Think Response, not Stimuli

Think Response, not Stimuli

Have you ever thought about the etymology of the word "brand"?

The term hails from the world of farming. In the olden days, farmers would burn a mark on their cattle to distinguish them apart. The word used for that process was dubbed "branding" livestock.

The word "brand" now has been extended to far different contexts. There is, however, a through-line to talk about: differentiation. What mark, physical and mental, will you burn into your prospects mind to separate you from the rest?Differentiation has two sides, one is is positioning, the other is branding. One is yin, the other yang.

Positioning is rational. In precise and matter-of-fact phrases, your position logically answers the what and why. Do not confuse your position statement with a tag-line. A tag-line is a manifestation of your position.

For example, Nike's tag-line is famously known as just do it. That is not their corporate position. The corporate position of Nike (taken directly from a recent press release) is "the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic apparel."

Branding is emotional. It's the overall gut feel that folks have to your differentiating signal. This brings me to an important point: brand is a response, not a stimuli. A strong argument can be made that you can't actually brand something, you can only position it for response. Think of brand as a prize. You have to earn it, through consistent and authentic communications.

Branding in Web3 is entirely different animal than in web2. Brand positioning in Web3 is harder and more difficult to sustain, given the unique network effects. One of the smartest things you can do is to underpin the community of your protocol with a shared belief.

"We really truly believe that your access to finance and  financial stability shouldn’t depend on your current location, origin, religion, or race.”

~ Vitalik Buterin

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