
2018 Disney Revenue $59,435 M
by Segment and Operating (Millions USD)
Themes & Parks
Family Members Who Visited. #M
Disney's Marvel Avengers franchise is the top-grossing franchise in film history and more...
Consumer Products and
Revenues, licensing, publishing, and games: $3,060 M (33%)
Retail and other: $1,591 M (17%)
Operating Income: $1,632 M (18%)
$71.3 B acquisition of Fox sets a new direct-to-consumer model with its three strong offerings (Disney+, EPSN+, and Hulu)
Brand Equity Framework
The Brand Equity Framework is a marketing framework that analyzes a brand's equity through its brand identity, brand image, experience, and delivery. By analyzing and understanding how a company's brand identity, brand image, experience, and delivery operate and correlate with each other, decision-makers can identify and evaluate gaps in their branding strategy. The brand equity framework is useful to help small business owners understand and adapt their brand positioning, brand benefits, internal branding, and consumer touchpoints.
See a depiction of the brand equity framework below:
How you want the consumer to perceive your brand — high performance, luxury, etc.
How the consumer actually perceives your brand — family-oriented, too expensive, etc.
Mini Brand Audit
Detroit Maid provides quality and professional cleaning services so that its clients don’t have to take the time out of their day to worry about cleaning and completing other responsibilities. Its identity stems from its Detroit roots, as it was founded by “lifelong Detroiter” Danielle Smith. The company is detail and quality oriented, emphasizing that it was created to ensure a healthy and clean environment in both residential and commercial sites. The ease of scheduling appointments via the website and app prove that accessibility for on-demand services is also part of their brand identity.
There is not much brand awareness surrounding Detroit Maid, and there is a disconnect between the brand identity and brand image because of the emphasis on Detroit. According to 5 focus groups conducted in 2019, 78% of people surveyed would not consider using Detroit Maid for a cleaning service because “Detroit” is in the company name and they do not live in Detroit. Their Detroit background is a key aspect of their identity, however Detroit Maid operates in other cities, which is unknown to most customers. Customers in other cities would be able to benefit from using Detroit Maid cleaning services, yet the majority would be inclined to ignore their offers. Therefore, the disconnect between customers’ image of the brand and the brand identity hurts the business.
In terms of internal branding, Detroit Maid onboards their employees with a Culture Guide, which describes their “Maidifesto.” Additionally, according to Danielle Smith, Detroit Maid makes an effort to “consistently communicate our message of quality, attention to detail and community pride through regular team meetings, a private team Facebook group and quarterly volunteer and/or social activities.” Ms. Smith has acknowledged that promoting their culture internally has become a challenge as Detroit Maid continues to grow, however the team is discussing ways to further their internal branding in a more scalable manner moving forward.
As for a touchpoint analysis, the product that Detroit Maid offers is commercial or residential cleaning services. The services were originally offered in the Detroit Metro area but have since expanded into Ohio and Chicago as well. The price is set at a standard $60/hour rate with additional services like refrigerator or oven cleaning for an extra $5. This price falls within the average market rate for Detroit ($45-$75). According to Danielle Smith, most customers book 2 or 3 hours through Detroit Maid, or opt for the discounted biweekly or monthly subscription package. Detroit Maid relies strongly on word of mouth and social media promotion. They have also been featured in the media including GoodHouseKeeping, Fortune, Detroit News, which has provided the company with high visibility among their target customer of professional city dwellers aged 26-46.
A suggestion we have for Detroit Maid to alter their pricing strategy would be to break down their pricing even further by the room and type of cleaning they will provide. When you look at companies like TaskRabbit and Handy, they break their pricing down by task and room that allows the customer to choose exactly what they want with their cleaning service. The customer can keep increasing or decreasing the price based on exactly what he or she wants. This pricing strategy is very similar to Spirit Airlines where the price can be customized by the customer, and if Detroit Maid were able to include this, they could steal an extra dime that they currently aren’t getting.