In the world of marketing, attention is the ultimate currency.
Brands must capture the attention of their target audience, and sometimes that means figuring out where the industry's attention is focused at the moment and how to grab it.
But let's be honest, some brands don't just capture attention, they steal it from others. They ride the wave of industry trends, public interest and the zeitgeist of an ecosystem, only to 'abandon' their followers as soon as they have gained popularity.
I call this 'bundle and breakaway' strategy.
In the fierce competition for attention, sometimes the smartest move is to position yourself as closely as possible to a person or ecosystem that already commands a significant amount of attention. It's about finding an entity that has a high attention density and leveraging it to your advantage. The key is to latch on, or 'bundle-up', with that entity and ride its wave of popularity, absorbing as much attention as possible, before executing a strategic exit, or 'breakaway'.
Polygon <> Ethereum
Initially, Polygon marketed itself as a Layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum, aiming to improve the scalability and user experience of decentralized applications built on the Ethereum network. The project offered a faster and cheaper alternative to Ethereum transactions by using sidechains and Plasma, a technology designed to increase the processing capacity of Ethereum.
In other words, Polygon bundled-up with Ethereum. Polygon positioned itself as a complementary solution to the Ethereum network, rather than a direct competitor.
Below is a screenshot of the front page of Ethereum's website a few years ago.
As Polygon grew in popularity, it expanded its focus beyond Ethereum and positioned itself as a multi-chain scaling solution, supporting various blockchain networks, including Binance Smart Chain, Polygon POS, and more.
Polygon staged a 'breakaway' from Ethereum. Now, Polygon mostly pushes its mass adoption narrative.
This approach can be highly effective, but it's not without risk. Brands that attach themselves to a popular entity without creating real value or building authentic relationships risk being perceived as opportunistic or inauthentic. Therefore, it's essential to approach this strategy with integrity, aligning yourself with entities that are relevant to your brand and your audience, using the attention you gain to build long-term value and engagement.