The Coinbase Effect: How Projects Can Capture New Customers or Risk Losing Everything
As I wrote about earlier, Coinbase is bringing new attention and more legitimacy to our industry, and projects need to re-think how they talk about themselves to a more mainstream audience if they want to capture these customers.
But how do projects re-position themselves?
The following is three things every project should do to grow their userbase and ensure their company is going in the right direction.
1.Understand your current customer base. That’s what Coinbase did! From noobs to institutional to traders, they knew exactly the personas of their customers! Successful companies do two things. They give people things they didn’t even know they needed (iPhones!) and they give people what they want. In crypto this is especially important as projects expanded their offerings and attract customers that are nothing like their original user base.
How to do this: Survey your customers to understand at a macro level who they are and what they are thinking. And then talk to them 1:1 to get a deeper understanding of why they use your product and what matters to them.
Next steps: Establish exactly who your customer is, communicate that with your employees, create a strategy to attract them and obsessively focus on executing that plan.
Your biggest obstacle to success: Projects have to find balance in how they target the crypto community and a more mainstream consumer. Don’t let yourself get pulled back into this day-to-day crypto PR and marketing grind.
2. Talk to your employees. I’m guessing if you asked 10 employees to describe your company, you’d get a handful of different answers. Same if you asked them the direction of the company. By talking to your employees, you can better understand perception vs reality.
Why this matters: You have to be aligned internally, if you want to be aligned with your customer.
Why it really matters: It’s critical that employees are informed, aligned and bought-in to your project’s direction. Coinbase knew that and took steps to make it happen. Your great vision is only as good as the employees that believe in it and execute on it.
3. Talk to anyone outside crypto, especially people that fit a mainstream persona you want to target. The problem with crypto is thatwe have been talking to ourselves for years. The echo chamber in a project (and the industry as a whole) has impeded our ability to gain mainstream awareness quicker.
How to do this: Survey a large group of a demographic you want to target to get an understanding of their perception and understanding of crypto as it relates to your project. Get to know where their pain points are and what drives — or impedes — their consumer behavior. Additionally, talk to normies 1:1 to get deeper understanding.
Why this matters: Too many projects are just guessing how to communicate to future customers. You have to know what they are thinking so you know exactly how to talk to them. It’s the intersection of data, science and communication — which the crypto community should appreciate.
Conclusion: Years ago, people creating crypto projects knew what the crypto community needed and wanted because their customer was their peer. This bull run coupled with Coinbase going public has created a flood of mainstream awareness and a totally new customer that you need to better understand if you want your project to continue to grow.
Shameless plug: This is what we do at Ditto. Just like I would never try to write code to create a new cryptocurrency, projects should bring in experts who know how to do this.