Give Your Brand a Check-Up

Dear House Rules,

We launched our cholesterol brand 3 years ago, and since then, our marketing team has been busy executing the tactics we set in place at the beginning of each year. What we haven’t done is a “big picture” review of how our brand is being perceived in the market. Should we undertake that effort? 


Keeping Our Brand Healthy  


Give Your Brand a Check-Up is Part 1 of 3 part series on brand health. Be sure to visit Part 2, Get Your Brand Back in Shape, and Part 3, Make Sure Your Brand Lives a Healthy Life.

Dear Healthy Brand:

Think of your brand like a bicycle: when it’s new, everything from the colors to the speed to the under-the-seat storage pouch is exciting; when it’s been around a bit, the rust starts to show and even those cool built-in extras lose their luster.  While the development of your brand is an exciting and intense time as you refine your color palette, message, and website, keeping it consistent and relevant over time can be just as essential to your reputation.  

To keep that bike running in tip-top shape, it should get a full assessment every year – perhaps a fresh paint job is warranted, maybe you need to tighten the brakes or swap out the storage pouch for an on-board tool kit. In the same way, you should conduct an annual checkup or audit on your brand to make sure both your strategy and tactics are working as hard for you today as they did on Day One. Not sure how to conduct a brand audit? Just follow a few simple steps and you’ll be up and running. 

 Make an Actual, Priority-One Appointment 

Start by carving out time to focus on this review, blocking out a morning or afternoon and committing to turn off your phone, ignoring your email, and tuning out other office distractions Invite a few colleagues from different teams or departments to make up your “brand review committee.” Getting varying perspectives will help you better understand how your organization is communicating with others. Be sure to invite not just the most senior members of the team but also the ones who interact most frequently with your customers or have a unique creative vision.  

Take a Long, Hard Look at Where You Are 

Are you pushing that once-shiny bike up a hill or zooming around corners like you were in the Tour de France? Now is the time to revisit your brand strategy and see if it still matches your company’s tactics and communications. Most pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies develop strategic plans every few years instead of annually. Does the explanation of your organization’s purpose, vision, and activities still line up with the written, spoken, and visual explanation of who you say you are? Or has a disconnect sprouted and spread, making it harder for you and your teams to “stay on message?” Review your ads in recent journals, your website, your sales collateral, etc. Assuming your brand strategy still feels relevant, look at the visuals you’re using in your communications, ask staff members to recite how they explain your brand, and ensure that everyone is telling the same story.? 

 Seek Out a Second Opinion 

Have someone else kick the tires on your brand. Getting the opinion of others is a crucial step as you review the health of your brand. Here is where you want to test internal perceptions against external ones. Consider conducting a few phone interviews, an online survey, or a focus group among people who know your brand. Use these conversations or questions to learn how others see your brand and what they say your brand is. 

 Diagnose and Prescribe: Retrain, Refresh or Rebrand 

Time to get your brand review committee together again and use all this new information to determine how healthy your brand is – and recommend next steps. If your brand is just like new, and the way you communicate on the outside still seems to match the initial brand message and essence you established, congratulations! You’re doing all the right things, so just keep on pedaling.  

 If the consensus is that your brand needs a few repairs or even a full overhaul, you’ve got some work to do. Take a deep breath and hone in on what parts of your brand or communications are not working and give them a tune-up. Maybe your core identity (name, tagline, and logo) still ring true, but your messaging is off. Or perhaps your approach to using images tells the story of who you used to be and not who you are now. Figure out what may be broken and give it a refresh. And if you find that your brand’s problems are simply too many to fix, don’t be afraid to rebrand. At that point, it’s wise to bring in a creative agency for help. 

 Xavier Creative House has conducted numerous brand audits and rebranding efforts (when necessary) for our clients, and those clients have deemed the process invaluable to growing their brand while staying consistent with its core values and strategy. We’d love to help you do the same thing with your brand. Contact us today!  


 House Rules 


Reference: 1https://trust.guidestar.org/blog/is-your-brand-healthy-four-steps-to-give-it-a-checkup. Accessed August 14, 2017. 

About Xavier Creative House

Founded in 2013, Xavier Creative House (XCH) is an award-winning healthcare creative agency specializing in pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device. XCH’s global team of brand builders and healthcare marketers, tech-savvy go-getters, and innovative dream-vetters are passionate about the big idea that changes behavior in the healthcare marketplace. They believe life is about connections and that healthcare is about life. That is why XCH delivers bold and evocative creative solutions, amplified by meaningful technology, to energize brands and authentically connect with patients and HCPs.

Where Healthcare Brands Live®

For more information, contact

Sunny White
Founder & CEO of Xavier Creative House