Ed Roach (ER): It is important to have an understanding of what a brand is—and then understand what your brand is. First off, a brand is not your logo. Your logo is only the face of your overall corporate brand. Your actual brand is your reputation in the marketplace. It is affected by all of your stakeholders (customers, employees and suppliers). If you were to stop someone on the street and ask them to tell you what their understanding of your company is, then their response would be their perception of your brand. That perception or reputation would be your brand—good or bad.
Having discovered what your brand might be, it is important that you define your own brand. This simply means that everything you do affects your brand—your marketing, sales, organization and community, among other things. To ignore your brand allows your competition to define your brand for you. Whatever the case, your brand grows and shrinks with your efforts or lack thereof.
P+P: Should small businesses or organizations approach building brand awareness differently than medium or larger ones? Should startups or newer companies approach it differently than established companies that just want to give their brand awareness
JD: Absolutely—the size of an organization matters. Small, medium and large companies and nonprofits will approach building brand awareness differently. A startup or organization at its inception may start with lower-cost strategies that are more highly targeted to their customers or donors. Social media is a great way to start, such as using Facebook to create a page and group in your location or that caters to your demographic. LinkedIn is also a great resource to identify people who may be interested in your type of business or organization, using groups and advanced searches.
Medium-sized companies are generally also highly budget conscious, but have more opportunities to test new advertising campaigns and different channels to see what works best. A large organization may have the resources to run a campaign with a much broader reach, such as a Super Bowl commercial, although choosing where to spend is still important in maximizing ROI. Regardless of size, all companies or organizations need to understand how their customers and prospects are spending their time, since it never makes sense to run brand awareness campaigns that do not reach your target audience and yield no results.