Web3 Brand Practice Manual Decrypting the Seven Marketing Rules through Cases like Ethereum and Metamask

Uncovering the Core Principles of Web3 Branding A Comprehensive Guide Illustrated by Real-World Examples, including Ethereum and Metamask

Author: phillip_xyz, Cryptocurrency KOL

Translation: Felix, LianGuaiNews

Introduction: With increasing competition among projects in various cryptocurrency fields, it’s important to stand out and become a leader. We can learn from some traditional marketing principles. The 7 immutable rules of Web3 marketing are derived from the classic theories of renowned strategists Al Ries and Jack Trout in the field of traditional marketing. These rules have stood the test of time and remain highly valuable for Web3 marketing today.

Rule 1: Leadership Rule – Being the first matters more than being the best

The leadership rule focuses on the ability to shape consumer perception, define consumer needs, and pave the way for new market categories. It’s not about being the best, but about being perceived as the first choice by consumers. Marketing is a battle for perception, and the brand that establishes its image in the minds of consumers first will surpass those who may objectively be better.

No matter how unique or excellent subsequent products may be, the “first” brand often leaves a deep impression in the consumer’s mind. Once a brand fills a gap in a category, it becomes difficult for consumers to change.

Web3 Examples:

Ethereum: As the first smart contract platform, Ethereum has shaped the market’s perception of blockchain computation and dApps. Today, despite facing fierce competition from other capable platforms, Ethereum still holds a dominant position in people’s minds.

Metamask: Metamask might not be the fastest or smoothest, but it was the first on-chain wallet. As the first wallet to be launched, Metamask maintains its status as the preferred crypto wallet, even though competitors offer lower transaction fees and smoother user experiences.

Rule 2: Category Rule – If you can’t be the first in a category, create a new category

If you can’t be the first in an existing category, then create a new category. This rule emphasizes establishing a new and unique territory in a broader market. In this territory, your brand can become a leader instead of trying to compete with the existing leaders in the field.

As a Web3 marketer, you may find yourself in a space dominated by pioneering projects. This principle encourages you to think innovatively and create a new niche market. This approach not only allows you to avoid intense competition but also provides an opportunity to lead and shape a new category.

Web3 Examples:

Axie Infinity: Axie Infinity holds a dominant position in the “Play to Earn” space. However, new games like “StepN” can carve out their own niche market, such as “Move to Earn”.

Trader Joe: Trader Joe started as a fork of SushiSwap and has now become the number one DEX in the Avalanche ecosystem. Trader Joe strategically created a new category by developing a gamified user interface and features to dominate the market.

3. The Rule of Mindset: Being ahead in thoughts is more important than being ahead in the market.

This rule emphasizes that brands should first penetrate the minds of consumers and then reinforce that position through repetition. The real battlefield of marketing is in the minds of your target audience, and by constantly repeating information, slogans, and core brand positioning, you can shape consumer thinking.

In the chaotic Web3 world, the ability to create a unique space in the minds of your audience is priceless. This is all about creating a lasting impression and strengthening the connection with the audience. Essentially, you are not just selling a product or service, but a perception, a feeling evoked by your brand.

Web3 Examples:

Solana: Despite its unstable network, Solana has gained widespread attention as a fast and cost-effective alternative to Ethereum by constantly promoting its speed and cost advantages.

DOGE: Although DOGE is not the first meme coin, it has become the top meme coin in the crypto community’s mind through excellent marketing, brand promotion, and a community similar to a “cult.”

4. The Rule of Focus: The most powerful concept in marketing is to own a word/concept in the mind of potential customers.

The key to this rule is the power of simplicity and specificity. By narrowing the focus to a single word or concept, you can “penetrate” the minds of users. Marketing is about manipulating the perceptions of your target audience, and success tends to favor those who consolidate brand positions rather than those who expand brand scope.

Owning a word in the mind of potential customers allows you to occupy a unique space that competitors cannot easily penetrate. By focusing on a concept, you can become an expert in your field, making it easier for you to be recognized and remembered.

Web3 Examples:

Phantom Wallet: Phantom Wallet focuses on the term “Solana Wallet,” making users strongly associate the two.

1inch: 1inch has been highly focused on DEX aggregation and consciously ignores other DeFi niche markets, thereby solidifying its position as a category leader.

5. The Rule of Staircase: The strategy you use depends on your market position.

The Rule of Staircase indicates that your marketing strategy should be determined by your brand’s position in the market. If you are a market leader, your focus should be on the entire category. If you are a challenger or follower, you should focus on how to differentiate yourself from higher-level brands.

Remembering this rule helps brands develop clear and effective marketing strategies. This rule emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s market position and taking action accordingly.

Web3 Examples:

Tensor: Tensor strategically positions itself as a competitor to Magic Eden, focusing on professional traders to grab a share of Magic Eden’s dominant position in the Solana market.

LayerZero: Despite entering the cross-chain infrastructure space late, LayerZero still recognizes the current gap and adjusts its own positioning.

6. Brand Extension Rule: Extending the brand value comes with irresistible pressure.

The brand extension rule refers to the fact that excessive brand expansion often leads to dilution and confusion. When a brand represents everything, it ends up representing nothing because brands that try to cater to everyone’s needs often find themselves in a predicament. Brands should focus on leveraging effective methods rather than assuming that having a loyal customer base automatically leads to brand growth.

Understanding this rule can help your brand avoid the trap of excessive expansion. If a brand is considering expanding into new areas, it will dilute its brand message and confuse the users. Do not easily destroy the brand that you have built with a lot of time and effort.

Web3 Examples:

Magic Eden: Magic Eden lost its market dominance shortly after expanding beyond the Solana ecosystem.

Uniswap: DeFi protocols like Uniswap attempted to expand their business into NFTs after successfully establishing mature brands in the decentralized finance domain, but they failed.

7. Law of Acceleration: Successful projects are built on trends, not just hotspots.

The law of acceleration emphasizes that successful marketing strategies are built on long-term trends, not short-lived hotspots. Although hotspots may bring profits in the short term, they do not bring lasting benefits.

While tracking hotspots cannot be ignored, it is important to remember that hotspots heat up quickly and cool down quickly as well. A brand’s marketing strategy should be authentic and focused, rather than chasing every hotspot.

Web3 Examples:

Wonderland DAO: Wonderland DAO (TIME) is a fork of OlympusDAO (OHM) on Avalanche, which did not maintain active trading activities after the initial hype.

Additionally, many virtual metaverse projects make the mistake of chasing hotspots instead of focusing on long-term trends or providing sustainable utility.

Above all, by adhering to these seven Web3 marketing principles, you can establish a lasting brand in this ever-evolving industry.