Bitcoin Is A Brand What It Means

Just as the Apple brand is to tech, McDonald’s is to burgers, Nike is to sneakers and Coke is to cola, so is the Bitcoin brand to cryptocurrency.

“Whoa… hold the phone!” you say. “Bitcoin isn’t a brand. It’s a currency. Currencies aren’t brands!”

Well, that’s a traditional way of looking at it. And Bitcoin is anything but traditional.

Think of it this way: blockchain is a technology. Coins are an asset on the blockchain. Bitcoin is a brand that brings its unique selling proposition to blockchain.

To be clear, Bitcoin is not an ordinary brand. It’s what I call a User-Generated Brand (UGB). Because Bitcoin lacks a centralized brand owner or chief marketing officer, it is molded by a large ecosystem of foundation members, technologists, investors, miners, commentators, thought leaders, innovators, journalists and more. Nevertheless, as a UGB, the cumulative effect of its brand assets stand for something.

Still skeptical? Consider this:

  • Bitcoin has a story centered around a movement to right the wrongs of centralized finance. And it has a founder who embarked on a hero’s journey to solve for it (more on that in a moment).
  • It has cult-like brand qualities. After all, when was the last time you saw someone wearing a t-shirt with a dollar or euro symbol on it? Or see 12,000 people descend on a city like Miami to spend days doing nothing but talking about a currency’s evolution and future.
  • It has an identity. The “₿” iconography is as ubiquitous nowadays as a thumbs-up emoji.
  • It is synonymous with the category. People sneeze into Kleenex, not “facial tissues.” In prior decades we “Xeroxed” pages to make copies. Ask an outsider to name a cryptocurrency and they’ll say, “Bitcoin.”
  • It has a premier marketplace position. Being a first-mover and dominant player bestows significant competitive advantages — not the least of which is high awareness and brand loyalty, leading to powerful network effects.
  • It has a unique selling proposition. Notably, a limited supply of coins, which thus increases its appeal as a hedge against inflation while creating a new form of property.

Moreover, what makes the Bitcoin brand so intriguing are some other less cut-and-dry factors:

  • Its founder is pseudonymous and disappeared without a trace years ago. I’d argue that the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto just adds fuel to the narrative and mystique. As we in advertising like to say: when people are talking about our brand, that’s a very good thing.
  • On any given day you can find one so-called expert predicting that the price of bitcoin will reach $300,000 by the end of the year and another forewarning a dip under $20,000. Aside from its obvious interest to investors, ongoing debates like this only fuel the fire of brand engagement from both the pros and newbies alike. Such divergent views get people talking and — you know the drill — when people are talking about our brand, it’s a very good thing.

Okay, so you’re onboard: Bitcoin is a brand. A User-Generated Brand. Next question you may be asking is: so what? Consider these:

The Contract — A great brand, at the end of the day, is a promise (a “contract”) that the sum total of it what it stands for and how it behaves will provide confidence and comfort that if you put your faith in it (by purchasing, investing, advocating, etc.), you’ll be rewarded. For all the reasons stated above, Bitcoin is in an enviable pole position, particularly as it relates to wooing institutional investors and their allocation committees who, once fully bought in, would represent a true tipping point in the race to bitcoin adoption. To propel this forward, as a UGB, it is incumbent on the community’s most vocal believers to not just talk amongst themselves (as they are apt to do) but to the masses in ways that will elucidate that promise to them.

Source link Bitcoin Magazine

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