Proposal for Branding Guild

NOTE: The seed of this proposal was born out of an earlier proposal for the Creative Council, whose goal was to help guide the creative process, and particularly branding implementation. The original forum post can be seen here: Creative Council Forum Post

Title: Branding Guild Proposal
Authors: Twilight Pirate, NFThinker
Date: 18.12.2021
Submission Date: 20.12.2021

Original Proposal: Branding Guild Proposal Doc

SUMMARY

Branding Guild would act as an arm of the DAO that assures the Bankless brand is used effectively and consistently across Bankless projects, while also offering consulting to incubation projects for properly branding themselves on their self-sustaining journeys.

BACKGROUND

Branding is an integral part of any successful organization. The proper implementation yields a consistent voice, aesthetic, and experience that reinforces the brand mission and values in everything it does.

The Bankless DAO is strongly connected to Bankless HQ and an extension of their work. As a benefactor of the Bankless brand it is the DAOs job to make sure that all of its work consistently flies the Bankless brand flag across all of its projects and endeavors.

Whereas there will be incubation projects that will spin out of the DAO and flying their own brand flag, it is still incumbent upon the DAO to make sure that any entity that leaves the DAO does so with the same level of Blue Chip professionalism consistent with the Bankless brand’s professional integrity.

All of the above needs direct us to the need of a guild that could be a source that governs, implements, and creates brands and branding.

MISSION & VALUES ALIGNMENT

Championing and assuring smooth implementation of brand standards and strategy through:

  • Branding education
  • Branding Tools
  • Brand Management

Creating brand tools that bring to life

  • Brand Character
  • Target Audience
  • Brand Mission
  • Market Position
  • Value Proposition
  • Distinctive Brand Assets

Assist Creative and Product/Service teams in their brand stewardship

SPECIFICATION

Roles - Salaried

Guild Organiser - Twilight Pirate

  • Outlining guidance for branding within DAO and Projects
  • Oversees Incoming and Outgoing Projects
  • Meets with individual project champions to assure overall alignment
  • Future vision
  • Helping projects that are spinning out of the DAO to form their branding
    • Incubation process will take both roles

Governance Coordinator - TBD

  • Create and manage governance documentation, poll creation, and internal governance processes

Secretary - TBD

  • Maintain Notion and Discord
  • Take meeting notes
  • Track incoming and outgoing multisig payments
  • Track compensations

Roles - Bountied

Manager (scalable)

  • Actively implements branding strategy within DAO and projects (assist creatives to assure branding is being done)
    • Incubation process
    • Day to day

Potential Future Bountied Roles

Art / Design Director

  • Available to assist projects with art direction, but not required at current time

Copywriter

  • Available to assist projects with meeting branding criteria for written copy, but not required at current time

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

ROLES

Guild Organiser: 10 Hours per Week (this will likely be more, but reducing ask to meet budget)

  • 130,000 BANK per Season

Governance Coordinator: 3 Hours per Week

  • 39,000 BANK per Season

Secretary: 3 Hours per Week

  • 39,000 BANK per Season

ROLES TOTAL: 208,000

Bounties and Misc

Branding Managers: Bounties based on assisting projects

  • 19,500 BANK per Season (1500 BANK per project x 13 Projects)

Miscellaneous: funding for POAPs and other

  • 5000 BANK

BOUNTIES & MISC TOTAL: 24,500

TOTAL FUNDING REQUEST

Roles 208,000
Bounties & Misc 24,500
Total 232,500

SUCCESS METRICS OR KPIS

Looking towards the future we will hopefully have in place robust testing and analytics for measuring our brand efficacy. In the short-term we will have to analyze our success more subjectively but based upon solid branding principles and past practice. To that end we will:

  • Seek to achieve visual and verbal consistency amongst all outgoing products.

  • Assure client satisfaction through helping projects achieve a strong brand before spinning out of the DAO.

  • Ensure successful and satisfactory implementation of brand standards (are clients happy??)

NEXT STEPS

Upon the acceptance of this proposal, the following steps would be required:

  • Create category in Discord
  • Create Branding page in Bankless Notion
  • Recruit talent for salaried and non-salaried roles
  • Set up a multisig wallet address
  • Receive BANK from Treasury to Guild multisig
  • Set up regular weekly meeting schedule

SQUAD BACKGROUND

  • Twilight Pirate
    • Professor of Branding
    • Co-founder, CEO & CBO of last-mile logistics tech platform
    • Global Art Director and Design Director of two Fortune 50 companies
  • NFThinker
    • Design Talent Coordinator and Secretary
    • Active in Bankless Academy, Education Guild, Ops Guild and DAOlationships
  • Yes, let’s do this!
  • No, isn’t branding the same as marketing?
  • I like, but needs revision. (Plz comment)

0 voters

1 Like

I feel this could be part of the design guild, the marketing guild or better still create a communications guild altogether which would be in charge of official communications and therefore branding should be one of its responsibilities.

2 Likes

I agree with Kouros here. What will the guild produce or do after creating initial branding guidlines? I don’t think quality control is enough for it’s own guild.
I have much respect for NFThinker and Twilight Pirate, but I’m not sure this is its own guild. Marketing or design guild would love to work closely with these two, before creating another silo in the DAO. Just my 2 gwei.

2 Likes

As a member of marketing guild- branding is not marketing guild. Lol. Branding is also not design guild. Branding comes BEFORE marketing and design and is so much more that the red/black/white logo we use. It’s the voice of the brand, the character of the brand, it’s how the brand would act if it morphed into its own anime character. Don’t think anime is Bankless? There! Then that’s not our brand! Branding has soooooo much nitty gritty minutia that must be taken into account before we even consider what our website header looks like.

6 Likes

It might help the proposal if it (or this discussion section) also contained a breakdown of what specific projects needed branding assistance and what was provided, how projects have suffered as they left the nest with poor branding controls, how many projects have requested assistance per season, etc. Just to give everyone a sense of scope of needs. But as is, the Brand Tools feel like a project, more than an ongoing staffing need, while Brand Management feels like (maybe) a scope-limited role within each of Marketing and Design.

2 Likes

Really appreciate the effort that Twilight Pirate and NFThinker put into this, I do have to raise some points and questions, but first I would like to start on what branding is.

Branding is a marketing system that builds a brand using unique elements such as logos, layouts, values, color schemes and more in order to influence customers. Branding gives audiences a way to pick out a specific brand and offers them reasons to choose a brand instead of its competition.

To my knowledge branding is a service that Design Companies do as part of their offerings with mixed teams of Marketers and Designers.

Also branding is not something that a company should iterate often, once done, until future refresh, the branding is done. Let’s say that every project in the DAO, even after a DAO-wide branding and guidelines are put in place and followed, needs a specific branding to compete with external simil-entities, I believe this could be more useful as a Project than a full guild.

My questions are:

  • Would a project be more easily detached from the BDAO server and serve as an autonomous entity that could offer it’s services with more ease to external projects and other DAOs by maybe becoming a SubDAO in future?
  • Would another guild complicate an already complex governance infrastructure that we already have in place in the DAO?

Also I really think that we should start to include revenue-generating frameworks into the proposals.

5 Likes

Abstrucked, I appreciate your supportive words. Thank you. In response to your post about what branding is, that is really only a portion of what branding is. As I responded in the Marketing Guild chat, what you’re referring to is what some call the “garnish.” That is an end result of a mountain of previous branding activity. Here’s what I said:

"Branding is the WHY of a product or service. Marketing is the How. Just as audiences change due to market forces, trends, economic circumstances, etc, so too, should all businesses in order to remain relevant. I know that most of us think of branding as the “garnish” to our product or service, but actually it is the complete synthesis of knowledge around the brand’s mission, vision, value proposition, market position, audience knowledge, product/service knowledge and how to serve all of that up so that the business entity presents itself consistently, even through periods of change. Branding presents the DNA of the business and makes it actionable. What our audience sees (aesthetics) and what they experience is born out of branding activities (the synthesis mentioned above). There is no end to that activity. "

As for your questions:

  • Would a project be more easily detached from the BDAO server and serve as an autonomous entity that could offer it’s services with more ease to external projects and other DAOs by maybe becoming a SubDAO in future?

A: This is totally possible as with any other project. A question of kicking this out, for me, begs the question, who does the branding work for the DAO. Most large companies today have multitudes of staff dedicated to branding, and more forward thinking companies actually have Chief Brand Officers. As I tell my students, the idea of branding extended itself way beyond the logo decades ago.

  • Would another guild complicate an already complex governance infrastructure that we already have in place in the DAO?

A: This is a question for the DAO to answer. What NFTinker and I have put forward we (and some others) see as a necessary help. If the rest of the DAO doesn’t see it as such, then we have an answer.

Thank you for the engagement and allowing me to answer.

2 Likes

Well said, JENetics. I also posted a response to Abstrucked that builds on your point here.

Yes, branding is important but once you’ve done the branding. When we have decided how we want people to see Bankless DAO. Then what do you do? Would you oversee all content produced by the DAO to see if it aligns with the branding?

Kouros, I don’t know if you saw my response above to Abstrucked, but branding is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing need. As I said, above, as consumer attitudes and needs change, then so does our mission to a certain extent. As Bankless our singular mission is to teach folks about DeFi and becoming Bankless. But making sure that we are are staying in touch with our customer base and understanding and responding appropriately to their needs is an act of branding. Our value proposition will change over time; our competitors will change over time; the marketplace will reshape itself over time, etc. Staying on top of this is the purview of branding. Making sure we respond appropriately to these changes is the purview of branding.

A simple way to think of branding is to think of it personally. It can be said you yourself are a brand. And if we follow that thinking through then there are three things that you need to be concerned about with presenting yourself to the world: 1) Knowing who you are and the context in which you live, 2) Knowing how to dress yourself based upon your knowledge of who you are, and 3) Knowing where to show up and how to behave when you get there. For the branding work that I have done for years this is called 1) Brand Foundation, 2) Brand Expression, and 3) Brand Experience. One leads to two leads to three. They’re all interconnected, but you cannot start at three and call that branding. Same with two. You always have to start with one and work your way out (when looking at it as concentric rings, like a pebble thrown into a pond).

As for overseeing all the work, that’s the role of the brand manager. Think of that role as that of an ambassador that is plugged into as many projects as possible and assisting with marketers, writers, and creatives of all sorts to ensure that the brand positioning is consistent and relevant to the particular project.

Thank you for your feedback and an opportunity to respond!

2 Likes

One last thing to add. Branding should be seen as a function of business just as operation, accounting, marketing, sales, etc. It creates projects, but it itself is no project.

Thank you Twilight Pirate and NFThinker for bringing this proposal forward. In a complex and nascent environment such a DAO, it’s clear to me that Branding is an essential part of how we build our image and personality both towards our members and external partners alike. A consistent branding (and how we communicate it) has the potential to help us grow faster and stronger towards our mission to onboard 1 bn people, so it’s certainly a long(er) term endevour. Having said that, I am still not fully convinced on the “how”. I am unsure whether a dedicated branding guild is necessary to have branding stewardship, or if it could be done at a role level, whereby there is a branding officer/role within Design and Marketing Guilds, ensuring there’s a collaborative effort to take the necessary steps to build our brand guidelines, strategy and project deployment etc. I am saying this from the perspective that there seems to be an overlap between these different functions/guilds, and we probably end up working on the same projects, benefiting from marketing, design and branding together. Just a few thoughts and first impressions, thanks for reading me :smiley:

Thanks for your input, Sorolla. Yes, creating a branding role for each of the pertinent guilds has been considered, and this was also explored as a “Creative Council” that would have been four or more elected individuals from Design, AV, Writers, and Marketing Guilds.

The problem I see in creating four different positions for each of the creative guilds is that we are adding the potential for more coordination failures. There would also be more overlap between the individual branding roles, rather than less, as each of the role holders would take their own initiatives while attempting to stick to some framework. And where would that framework originate from? Would Writers Guild be open to receiving branding guidance from Design Guild?

With regards to compensation, it would likely cost more to have individual branding leads for each guild. If we were to consider branding as a 5 hour weekly role, at 1,000 BANK per hour that would be equal to 260,000 BANK per season, and this does not allow for project bounties.

Housing branding under its own guild will increase productivity, reduce overall cost, and further concentrate efforts.

2 Likes

Appreciate your response NFThinker. I recognize those drawbacks as well. On coordination, I could see us experiencing some limitations when it comes to across guild coordination. The framework will be more clearly originated from the branding guild, but how will it be deployed to other guilds? Do we then rely on Marketing, Design etc. to keep up with the latest branding input? Indeed, efforts will be more concentrated (more productive) in the branding guild, but how does this translate to other guilds? I guess my point is that we should not have isolated guilds or workstreams when it comes to our branding; it should be integrated and come alive in all guilds. Integration across guilds is fundamental here. On compensation, that’s clear, no further comments there. In any case, open to the idea and excited to shape our branding :slight_smile:

1 Like

I agreed that this needs to breakdown what needed and what is the plans to do if this is granted.

Thanks for your response, I did not mean that is a job that has to be done once… a behind the scene work is necessary and it’s constant to keep updated and study future trends but the DAO at the moment I believe cannot afford such branch/services.

All this is experimental and I get where you are coming from, that said I still believe that this will result in weaken the DAO and it’s resources instead of fortifying them.

If this proposal aims into create a revenue stream for the DAO it might compensate for the dilution on resources it will create and might as well be worth the extra governance workload that comes with a new guild.

I would be wary onto creating new guilds from here onward… it has to be justified and the DAO-wide situation, both on human and financial resources, has to be taken into account before endeavor into something like this.

Nothing against branding, all the opposite I believe it’s important but it has to be done in a way that will not hurt the other guilds and the DAO as a whole.

I would support the formation of a branding guild as we are getting diffused with all the different things we are getting involved in. Branking is so important to establish the overall way forward, shining a light in the darkness and establishing what bDAO actually is. We are morphing all the time, but lacking direction. A branding guild would solve some of these issues

2 Likes

Abstrucked, in closing these last thoughts of yours, you say, “it has to be done in a way that will not hurt the other guilds and the DAO as a whole.” That is 100% the intent behind this proposal. It is believed that through this coordination effort it will eliminate doubling up on branding efforts from guild to guild. It should, in the main, save the guilds and the DAO both time and money. I am assuming when you use the word “hurt” you are speaking to the result of money spent and time allocated.

As for a revenue stream, there is no doubt that a branding guild could bring in a lot of revenue to the DAO. As we exercise our skills within the DAO and as they become outward focused our value will be evident in the Web 3 marketplace and we will be able to do brand consulting for other DAOs and Protocols throughout the space. DAOs are one of the newest tools in the brand toolbag. As we can show this we can, for quite a while, own the branding of Web 3. I do not say that arrogantly, I say it because I believe it.

1 Like

Nittra, I think you could certainly understand from your own experience working in the DAO, and within the Design Guild and Academy, that there is a great need for this. As for being able to break down what is needed and what the plans are, that would be work done once the guild is up and running. I have listed above many things that would be looked at and audited. Once an audit is complete then tools can be created, and answers given as to how this plays out over time. See my response to Kouros above. There are possibly some answers there for you.

Yes great questions on how to integrate throughout the individual guilds. Some of it will be down to each of them relying on the framework and making best judgements in a decentralized way. Some of the effort will come from Branding Guild checking in on each of these guilds and assuring they both understand the framework and that they are implementing it in the best way. As for projects, there is some budget allocation for new projects to access branding guidance. The projects would then need to factor branding into their work streams, and work to meet the branding guidelines for the DAO. Baking in branding from the beginning of a project will save countless hours in the long run. Bankless Academy already had to slow production in Seasons 1 and 2 in order to go back and formalise its branding. Hopefully we’ve learned from that.

1 Like