Gone are the days of associating cryptocurrencies with the dark web. With each passing day, fintech continues to dominate the headlines, as more companies rush to earn the perception of “early adopter.” And while the recent boom has undoubtedly helped the credibility of fintech as an industry, there’s much room for improvement.
Over-saturation and mass clutter present a daunting challenge for spreading awareness and establishing differentiation. Crypto and blockchain companies large and small are fighting for their share of voice—and it’s overwhelming enough for new users to equip themselves with adequate knowledge of trusted platforms and general industry nuances.
So what’s the solve? How can fintech companies cut through the noise?
Boil it down to brand strategy.
Understanding brand strategy
In any industry, a strong brand strategy is crucial for business success. Companies that have established who they are, their core tenants, and key differentiators (and how to leverage them) are the brands who find the deepest user loyalty. Fintech is no different, and should arguably rely the heaviest on a strong brand strategy to drive awareness, whether it be announcing an ICO or overhauling a website design.
Brand strategy is also uncharted territory for many of the world’s fintech companies— Most leading fintech founders and creators are often so committed to the development of the product, such matters as brand strategy end up tossed to the wayside, or overlooked altogether. Therein lies the problem: an unrecognized need to grow the company from within.
Most often conflated with a logo or identity system, brand strategy goes much deeper, and in fact, is what informs the aforementioned. Brand strategies are the foundation for how a company looks, sounds and communicates to each of its audiences, instilling a belief system for employees and users alike.
Earlier this year, the Blocknet launched Block DX. In order to establish the new design exchange as a safe and credible platform, the Blocknet first needed to identify a brand character that its creators and user base could use as a truth to rally behind. Not only did this foundational work inspire the Block DX identity system, but during the reveal, it allowed all parties involved to feel connected within the overall organization, forming a stronger sense of community.
Finding a branding partner
When seeking a branding expert, there are several options to consider, depending on the breadth and depth of a company’s needs. Regardless of the kind of partner—agency, contractor, consultant, or the like—fintech companies should understand how to communicate their needs and stipulations. Finding the right partner can be a daunting challenge, given budgetary restrictions, logistical hurdles (how can we best work with this company/individual who’s in a different country or time zone?) and resourcing (where do we even begin to look? How do we know this company/individual is right for us?).
Odds are, if you’re a new, smaller blockchain or crypto brand, you likely aren’t going to consider a partner who expects a six-figure retainer or an individual who’s looking for a full-time, long-term gig. Rather, you might need a partner that can act as a supplement to your team; one who knows and understands your mission, values, and needs, and can act as an extension of your company as you grow. Establishing current and future needs from all angles—identity, brand strategy, UX, etc.—are key to finding a partner who can be nimble and comfortable with ambiguity when the industry faces its ups and downs.
As the fintech world continues to grow and transform, the most important thing for these companies to do is formulate a plan for success through thoughtful brand strategy. Differentiation in this marketplace is key as adoption of blockchain and crypto continues to skyrocket, and stronger, clearer communication from companies means more credibility for the industry as a whole.