Crypto is Brand
You hear about crypto a lot… especially lately as euphoria pushes prices higher and, as an outcome of sky high prices, more euphoria ensues. Even if you don’t know anything about cryptocurrency, you have probably heard about Bitcoin and/or Ethereum. These two lead the conversation for the most part. They are “market leaders.” Now from a brand perspective it makes one ask why these two have taken the lead. Beyond the functional benefits of their technology and network, why have these “coins” become the crowd pleasers?
You could ask the same question about Apple, Uber, Starbucks, Sharpie, Nike, Kleenex, Tesla, and other leading brands. They do serve their market within the means of the basic demands, but why do these brands take the lion’s share of “mind” throughout the people. Because just as in everything in the marketplace, crypto is a game of brand.
The growth and popularity of these names have been due to branding. And just as these market leaders notoriety “compounds” more and more as they take the lead, you will see that growth and popularity continue, despite there being better technologies and ideas available in less popular “alt” coins. I’m able to argue this simply because the biggest argument for cryptocurrency is the “perceived value” in all currencies. For example, a dollar bill is just a piece of paper. Why not an intangible coin represent a credit of some kind? So now that we can be on the same page and agree that all currencies (the dollar, the euro, the yen, the bitcoin, the ethereum, etc.) are essentially all “made-up” values, we can then move onto the topic of brand.
Apple can sell a $1,000 iPhone while another phone is $300. This is due to the perceived value established in the brand of Apple. So beyond the basic function and technology, the brand helps take the perceived value to new heights based on scarcity, importance, appeal, etc.
You’ve seen this happen to bitcoin just as you’ve seen it happen with diamonds for decades. The ability to take something that is very much abundant, then associate a value with it and leverage that value through scarcity and perceived importance. Whether diamonds or bitcoin, once the perception (brand) is established, the marketing and push of these brands are tactics to drive demand to only further the brand. And the brands with the biggest push win (for the most part).
Diamonds can synonymous with love, weddings, etc. They can be the currency of which we trade to then store value whether financial or romantic. This is from brand and marketing. Bitcoin (and Ethereum) have become synonymous with crypto. They are the currency which we trade in hopes of a return and transact. You can be certain this is due to brand and marketing because most take these items as face value, without fully understanding the process or network and technology behind each.
Window cleaner is easily referred to as Windex. A permanent marker is known as a Sharpie. A facial tissue is a Kleenex and soon Bitcoin will synonymous with crypto. Overtime, you’ll see the general population latch onto these brands because they become more commonplace and thereby household names. “Can you pass me a Sharpie?” “Do you have any Kleenex?” “I’m looking for some Post-its.” “Did you see Bitcoin this weekend?” Once brand names enter normal conversation as representing a commonality, then it becomes self-fulfilling for those brands to enter more conversations simply because more people are talking about it.
Crypto is another place to see this being done. Simply by people summing up the entire cryptocurrency world into just “bitcoin”- the generalization of an entire sector into one popular brand even though there are many more layers or product options available. Starbucks did it to coffee. Tesla did it to electric vehicles. Kleenex did it to tissue. Bitcoin has done it to cryptocurrency.
Once a market becomes generalized under a single product/service brand then it only furthers the generalization and consolidates it making it harder for other brands to standout and get the recognition they deserve.
Originally published at https://ournegative.space