Branding is the most important aspect of establishing products. Most consumers trust a well-known brand over an unknown, even if the price of the brand is higher. That trust comes from years of accurate marketing, advertising, product placement and rarely, if ever, changing the brand logo and product appearance. The most established brands can easily alter their strategies and update the look of their products, but this does not come without years of brand trust development.

Determine the brand and what it stands for. This sounds simple, but many brands are ineffective because they send the wrong message to those who are unfamiliar, so look objectively at the brand for any miscommunication.

Analyze the branding materials. Logos, websites, commercials and products supported by the brand should easily portray the intended message. If anything does not support the brand, it must be altered or removed.

Understand the target audience. While it would be ideal for a brand to appeal to everyone, usually there is a target demographic, and this brand needs to speak to it. This is the primary purchasing audience. For example, an organic food brand might appeal to upper-class families with single children who live in suburbs, whereas a fast food brand appeals to those who are middle class or lower, have multiple children and both parents work full time. These examples may not be accurate, but this is the type of information for which you should look.

Accurately note brand awareness. Whether this is a local company, a specialty company or a nationwide and easily-recognizable company, check the level of awareness in the marketplace. The amount of advertising, in-store branding and product availability determines the amount of exposure and sales, so if these practices are not employed the brand may suffer. For example, a chip company may have a relationship with a box chain to display their chips on a front end-cap two weeks out of a month, giving it more exposure, or it may participate in more frequent promotional sales.

Determine the effectiveness of all parts of the brand. If there are any inconsistencies, this is the time to make changes.