Discover more from The Blueprint
010. brands, rebrands, and the world wide web
i'm back and i'm better
What's that jacket, Margiela?
—Kanye West, “Niggas in Paris”
Last night, I came across this tweet/bar from the homie Sean:
In the replies, Jacob Horne cited his own tweet from July 2022:
It got me thinking, and for one reason or another, the concept of brands & rebrands have been on a mind a lot recently, especially in relation to content (this newsletter), [re]branding through nomenclature (crypto), professional life, celebrities (literally all of them), and aging (me, friends, people I study/admire)
The Blueprint ™️
This year, I challenged myself to not just write more, but actually publish more, especially through this medium, Substack, which I increasingly love as a reader and patron. I’ve written several drafts but, as the archives show, have yet to publish anything this year. A lot of the hesitation is because I’ve been struggling with the brand I’d like my blog to present and operate.
Things I consider as I embark to establish the Blueprint’s brand: Volume? Frequency? Type of engagement? Depth of engagement? Audience? Reach? Penetration? Is the brand cohesive? Is it loud? Is it (anti)fragile? Is it impulsive / edited? Is it cancellable? Is it professional? Is it original? Is it sticky? Is it techie? Is it Black? Is it culturally significant? Is it cool? Is it entertaining? Is it something people will quote on Twitter? Will people talk about it in group chats?
When I “drop” and you see that “Blueprint” notification in your email inbox – do I want it to feel like when Drake drops an album or when Beyonce drops an album or when Kendrick drops an album? [not trying to flatter myself, just using those three to point out there’s a major difference]
I don’t have answers yet btw. Just floating these questions because I think asking them publicly will help me (or us?) begin to arrive at an answer.
[Re]branding trough nomenclature/language
Crypto has a bit of a nomenclature problem, which, by extension, becomes a branding issue. By no means is it a serious, existential threat to crypto, it’s just kind of annoying lol. There’s probably a long list of controversial terms in crypto, but the most pervasive and most hotly debated are “web3,” “wallet,” and, especially these days, “account abstraction.”
“Web3” was a rebrand from crypto. It’s great in that it frames the broader blockchain-enabled ecosystem as a technological movement that follows two distinct eras of technology, and not just a financial one. It’s perhaps corny because you sound like a noob saying “I work in web3” vs. “I work in crypto.” It’s controversial because people working/building in “web2” feel like it's a diss.
In the grand arc of technology, it’s probably trivial to ask whether the high-level, thematic branding of blockchain-enabled technology as “crypto” or “web3” will have a meaningful impact on the pace and depth of adoption. But it's a cool(?) thought experiment to consider how the world might look if we reimagined and rebranded the “internet” as the “world wide web.” What affect does the brand have on our imagination and protocols or applications we would build? How would it affect downstream terminology? Who does the brand invite and who does it exclude? Might we view the web as more of a shared global resource? Would it encourage more/less siloed regulation or behaviors across cultures geographies? Who knows.
Anyways, here are my definitive BEST brands in existence, in no particular order. Many of which I plan on drawing and deviating from as I decide how I want the Blueprint to come across. “Best” is defined by a nebulous formula that takes into account cultural reach and penetration, uniqueness, longevity, product/market fitness, mindshare, and an amalgamation of success metrics.
JP Morgan Chase
*Yes, people are obviously brands too.
See y’all soon ✌🏾✌🏾
In a long overdue effort to have more of a bias to action, moving forward I’m going to be experimenting with different types of writing here and then just pressing publish. To combat growing my repository of drafts, on shorter, more impulsive posts like this, I will do minimal edits and even less overthinking. I hereby absolve myself of any errors or typos lol – please do the same.