Measuring Your Brand: Esteem vs. Awareness

There’s a simple exercise that is incredibly powerful when considering marketing, advertising, or branding a company. The practice can be applied to anything – a product, an event, even ourselves – by simply considering two variables: Esteem and Awareness.



Esteem is what the brand is known for, or its image. This includes how much (or how little) the brand is respected, and what it’s respected (or disrespected) for. On one hand, there are brands associated with quality, great service, and other positive traits – like Apple,, and Mercedes-Benz. On the other, you’ve got those universally accepted as undesirable – companies like Enron, or the NFL Replacement Refs (had to…)


Awareness is how well known a brand is. How big – or how small – its reach is. On one hand you’ve got Joe’s Pizza on the corner, serving the locals, and on the other you’ve got Pizza Hut, serving up slices from countless locations on every corner of the globe.

This is what branding is all about. Esteem and Awareness. As far as marketing, advertising, and branding are concerned, they’re the only things that matter. It all boils down to those two pillars. Everything else is secondary.


With all this in mind, here’s a fun trick: plot Awareness and Esteem against X and Y axis, and then split the graph into four quadrants.

In the top right, you’ll find the well known, and well respect brands. This is the sweet spot. Our examples from before – Apple, Mercedes-Benz, and Zappos – are all comfortably in this quadrant.

Below them in the bottom right quadrant, you’ve got well respected but lesser known brands. This is where you’d find high-end niche brands like Harmon Kardon (speakers), or newer startups earlier on their paths, like our friends at InternMatch (internship marketplace) and LikeBright (social dating) – both extremely valued and respected among the communities that know them (and growing every day).

On the left side, the Hemisphere of Sorrow. The top left: high awareness, low esteem. Our earlier examples of Enron and the NFL Replacement Refs fit nicely here.

On the bottom left: unknown, and unloved. The bottom of the barrel. No good examples are coming to mind, but the depths of Apple’s App Store or’s catalog are probably littered with examples of obscure, crappy products.

In Practice

There’s a couple takeaways from this exercise that we’re applying with SimpleCrew. The first is that esteem comes first. Whatever we do, it’s important that we maintain a great reputation, and that our app stays useful and valuable to our customers. The more the better. That is our top priority.

Awareness, while important, comes second. Our marketing and advertising efforts will grow as awareness grows in importance for us. But all the attention in the world is worthless without the esteem that comes from having a dialed-in product and customer support.

That’s the golden tip: Be good. Make it valuable, and make it work. Take care of the people who already know about you – they’re your foundation for esteem. Those early adopters can later become your biggest promoters. With that in place, then go to town on marketing and advertising.

Scale through the roof, but don’t forget your reputation along the way. Because awareness comes and goes, but esteem is your rep for life.

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Starting Up? Beware the Hype.

As we’ve watched our announcement make it’s way around, we’ve appreciated the sudden spikes in our social followers and likes, the new blog subscriptions, and our first flows of web traffic and new account creations. It’s obviously been great to see, but with it all, we’ve kept one important concept in mind: The Hype Cycle.

The Hype Cycle is the pattern of public interest that new things go through after launch. That thing could be, well, anything: a new technology, a new band, a new restaurant, or perhaps in our case, a new product.

The Cycle is made up of 5 parts: the “Trigger”, the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”, the “Trough of Disillusionment”, the “Slope of Enlightenment”, and the “Plateau of Productivity”:

1. The Trigger is the start, sparked by something like a new product launch, an announcement, or a new breakthrough.

2. The Peak of Inflated Expectations = the huge spike in interest that follows the trigger. People talk about it. People hype it. Speculation and excitement fuel the hype.

3. The Trough of Disillusionment – the interest surrounding a new product launch quickly drops off. Related: the “short attention span” of the media and the masses. Like when a crazy news story whips the country into a frenzy, and then the next week, everybody forgets.

4. The Slope of Enlightenment – the company learns the ropes, and starts to get the hang of things. Customers are loyal and satisfied. Word spreads.

5. The Plateau of Productivity – the “thing” stabilizes, matures, and becomes widely accepted. #winning.

So the takeaway for anyone launching their thing: mind the cycle. Don’t get too caught up in the hype. In the days and weeks that follow your launch, interest might drop off. Just stay focused, keep hustling, and listen to your customers.

Your time will come.

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Product updates

Launch: SimpleCrew – The Best Damn Way to Manage Field Teams.

It’s been a long time coming. After months of design, development, testing, and feedback, we’re happy to share with you SimpleCrew – the best damn way to manage field teams. Period.

With SimpleCrew, we’re going to make your team way more effective and more accountable. We’re going to save your team ridiculous amounts of time and energy. And we’re going to do it with style.

Why? Because the old way sucked! We’ve been there. We’ve felt the pain. With SimpleCrew, the difference will be night and day. Here’s how.

Businesses today are using photos from the field in a million different ways. Here are a few:

  • Grassroots marketing teams use photos to track and document team progress in the field.
  • Team managers compile these photos into reports to keep teams accountable and to report work to their bosses or clients.
  • Real estate rehabbers use pictures to prospect new properties in the field.
  • Construction project managers use photos to document work being done on properties.
  • Outside sales teams use photos to track their product placements in retail outlets around the region.
  • Creative professionals use photos to capture inspiration and for visual note-taking.

These are just a handful of examples, but you get the picture. Countless businesses and organizations are using photos to communicate and document their operations “outside the building”. Are you one of them?

Before SimpleCrew, these teams had to rely on messy combinations of photo uploads and downloads, email attachments, desktop folders, and excel spreadsheets to keep everything organized. There were time delays while managers waited for cameras to get back to the office. There were syncing issues, with no easy way to make sure everyone had access to the same folders. Simply put, sending and coordinating photos across a team was a huge pain in the ass.

Does this sound familiar? If so, SimpleCrew is here to help.

Today, using SimpleCrew, teams can now upload photos via our iPhone and Android apps directly to the team’s database hosted securely in the cloud. It happens instantly, so team members don’t have to worry about sending emails or uploading photos later. And every photo includes time and location info, so teams can see organized campaign summaries with timelines and maps showing exactly when and where each photo was submitted from.

The headaches of the old way will be a thing of the past. It’s a beautiful thing.

Web dashboard:

Campaign Timelines:

Campaign Stats/Overview:

Mobile App

(We’re in the App Store and Android Market)

Try SimpleCrew Today, Free.

We built SimpleCrew to be the ultimate web and mobile collaboration tool. Our mission was to make the best solution for teams to share and collaborate using photos, and to make it simple and easy to use. With SimpleCrew, we’ve done just that.

We’re so sure you’ll love it, we’re going to give it to you free for a month before you buy. No credit card needed. Don’t like it? You don’t pay a dime, no cancellation or action necessary.

Sound good? Come try it for yourself. The difference will be night and day.

SimpleCrew Story

A Simple Rebrand

We’re right around the corner from rolling out our first app to the world, and with that in mind, we figured it was due time for a rebrand 🙂



We also have a new launch site to look forward to! We’ll be rolling it out here in the next couple weeks, but here’s a little sneak peek 🙂

We’re pumped! Get ready guys, we’re coming for ya!