Many product teams in crypto face a unique challenge: people need to use the blockchain an app is built on before it even has a chance to convert them.
To make the ICON blockchain look more enticing, we created whyicx.com.
What follows is a high-level overview of what we did and why it was necessary (adapted from this Twitter thread).
The purpose of a website is to attract and convert users.
But most crypto sites act like every visitor has already converted and onboarded themselves. So they don’t really try.
Crypto is a high-friction industry, and this attitude limits their audience.
The blockchain industry has a trust problem.
75% of people judge a project’s trustworthiness by the quality of its website.
High-quality sites increase trust. Low-quality sites destroy it.
If your crypto website is low-quality, people will assume it’s a scam — and you won’t convert them.
Most websites say what their blockchain does, but few bother to explain why it matters. Why should people care enough to invest their precious time, money, and energy?
Every Simon Sinek fan will understand why this is a big problem for adoption.
Without a “why”, there’s nothing for people to get excited over.
No vision to unite behind.
Many look to their competitors for inspiration, and become so focused on what they’re doing that they lose their own identity.
Their brand becomes generic, homogeneous.
Effective marketing stands out.
It embraces the entire brand, not just the logo.
It uses colour consistently.
Blending in with the crowd will get you nowhere.
ICON doesn’t get enough praise for its brand.
Its colours are so distinctive and recognisable, you can identify it even without the logo.
It can’t help but stand out against the competition.
ICON’s brand identity was strongest in 2017–18, at the height of its popularity.
Now that ICON is about to fulfil its vision of interoperability, it’s crucial to double down on this identity, to leverage brand recall so people know it’s still here, still building — bull or bear.
But for ICON, a strong brand isn’t enough.
Many investors were pissed that they couldn’t trade in their ICX for a lambo within 6 months.
Blockchain bridges have lost over $1 billion from hacks in 2022 alone, so it was crucial that ICON take the time to get it right.
Some don’t see it that way.
When your reputation is tainted, you don’t throw in the towel. You just have to try harder than everyone else.
You can’t copy your competitors or make contributions that are “good enough”.
You need to be better.
To stand out, you need to be outstanding.
That doesn’t mean you should tear down the competition.
After all, ICON was designed to connect them all, not outcompete them all.
As David Ogilvy says, you just need to say what’s good about your product — and do a clearer, more honest, more informative job of saying it.
It’s easy to be clearer, more honest, and more informative when most blockchain sites take 20+ pages to say anything useful.
We just had to do the exact opposite.
We took advantage of what people do naturally: scroll.
Let’s start with the H1.
Most crypto sites say things like:
- Reimagine your world.
- Powerful for developers.
- Fast for everyone.
- WHERE THE WORLD TRANSFORMS
- Welcome to Multiverse
- Community Powered Utility
Who do they belong to? What do they offer?
... Are you motivated to find out?
Your website title should clearly state what you do — and why people should care.
It should be uniquely your own.
For ICON, this was obvious: a variation of “hyperconnect the world”.
5 years later, this 3-word slogan still guides ICON’s efforts. We just needed to define the what and how:
What problem do you solve? Why do you exist?
If you can’t sell the problem, you can’t expect people to buy your solution.
So why is ICON focused on interoperability?
Because most blockchains can’t interact with each other.
No jargon. It must be simple and to the point.
The Blockchain Transmission Protocol (BTP) is the core of ICON’s hyperconnected vision.
In simple language, BTP is an interoperability solution that is:
BTP is so important for ICON, we took up 1/3 of the page to explain it.
ICON began as a blockchain for enterprises.
While focused on Korea, ICONLOOP’s private blockchains, business partnerships, and real-world adoption of MyID are worthy of applause.
As are their accolades.
It adds an aura of legitimacy ICON wouldn’t have without them.
Most people interact with the public chain, so it was crucial to promote:
- The app ecosystem (in a way that sells each one)
- How to build on ICON and get paid for it
- The native token
Unlike other sites, ICX isn’t mentioned until the end — when people are ready to take the next step.
The Get ICX page is designed to help people buy ICX and explore the ICON ecosystem.
Most people don’t have an ICON wallet, and have never used an exchange. Too much friction will stop them in their tracks.
So the content holds their hand, and the widget makes it easy to buy.
The blockchain industry is filled with jargon. It’s overwhelming for newcomers and many veteran investors.
To demystify common terms, the glossary includes 300+ entries.
It doubles as an SEO strategy to reach a wider audience through search results.
So now that we have an onboarding funnel in place, what’s next?
What else can we do to make ICON look more appealing?
To build a reputation of quality, we need to improve all the tools people will interact with as they use the ecosystem.
Every touchpoint should feel consistent.
To achieve this, we’ve started redesigning ICON’s core utilities from the ground up.
We’re approaching each with the mindset of “How can we make the best, most usable version of x?”
These projects are still a work in progress, but we can’t wait for you to try them.