Rebranding is becoming a popular and successful strategy in the cryptocurrency world as projects work to stand out from the pack. Notable studies show that consumer brand equity (CBBE) responds differently to rebranding events, depending on the size and status of a company. For instance, CBBE of an established brand tends to diminish following rebranding news while that of a less-established brand is enhanced.
For cryptocurrency projects, branding plays a pivotal role in user adoption and long-term investor interest. When branding guru Randall Stone was asked his opinion on the current state of affairs in the cryptocurrency space, he responded with what he believes to be two major categories of projects.
“Some of the branding is just so juvenile and primitive, while others are really sophisticated. And some, you can tell the tech background of the designer because they look a little B2B-esque,” Stone continued, “a lot of them felt like fly by night, here today, gone tomorrow. No real sense of legitimacy.”
In short, there is a clear divide between crypto projects with good and bad branding, and there are plenty of examples spanning the spectrum.
- Cappasity — AR/VR blockchain platform (more)
- Polymath — Securities token platform (more)
- Ripple — Real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network (more)
A lot goes into creating a good crypto brand; you need a unique and eye-catching logo, coin and platform design, not to mention a well-managed community. The projects listed above have all created successful brands through their own methods. Cappasity boasts a sleek product design and strong community management, while Polymath and Ripple leverage a more traditional fintech branding approach to bridge the gap between crypto and Wall Street.
- Dogecoin — Peer to peer coin featuring a likeness of the Shiba Inu dog from the “Doge” Internet meme as its logo (more)
- Dragonchain — Business-facing blockchain solutions (more)
- Anything derivative, unoriginal or unserious
Now, clearly we’ve highlighted projects for the ‘bad branding’ category that have done fairly well from a coin performance standpoint, but we’re more interested in project longevity and real-world value creation. Projects that fail to effectively brand themselves lack a sense of legitimacy and risk feeling scammy, especially as scams can be branded and marketed just as easily as legitimate concepts.
Sadly, even great technology can fall victim to poor or amateur branding. Ultimately, projects should ask themselves, would the average investor take a chance on them given their current branding strategy? Even well-known coins, like Disney-backed Dragonchain, leave much to be desired.
For projects with solid tech but poor branding, staging a campaign to rebrand can work to stimulate investor interest and user adoption. Given that every project is so young relative to the average traditional business, one might expect CBBE enhancement as a result. While this process does not necessarily have an immediate impact on coin price, trends point towards longer-term value creation.
Here are a few examples of major rebrands that drove significant value or interest:
Antshares rebrands to NEO
NEO, commonly known as the ‘Chinese Ethereum’, is perhaps one of the more popular projects to undergo a significant rebranding. In a press conference held on June 22, NEO announced its plan to rebrand from the former name of “Antshares”. In addition to design changes, the non-profit project detailed a plan to upgrade itself to a smart economy platform with an integration of digital assets, digital identity and smart contracts.
This rebranding event fueled a massive bull run, launching NEO firmly into the top 10 coin category with a market cap of over $7 billion.
RaiBlocks rebrands to Nano
RaiBlocks, a low-latency payment platform that requires minimal resources for peer-to-peer transactions, has recently announced a rebranding campaign to become Nano. With this rebranding, Nano launched a new logo that “uses several nodes, playing on the block-lattice design of the network, that connect to form an ‘N'”. This change was implemented following a long period of community backlash against the RaiBlocks name.
While Nano’s coin price initially jumped over 40% after the rebranding announcement, it has since settled back around the pre-announcement price. However, moving forward, you can expect a stronger growth curve for the project as Nano versus RaiBlocks.
Lisk rebrands platform
While the immediate response to the rebranding has largely been outweighed by Lisk being uplisted on additional exchanges, there is no question that the project is orienting itself for long-term growth with this latest move.
Rebranding is a simple and effective strategy for undervalued and unknown projects to drive user adoption and investor interest, ultimately building long-term value. It can also be used as an opportunity to engage the community in the design process.