Looking to start a Web3 brand or invest in developing your existing Web3 business?
Then you must have come across some of the usual roadblocks, like…
Where to start?
How do I get my message across to my audience?
How do I know if the design is accurate or not?
Am I saying the right things? Should I hire someone to help me?
And if so… How do I know if I'm hiring the right person?
These questions are all valid. And to find the answers, you must clear something out first:
What's your Strategy?
Yes — Strategy comes first and is the foundation of your entire project.
Call it Web3 Strategy, Web3 research, or just basic groundwork… You must have a clear roadmap to follow before even thinking about investing, marketing, design, or branding.
But hey, don't sweat it. We'll explain exactly what needs to be done, why, and how to get your Web3 brand to the next level.
So sit tight, and enjoy.
Yeah — every layer of a business comes from a strategic process.
How your Web3 brand is perceived comes from a well-put-together brand strategy. How it looks comes from a design strategy. And how it sells itself to the masses comes from a marketing strategy.
That said, there's always a strategy to follow — and you must plan it before thinking about executing… Protect your Web3 brand, assets, and, most importantly, growth.
Just like Precept says:
"The best brands have so effectively mastered their brand strategy that even without the presence of their logo and regardless of which channel you find them on, you still know exactly which company you're interacting with. It may be the way they speak, the content they create, what language they use, which emotions they elicit, or the philosophy they promote. Whatever 'it' is, it's instantly recognizable and it's undeniable."
And this is a perfect example of why Brand Strategy is essential.
Let's think about Bitcoin for a second.
Sure — if you're in the Web3 space or have used the Internet in the past 5 years, you've probably heard of it.
But now… You only need to see the B logo and immediately recognize what it is and what it stands for.
Not because you've been told. But because they've followed an impeccable Brand Strategy to be recognized as a beacon of financial freedom.
The same principle applies to Ethereum, Disney, Nike…
There's a complex process behind their recognition. And it all began with Strategy.
So, without a doubt, if you're in the pursuit of excellence for your Web3 brand…
Get started with Strategy first.
Let's get something straight first.
There are not that many Web3 Brand Strategy agencies out there — and that's because this is a relatively new area of focus.
And we're proud to say we're part of that 10% of agencies involved in the Web3 Brand Strategy process since Day 1.
We're one of those OGs if you wish.
That's why we'll tackle this section without beating around the bush.
A consistent strategy to position a Web3 brand in the market considers 4 key elements:
Let's dissect each of these elements for clarity now.
When we talk about Positional Elements, we mean those elements that speak directly to each persona you're trying to reach out to.
For example, in a Web3 strategy for a Web3 brand, you could have many different avatars or personas — let's say you're aiming for Business Owners, and Investors for this particular example.
Let's think — what could be THAT X Factor each of these avatars could resonate the most with?
It could be finding a safe investing alternative to diversify their portfolio.
But that would resonate exclusively with the Investor avatar. What about the Business Owner?
They (Business Owner) could be more interested in finding a solution to delegate areas of his business he's not an expert with.
Now, we need to frame these needs into statements to ensure we craft a positional element they can relate to.
AKA — this is how WE want the audience to perceive your business.
Now, talking about Brand Frameworks…
There are 5 aspects to consider.
We have the Vision, which is the long-term Strategy and idealized description of a business outcome.
We also have the Mission and the shorter-term steps to take to ACHIEVE the Vision.
Then, we have the Brand Promise — what the Web3 brand stands for and how the organization wants to be considered.
Following is the Brand Personality, which is the personality trait that humanizes the Web3 brand. This also includes the Brand Voice—meaning the brand's sound in outward communication.
This is exactly what allows Web3 brands to achieve their correct audiences, becoming the foundation of a marketing, design, and branding strategy.
AKA — don't even think about getting started or investing in marketing, design, or branding for your Web3 brand without performing proper Web3 research.
First, build the brand on paper. Then, build the brand in reality.
And talking about research…
Because it's the best way to determine the threats, opportunities, and points of focus for your Web3 brand development project.
Or, like Voxco says:
"The idea behind any market research is simple: The better you know and understand your customers, the better you'll be able to serve them. But many organizations ignore the role that nuanced market research plays in the success of the business. So here's a list of reasons that should be enough to push an organization to invest and practice conducting regular market research:
What's more — it's your best chance to plot your business growth.
Like Tutsplus says, a strategy and Web3 research practice will allow you to…
"1. Easily Spot Business Opportunities
After you've done your market research, it'll be clear to you who you want to reach out to (your target customers), where you can reach them (your marketing channels), and what they're interested in. Once you've defined these, you'll be able to easily spot business opportunities. For example:
2. Lower Business Risks
Around half of businesses with employees don't survive past the fifth year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The way to make sure that your business survives for longer is to ensure that you've got a steady stream of sales and customers. To do that, you need market research.
3. Create Relevant Promotional Materials
If you've ever wondered what text or images to put on your fliers, website, or social media accounts, with thorough market research, you'll know exactly what to do. Since target customers have already expressed all their wants, needs, and frustrations with you, you'll know exactly what to address and how to address it when you start creating your marketing materials."
Let's be clear on this:
There's NO magic formula for Web3 research, Web3 Strategy, or how to build a Web3 brand.
It's ultimately about finding out what works for you considering your particular needs, resources, and strengths.
Or, like ImsMarketing says:
"You should always ensure the end goals and objectives are clear. Your target audience, business objectives, challenges, and end customer should be at the heart of it."
However, if we had to name a step-by-step process to follow from a high-level standpoint, we'd go with ImsMarketing's recommendation:
If you're tired of brainstorming things yourself, or don't have enough time to develop your strategy process, or even if you just wish you could delegate your Web 3 Brand Strategy efforts to a team of experts…
We're here to help.
See, our CEO, Jason Goodman, is always available and willing to advise new and not-so-new Web3 Enthusiasts.
That way, we could understand where you are, what you're going after, and what would be the best way to get you moving towards your end goal.
So, click the link here to schedule a call with Jason, and let's see what we can do to get your Web3 Brand up and running!
Again, it's been a pleasure, and see you next time!
- The Spark + Mint Team
Gamified approaches to Blockchain. What are they, how do they work, and how can they take the Web3 industry to new heights?
The gaming industry has been revolutionized lately with the introduction of gamified approaches to Blockchain technology.
And no wonder why.
In recent years, a few developers have envisioned a way to merge the critical elements of Crypto and Video Games, unknowingly creating an entire industry known as Crypto Gaming.
Appealing rewards, simple gameplay, and an entry for new users to the Blockchain universe…
These Crypto Gaming efforts could potentially take the Web3 industry to new heights.
And we're here to tell you all about it.
So, without further ado, let's begin!
Considering that Web3 allows individuals to engage, share, and collaborate with a decentralized approach, we could safely say that Web3 gaming is nothing more than an adaptation of these principles to the gaming industry.
Or like LeewayHertz says:
"Web3 gaming is a process of decentralized gaming where the activities of a gaming ecosystem or a gaming platform, precisely that of the ownership of gaming assets and decision-making in all aspects of gaming, are delegated away from any central authority.
Web3 games are built by integrating blockchain into the gaming ecosystem, allowing gamers to express their opinion on when and how the game should evolve. Web3 gaming also lays down the foundation of play-to-earn for players, and it changes the pay-to-play aspect by offering asset trading, tradeable game tokens and opportunities to earn in cryptos while playing."
What's huge here is the fact that the ownership of the gaming assets, same as the gameplay and decision-making processes are not ruled by a central figure.
Meaning that… The overall experience is way less rigid and allows the player or user to interact with its environment almost without limitations.
Besides, in some cases, there are monetary rewards — as an incentive for playing the game.
A great example of this is Axie Infinity.
This Crypto Gaming Platform introduced many people to this new realm, in which, in exchange for playing, they could get small bits of crypto — almost working as miners if you wish, but with a gamified approach.
That said, in a nutshell, Web3 gaming is the natural evolution of the gaming industry to adapt itself to this new Blockchain era — revolutionizing how people interact with video games and introducing several new agents, businesses, and interests into the Web3 and Blockchain world.
Everything related to Web3, Blockchain, and Crypto shows signs of fast, unprecedented growth.
In fact, more than 400 active Web3/Crypto games are in 2022, meaning that more businesses and developers are allocating their resources to pushing this industry forward!
Because the Blockchain Gaming Platforms (or Web3 gaming) include several perks for the user, like, as said, opening the door for unlimited creativity and new ideas.
Like giving the user complete power and control over their gaming experience and assets as they earn them.
Now, talking about some of the most recognized platforms for anyone looking to get themselves in the Blockchain Gaming universe…
The Techtian lays out a top 7 below by saying:
Decentraland offers its avatar system, tools, and other collections, which users use to customize their assets. Its lands have also come in handy as online galleries, stores, and other virtual enterprises.
Sorare is one of the biggest platforms in terms of soccer and the entire sports field. If you're a fan of soccer and looking forward to participating in the blockchain, then go for Sorare.
The goal is to build a strong team capable of moving to competitions. You can earn Ethereum or cash by winning your games.
3. Sky Mavis
Their game, Axie Infinity, turned out to be one of the most successful games on the field. The game also recorded the most significant number of players for an extended period. It presently has a spot in the top 5 NFT games.
4. Mythical Games
The organization has one goal: to build what they refer to as the 'Mythical Economic Engine". Mythical Economic Engine is a scheme to assist game builders in creating NFT marketplaces without trouble.
5. Dapper Labs
In 2017, they released one of the most famous Play2Earn games known as CryptoKitties.
CryptoKitties came in as one of the first successful blockchain games launched with crypto-related gameplay. However, it is not as popular as other games that have taken its place.
6. Dream Team
Dreamteam is another sport-orientated blockchain platform aiming at bringing people together with sports. It drew its inspiration from the Dream Team movie, featuring a similar plot.
7. Zed Run
The Zed Run metaverse game is one of the few with horse racing as its focal point. In Zed Run, players build up their stable, equip it with powerful horses and participate in races.
With each game won, players earn several rewards to keep spicing up their stables. The game can be tactical when building your horse and grooming them.
However, as said previously…
We're in front of just 7 of the most known Crypto Gaming Platforms.
That doesn't necessarily mean these are the best, even though they rank high up there.
The point here is that this new digital economy is pushing creators and dedicated teams to step up and create new experiences to support Web3 growth.
We're all in the same boat. And if we want to arrive at our destination, we must cheer these efforts and support them.
Needless to say that the incentives for playing these games are very attractive, by the way.
We are convinced that we're already way ahead of that stage. Meaning… It's happening already.
For instance, Analytics Steps highlighted, "The majority of these games are streamed online, and players employ virtual assets to fulfill specific goals and prove their dominance. Gaming is gradually gaining traction as a global sport. According to a DappRadar and Blockchain Game Alliance report from Q1 2022, the blockchain gaming industry alone grew more than 2000% in one year."
2000% growth in one year, and there are roughly 400 games as of 2022.
So, a rhetorical question would be…
Where will the Blockchain Gaming industry be when the word spreads and big companies start investing in Web3 gaming?
Let me get this one for you with a quote from an Investing.com recent article:
"In 2021, total investments in blockchain gaming totaled $4 billion. This figure was already reached in 2022, with investments totaling almost $7 billion. If current trends continue, the figure is expected to reach $10.2 billion by 2022.
Temasek, a Singaporean investment firm, sponsored the current $100 million funding round for Animoca Brands to grow the company's exposure in the industry.
Axie Infinity, another renowned firm in the industry, surpassed $4 billion in total NFT sales, while Xterio achieved a $40 million fundraising, which will be invested in mobile Web3 games."
The Blockchain Gaming industry is booming, guys. And it's still early to crash the party.
Subscribe to our Newsletter and get weekly updates delivered straight to your inbox. Everything from Web3 gaming, how it's changing, and how the overall Blockchain technology is affecting its path… All at the tip of your fingers, coming from a trusted, unbiased source of information.
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Again, it's been a pleasure, and we look forward to sharing new updates with you soon!
— The Spark + Mint Team
Big corporations are making moves... and Web3 has something to do with it. Doesn't matter the size of your business - eventually, you'll have to turn your eyes to Web3 as a way to keep innovating and providing your users with top-notch solutions.
Big Corporations are making moves… And Web3 has something to do with it.
See, it doesn’t really matter the size of your business — eventually, you’ll have to turn your eyes to Web3 as a way to keep innovating and providing your users with top-notch solutions.
But why is that?
Why are these Big Corporations doing business in Web3?
Are we facing a wave of rising Web3 Corporations?
Should you get your business started on a Web3 environment?
And most importantly, HOW to begin a smooth transition into Web3?
We’ll touch base with you on these questions and many more over the next few minutes, so lay back, relax, and enjoy.
Let’s get started!
Web3’s growth has been massive over the last few years.
In fact, Cointelegraph points out that recently gathered Web3 statistics show that 2021 saw Web3 project development hit its all-time high.
And… 34,000 new developers committed code to Web3 projects in 2021.
Companies from all over the world and of all sizes are investing in Web3 as part of their business journey.
And what may seem like the logical evolution of a booming industry… It’s actually a bit more complicated than that.
See, dear friend, there’s a message going out. And it’s loud and clear:
More and more people are entering the Web3 space. And business in Web3 will become the new normal, regardless of the company size or budget.
There’s an old saying in marketing:
“Your brand should be where your audience is.”
And now, Web3 projects attract more Gen Z and Millennials than traditional Web2 ventures.
What’s more — A 2019 Deloitte report revealed that 86% of executives believed mainstream brands would transition to adopt blockchain for their businesses, while 77% feared their brands would lose their competitive edge if they took too long to adopt blockchain technology.
Coincidence? We believe there are no coincidences in this aspect of the business.
In fact, Gigster elaborates on this matter by saying:
“Web3 has made the blockchain disruption seem far away from brands, and their product is now becoming a necessity. As a result, brands that adopted a “wait and see” position are now finding ways to differentiate themselves from their rivals in a highly competitive space.”
So, why are businesses like Disney, Starbucks, Puma, and even Nike investing in Metaverse, Crypto, and Web3 growth?
Simple: It allows them to connect with their audience and provide them with benefits that the Web2 landscape simply can not offer.
Now, talking about these benefits…
Starbucks is a great example of doing business in Web3.
They realized a fantastic way to promote their business and reward their customers could be achieved through Web3 technology.
In fact, we dug deeper into their specific venture last August in our ‘Starbucks goes Crypto? Learn more about this potential Web3 Rewards Program’ article. You can read more about this by clicking here.
But they are not alone.
Disney, Nike, Puma… They are all aiming to become Web3 corporations soon.
Sure — they might have an insane budget.
But if these top dogs, like VC Funds, invest in Web3 projects…
What does that mean for mid to small-sized businesses?
It means they know something you don’t, and you might be missing out on something big.
Now, let’s examine some more benefits for businesses of all sizes.
Just like Social Media Examiner says:
“The tech giants of Web2 are already moving to Web3: Facebook re-branded to Meta to promote its place in Web3 and the Metaverse; Instagram and Twitter allow people to use NFTs as profile photos; Twitter and Discord have embedded themselves into the core of the Web3 discussion.
Using Web3 technologies, businesses of all sizes will be able to connect with their audiences in many new ways beyond developing and releasing NFT projects.
Web3 technologies will let businesses implement more effective incentive or loyalty programs. In some cases, those programs and other consumer experiences will be enhanced by using members’ crypto wallets to understand user behavior — similar to the way businesses use tracking and cookies in Web2, today.”
This comes with a big takeaway, guys.
Web3 allows businesses of all sizes to CONNECT with their audiences in new, engaging, and meaningful ways, more than just releasing profitable products and services.
It’s about providing a memorable experience.
Something they long for to become raving fans.
Something they can’t think twice before joining.
Something that makes them feel part of something BIG.
And that’s what Web3 provides as the main benefit for these innovative businesses and for those sitting on the fence still thinking about joining the wave:
A new, innovative way to connect and build the future. Provide more tailored solutions to everyday problems. And most importantly, a new landscape of opportunities to bring growth to a booming industry.
You’ve heard it from us before, but Disney is making big moves toward the Web3 business.
For instance, they launched a Web3 Accelerator program, directly benefiting projects such as Polygon, Red6, and inWorld — funding their Web3 growth with upfront cash, know-how, and coaching from industry experts.
However, Disney’s not alone.
Beincrypto lists some top companies joining the Web3 business model below by saying:
Meta intends to include the inexpensive, lightweight headgear into their social construct. Consequently, after the change, Meta has invested in Oculus Quest, a physical gadget designed to expose consumers to the Metaverse.
Shopify is a Canadian company responsible for millions of online retailers. It debuted the beta version of its NFT trading platform in 2021. It enabled users to mint and even sell collectible NFTs on several blockchains.
In contrast, Shopify’s NFT program enables users to mint and sell their NFTs.
Using NFTs as profile images appears to be an excellent way for NFTs owners to demonstrate their status. This may show ownership of digital assets they may possess. In contrast, Twitter is the only major big tech platform that appears to implement this new concept.
This music platform has just posted web3-based job openings, including positions for managers, engineers, and experts in developing trends in light of the fact that even artists have begun selling their NFT works.
It has said it would aid Astar Network in constructing the web3 future through the Astar Incubation program. This partnership will enable Microsoft to provide Astar Incubation Program businesses with tools and support. Microsoft has also expressed interest in Polkadot, an additional smart contract technology that competes with Ethereum via the Astar Network.
Now, is it safe to say that if you should start looking towards building your business in Web3?
We’d say it is. Only if you don’t want to get left behind.
Spark and Mint focus on helping businesses find a way through Web3 and determine if switching gears is the right move — besides, we help these businesses thrive through purposeful design thinking methods applied to Web3 purposes.
So, if you’re curious about discovering if Web3 is where your business should be…
Just click here to schedule a call with Jason Goodman, our CEO and Co-Founder.
He’ll be more than happy to assist you with your doubts, concerns, and address your thoughts with the utmost professionalism. As if he were in your shoes.
That said, pal, it’s been a blast.
Catch you next time with another red-hot topic about Web3!
- The Spark + Mint Team
The decentralized internet should be safer yet, there's always someone with a different idea in mind. Web3 hacking is the real deal, and this is how you prepare.
The decentralized Internet should be safer.
Yet, there's always someone with a different idea in mind.
Web3 hacking is the real deal — and if that ever happens to you or your business, you should be prepared.
But hey… Let's not panic.
Over the following paragraphs, we'll discuss hacking in a Web2 environment and how it evolved to threaten the Web3 and Crypto industries…
But most importantly…
How good design ensures a safer Web3 universe for every user.
Now, let's refresh our memory before diving into the hacking thingy, shall we?
Once upon a time, a computer scientist came up with a novel term to imagine what would be the future of the Internet.
And by that, we mean the year 2014 and Gavin Wood coining the term. (No pun intended)
The term ended up being shortened from Web 3.0 to Web3 and entailed a decentralized version of the Internet.
We won't go over the top explaining what Web3 is, but we do believe it is crucial to get the point across to move on to the hacking side of things.
Or, like we said in our 'Doing Your Own Web3 Research: A practical guide' article:
"(Web3 entails) Easy access to information. Fast execution of transactions. And even transparency to build trust among an entire industry."
But now, a question arises…
Does hacking really represent a threat to Web3?
We believe that same as with Web2, it does.
Let's get something straight first:
This is not a guide for hacking. It is an educational post to illuminate our community about the threat of hackers haunting the Web3 environment and the Internet.
Now, let's talk about Web2 vs. Web3:
First, hacking in Web2 could be perceived as the same effort these burglars are applying to Web3.
That's why most Security Experts agree that there's no such thing as 'Security 2.0', given that, quoting Network World, "Security is not a product. It's a process."
Following up on the idea…
"Security is a process; one that constantly evolves and (theoretically) improves over time. As the Internet landscape continues to sprout new threats and exploits, Security adaptively grows to counter with protection and prevention (once again, theoretically). In its many forms, malware rapidly spreads and infects with great speed and efficiency. It's not released incrementally in the forms of Virus 2.0, XSS 2.0 or Trojan 2.0. This is the reason why Security is a process-threats are a process."
That said, would it be accurate to say that Web2 hacking, compared to Web3 hacking, is just the transgression and natural evolution of these unscrupulous efforts and tactics to adapt to new technology?
We believe so.
So, the real discussion is…
What has changed?
What are the differences between Web2 hacking and Web3 hacking?
That Web2 had no Smart Contracts.
Infosecwriteups explains it best here by saying that…
"Web3 bugs are not like web2 bugs, and there are many differences. You can find web2 bugs in web3 applications, not in smart contracts. In web2, we classify vulnerabilities with CWE, but in the smart contract, we classify issues with Smart Contract Weakness Classification (SWC)."
However… What do they mean by saying there's a Smart Contract Weakness Classification?
It means there are common deadly sins in Web3 programming called Web3 Vulnerabilities.
And these are…
This issue occurs when a developer forgets to set proper visibility for a function, and a malicious user (hacker) can make unauthorized or unintended state changes.
Due to missing or insufficient access controls, malicious parties can withdraw all ethers from the contract. This issue is sometimes caused by unintentionally exposing init functions. By wrongly naming a function intended to be a constructor, the constructor code ends up in the runtime byte code and can be called by anyone to reinitialize the contract.
In a reentrancy attack, a malicious contract (attacker contract) calls back into the calling contract before the first invocation of the function is completed. This may lead to the different invocations of the function to interact in undesirable ways.
The vulnerability comes when the user requests a number of ethers. In this case, the attacker calls the withdraw()function. He can transfer tokens even though he has already received tokens because his balance is not yet set to 0.
And just to give you an idea about what's coming…
According to Developer Tech, Web3 Projects lost $2B in H1 2022 because of hacking.
2. Billion. Dollars. In just six months. That's insane.
But, what can we do to make Web3 safer?
How can we protect our projects from insider threats and make the decentralized Internet great again for everyone?
The answer may be more simple than you might think it is…
Let us elaborate more on this:
Short answer: Design with user intention to minimize the risk of hacking.
According to Wordtracker, designing with user intent could be defined as…
"Every visitor to your site has a reason for being there. They have some needs that they are trying to satisfy with the help of your website. This is called user intent – in other words, their purpose for being on your site. So, why does user intent matter when it comes to website design? Understanding what information the user is looking for can help you to create a clearer path to that information. If a user is able to easily navigate through your website, they are more likely to return to the site or even make a purchase right then and there."
With this in mind, it's clear that design is paramount when it comes to Security… Because your design calls may contain side effects.
Just like Dan Bergh Johnsson says in his book 'Secure by Design':
"We believe that design is an extremely important concept in software development, so important that we even put the word in the title of this book. As such, it's only appropriate to start by defining our view of the term design and how it's used throughout this book. Understanding the meaning of the word will help you understand the discussions and concepts being conveyed in this book.
When developing software, you constantly make decisions on how to write the code that solves the problems. You decide what syntax to use, what constructs and algorithms to apply, how to structure the code, and how to steer the flow of execution. If you're using an object-oriented approach, you'll make decisions on what your object model should look like and the interactions between the objects within that model. If you're applying a functional style of programming, you'll make decisions on what behavior to pass in as functions, making sure you're creating pure functions without side effects.7 All these decisions can be viewed as part of the design process."
Our main task as designers is to create visually appealing products with a functional purpose… Without neglecting or sacrificing Security, prioritize the 'nice' side of things.
Just like in marketing people say 'cute doesn't sell'... In Web3 design we would say 'cute won't protect your Crypto'. Or something along those lines.
So, as a final thought:
Always keep in mind that as designers, we are responsible for creating appealing but at the same time, safe assets. Designing with user intent prevents hackers from finding breaches or gaps to perpetuate their malicious intent. And we must minimize this if we want Web3 to keep growing to never-seen heights.
That said, fellow designer, developer, or Crypto enthusiast…
All you gotta do is subscribe to our Newsletter to get informed!
We send weekly emails to our subscribers explaining everything they need to know about Crypto, Web3 hacking, Blockchain Updates, and even Design tips for anyone interested in building their next project.
Besides… It's free, guys. No pennies asked.
Just click here to subscribe and let the ideas flow!
As always, it's been a pleasure — and see you next time!
- The Spark + Mint Team