TL;DR : Brand Refresh and Website Design Continues, RFPs In The Wild, Ramping Up Events (EthDenver! Consensus! HelloDecentralization!), Super Secret Partnerships.
The NEAR team has been focused on building the past 28 months. We’re now transitioning to Go-To-Market and this is requiring not only a different mindset but also different approaches – including the evolution of the NEAR brand. This is a sneak peek into what goes into this evolution.
Our team works closely with the Dev Team Leads and our partners. There’s been a lot of discussion around moving from a sandbox environment to the real world. This is why a brand refresh is important now more than ever. The NEAR brand touches everything in the ecosystem in some way.
Here’s a helpful deck to get all of us on the same page for how we think about Branding at NEAR and our products and services (not just our website but the brand as a whole – EVM+Bridge, our wallets, education, and more.)
What is Brand Strategy? Brand strategy is a disciplined process used to build awareness and loyalty. It is driven by leadership but requires buy-in and participation from all. It about alignment (Vision, Action, Expression, Experience.) Think of it as the single point of origin for everything we say and do.
Fast forward - In our Branding working group, we narrowed down an Archetype (basically a way to help us define the personality we want to embody as project and further connect emotionally to Developers and Founders/Makers. At this stage of NEAR in 2021, we felt the Explorer Archetype best resonated with our Vision of “A world where people have control of their money, data, and power of governance.” and our Mission to “To accelerate the world’s transition to open technologies by growing and enabling a community of developers and creators.”
Besides working cross-functionally and with different partners, internal teams, Leadership, and community members, we tasked a few notable brand agencies with an RFP outlining our goals and timelines. This includes:
Refresh the Brand Identity to reflect maturity and growth.
- Explore new concepts based on the strategy
- Challenge assumptions and help refine conceptual vision
- Engage and test concepts with Developers
- Everything except the logo is on the table
- Collaborate with internal Brand team
To capture NEAR’s Vision with visuals and motion.
- “Embracing the Explorer” is about engaging and empowering developers and early adopters on their journey
- Explore visual concepts that mimic real-world exploration
- Static Visuals
- Motion Visuals
To create an immersive web experience.
- NEAR enables a new land of opportunity for those who participate
- We want the website to feel like you’re exploring a ‘new land’ and can easily find your tribe and the resources you need along the way
- The NEAR ecosystem provides a diverse set of opportunities for all people, not just developers
- While being visually engaging, and immersive, the website will need to perform well from an SEO standpoint while strategically driving ‘top of funnel’ growth
We have a lot of these pieces now in motion now and it’s worth sharing that partnerships (like exchanges and companies like Flux, Mintbase, and Figment) recognize what we’re building and WHY we’re building it. Developer Success is at the heart of everything we do.
So we want you to think about the NEAR brand from moving from this…
To a mood more like this…
The Brand Agency we end up choosing will take this mood and brand concept to a whole different level with the right polish. We are discussing a very different look and feel to our brand. One that has dimension/layers (not flat and one dimensional as we are now), one that feels alive and constantly moving, competitive, differentiated, and a brand that is elemental (not space-themed, cartoonish, overly-used blockchain icons or absent of creativity.) We’re excited to share more with you in the coming weeks and want to hear your thoughts on this.
We’ve been heads down with planning marketing campaigns and rolling out our partnership pipeline campaigns – this includes companies/projects building on NEAR and also exchanges working to support NEAR’s growth. While you may not always see what we do (due to NDAs), know that we are constantly working hard on campaigns behind-the-scenes.
Upcoming Product Launch Support
Another area we’re in the thick of planning for is product launch support (ex. Codename: Project Aurora). Each product or solution at NEAR requires a dedicated cross-functional team to drive and support along the way so while this isn’t “marketing driven”, it does deeply involve the marketing team.
We are happy to report we hired more content marketing support and are rolling out a new process around amplification requests. This will be shared next week.
Last but not least, we should be able to share more about the PR Agency we’ll have supporting NEAR’s ecosystem in 2021. We super excited to take our stories and announcements further.
Are you feeling the excited for 2021? Let us know what you think below!
Thanks for your support,
NEAR Foundation Marketing Team