Your clients and potential customers create a picture of you based on what they see - your logo, website, brochures, advertisements, office signage, newsletters, etc. And how people see you plays a huge role in making a buying decision.
You may not be able to connect the words “audit” and “design” as the first word is usually associated with inspection of your financial situation and the fear of being audited is deeply-rooted in the hearts of many. However, design audit analyzes all the visual elements that are used throughout the UI, and all these elements should be presented equally everywhere. There should be consistency present in the visual style and the message the company wants to convey should be uniform. Your clients and potential customers create a picture of you based on what they see - your logo, website, brochures, advertisements, office signage, newsletters, etc. And how people see you plays a huge role in making a buying decision. Repetition creates familiarity and familiarity brings trust and trust is essential for success.
If we are to answer why we need a brand audit, we should explain a psychological aspect of human communication a bit first. We communicate very little by using spoken words, while most of our communication is nonverbal, it stems from our body language, next comes our posture, then clothing and the list goes on. The same goes for companies and businesses. The company sends a message through their visual elements and if those visual elements are not consistent, the client will be left confused and discomforted. What sticks with clients is the logo, the colors, the sound as the words, on many occasions, amount to little.
If you want to avoid keeping your visual elements to resemble a doctor Frankenstein’s monster, you need to produce a design audit document which will analyze the company's material and point out to any inconsistencies regarding the company’s logo, the brand’s color system, or a typeface.
Once the inconsistencies are out, you can start working on creating a harmony among the elements and achieve a standardized look and preferably a stronger market position which comes with a consistent identity.