Blockchain For Brands: 3 Tips For Educating Customers And Building Your Brand
Most blockchain technology companies run into the same problem when they start building their brand.
Namely, how to find their place on the spectrum between being dangerously revolutionary, and too traditional and out of touch.
Hardcore blockchain companies, with a strict decentralized ethos that extends from company structure to branding materials, often feel too new and risky for potential business partners.
On the other hand, established companies that are building blockchain solutions tend to stick to traditional marketing methods. They create the product, send out a 600-person sales team, and pitch a solution that’s hosted and controlled by an individual company.
Neither strategy is particularly appealing to companies looking for blockchain solutions that are more than just hype. They want something revolutionary that actually changes the fundamental ways in which their businesses operate.
If you want to succeed in building a reputable brand in the blockchain space, you have to find your balance on the spectrum.
Not too far out there, but not simply a continuation of what’s come before.
Here are three tips for finding your balance and educating the market:
1. Bring people together around a common idea.
A blockchain is not a website, an app, or inventory software that an individual company uses for their specific business needs.
It’s a multi-party tool that companies use to interact and transact with each other. And that means traditional enterprise sales approaches don’t work. Typical B2B outreach like cold emailing or growth marketing doesn’t fit the technology.
The goal of any blockchain solution is to create a network. As the developer, you have to bring people together around a common idea, belief, problem, and solution.
Creating this ethos-backed ecosystem is the ideal strategy for blockchain companies who want to stay true to the technology’s decentralized nature.
It’s not just about multiple companies using the blockchain, it’s that they’re actually upholding the network themselves — as opposed to blockchain as a service, which isn’t really decentralized.
The key to building a strong brand is finding the common idea that can bring everyone together, then sharing it with your customers.
2. Share and inspire people about what they can achieve.
If you really are staying true to the blockchain ethos, then branding isn’t actually about your company.
It’s about the customer.
You have to be able to communicate what you’re doing, and help the customer understand the technology and what they can achieve with it. At this point, your job is to inspire people to come together with other companies in their industry — even the competition — to believe the idea you proposed will solve a major problem or challenge experienced by everyone.
For example, the denim industry is one of the worst polluters of water in the world. It’s a huge problem, and to their credit, the industry does recognize the severity of the issue. They don’t want to be doing it, and some companies have begun making strides towards a sustainable future.
Now, they’re ready to come together around this problem and find a solution.
The point is, industries don’t start with exponential value-added use cases. They start with a pain point, a regulation, or a challenge. That’s what brings them together.
You have to build your brand around both the network, the tools and the solutions to help them accomplish their goals.
And once they’re working together on the same network, more benefits will accrue.
Right now, getting people to understand the practicality of the technology — and making it more tangible for them — is another cornerstone of building a brand.
3. Separate the technology brand from the solution built on top of the networks.
Many brands want their name plastered on everything they do. It’s how they build awareness and let people know who built the product being used.
For a blockchain company, the value doesn’t necessarily come from name recognition — it comes from the networks you create. These are ecosystems that have a focus on a particular space or industry and have their own brand to go along with that specialization.
In order to separate the blockchain company’s brand from that of the ecosystem, you have to find people from within the industry who are willing to take on the task of deciding what the ecosystem should look like and how it should operate.
You want to find the best people, the ones who really care about promoting this cause for an entire industry.
And you don’t do that by looking for people who want to sell something. Instead, you’re searching for those who want real ownership over the process. They’re champions of their industry. They’ve been around long enough to know the business inside and out, and they want to promote the benefits they see in a blockchain solution.
The goal is to provide the support and technology for these champions to build their own ecosystems, while still giving them ownership over their entity.
Your marketing really has to emphasize those ecosystems and their potential more than your brand. It’s not like a traditional enterprise where the brand name is always attached to the solution.
And that’s the heart of branding a blockchain company — remembering that this is something new and different. You have to be accessible and educate your customers, and you can’t expect to find success by relying on tried-and-true tactics.
Thanks for reading!
Blockchain For Brands: 3 Tips For Educating Customers And Building Your Brand was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.