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Case Study

Crafting a Web3 Giant: The Blockdaemon Brand Transformation Story

Industry
Blockchain, Crypto & Web3
Company Size
150+
Location
Americas, EMEA, APAC

Context

Blockdaemon had recently entered a hyper-growth phase, and its web3 infrastructure services were in high demand globally. As a member of the marketing team, I collaborated with stakeholders across different time zones to ensure continuous support and engagement.

When I joined Blockdaemon, the company had recently acquired two other technology companies, each with their own blockchain product, and was in the process of establishing product-market fit. However, the challenge was that these products fell into three major families: Staking, Blockchain APIs, and Corporate Crypto Wallets, each with a different target market. Bridging this gap was crucial as the audience for API products differed greatly from that of Wallet products in terms of their roles and organizational scale.

Another concern was the state of the company's brand. The website didn't effectively showcase the offerings and products, often neglecting to mention the ones currently in the market. The pages were lengthy and had varying tones, indicating a lack of cohesive creative and content strategy. On the other hand, the marketing team was highly productive, generating numerous blog posts, white papers, case studies, video guides, podcasts, and documenting the 40+ protocols and products supported by Blockdaemon.

Brand sample showcasing new heading and paragraph styling, colors, and axonometric illustration style. Credit: Dom Martinez

This lack of cohesive creative direction and strategic design workflows resulted in a gap between production and execution. The marketing and creative teams operated somewhat independently, passing work between phases instead of collaborating.

To make things more challenging, Blockdaemon's website was in dire need of an overhaul by the end of 2022. It had become overly complicated and costly to maintain, requiring extensive custom code for simple design and marketing needs, such as landing pages or adding new features.

Approach & Strategy

The first order of business was triage. I quickly needed to assess how the world was interacting with the Blockdaemon brand and identify internal workflows and controls that could be adjusted to improve that perception. Collaborating with the in-house designers, we gathered all major marketing design assets to review them collectively. Over the next few months, we systematically made changes to the brand, aiming to avoid making a big splash and instead making gradual changes to different elements. This approach was intended to make our customers and audience feel less threatened by the changes to our graphic identity, which could imply significant internal shifts. Considering the scale and importance of Blockdaemon's institutional customers, changes needed to be made carefully.

Graphic Identity

The brand's look and feel felt outdated and inconsistent with the company's digital product interface and overall brand. To better communicate with Blockdaemon's target audiences, including institutions, developers, and web3 enthusiasts, we introduced a new heading font. This change, along with other updates such as a new color palette, iconography, and promotional social style, were implemented by adjusting templates and workflows downstream of the designers. For example, content writers no longer exported social media images with unattractive fonts, but instead used more appealing ones, without even realizing the transition. These changes were crucial in establishing a brand transition in a rapidly changing and chaotic industry.

We initially rolled out these branding updates on Blockdaemon's marketing collateral and social properties before updating the website. This allowed us to gather feedback internally and make adjustments before committing to a full brand refresh. After a month or two of implementation, we launched a new website that not only showcased the new graphic identity but also addressed various other issues.

Examples of social media posts, blog header graphics, product marketing images, and partnership graphics. Credit: Dom Martinez & Andie Baker

Website

The new company website launched in Q2 of 2023. At the time of launch encompased over 250+ pages, each with graphics and relevant imagery.

New Design, New Platform

Two major issues with the existing Blockdaemon website were its design, including layouts, structure, and product marketing strategy, and its hosting platform, which was a convoluted combination of WordPress plugins and custom code. These design and platform problems hindered the ability of internal teams to easily update or further develop the website. The design lacked modularity, resulting in most pages needing to be designed from scratch. Additionally, the platform required extensive knowledge and frequently broke, making simple tasks like adding a new section to a page difficult for non-developers.

To address these issues and empower the design and content teams, I made the decision to rebuild the entire website from the ground up using a more innovative platform, Webflow. This new platform allows both content contributors and designers to create pages from scratch, build and animate, and make changes to templates and themes without the need to hire developers.

The redesigned website utilized the updated brand design system established earlier in the year. The in-house design team, primarily led by Dom Martinez under my direction, created a blend of the current state of the product UI and a forward-thinking approach to the company's graphic identity. The new Blockdaemon.com features a dark mode as its primary color palette, reflecting the typical look and feel of the web3 community. Information and product features are presented in light mode to keep the focus on the content itself.

We also introduced a new navigation system to simplify the customer journey through the website. This included reducing the number of items on the top-level navigation from nine to six, with evenly grouped links.

Content Strategy & SEO

The new website's structure needed to somewhat reflect the structure of the old site, particularly when it came to product-related or promotional content that required changes to pages and URLs. However, the content team had already published over 150 blog posts on the existing site, which all needed to be migrated and remapped. To streamline the content and enhance the communication of the product's value, I collaborated with product managers to align the content writers, resulting in shorter product pages that highlighted more features and benefits before users left the page.

Product Marketing

Blockdaemon offers three product families, each catering to different target markets and audiences. These range from individual blockchain developers to large crypto institutions and exchanges, with each requiring a specific messaging approach and value proposition.

A handful of product icons representing various Blockdaemon offerings. Credit: Dom Martinez

Working closely with in-house product marketing managers, we established a standardized method for visually representing and crafting copy for each product. Rather than focusing solely on product features, we shifted towards highlighting the specific solutions they provide for known use cases. This not only provides better insight for Blockdaemon's prospective customers, but also offers the in-house designers clearer context and more concise direction when creating illustrations and UI mockups.

Screenshots of the updated website design system. Credit: Dom Martinez and Andie Baker

Landing Page System

Another major requirement for any large-scale B2B marketing team is the creation of multiple landing pages. To alleviate the workload on the design team, I developed a landing page system on Blockdaemon's Webflow stack, enabling marketing managers to easily create landing pages using a simple editor. Leveraging Webflow's CMS system, we established a streamlined workflow that significantly reduced the number of custom design requests. This system not only improved efficiency but also enhanced tracking capabilities across the website properties.

Protocol System

Another section of the Blockdaemon website that needed to be rebuilt was the protocols marketplace. This section consists of a continuously updating database of blockchain protocols and the various data points associated with each one. Due to the nature of web3 and blockchain infrastructure, the number of data points between each protocol can vary significantly. This presented an interesting challenge, and we addressed it by building a Webflow CMS and developing template pages that dynamically display data and product promotions specific to each protocol. This approach, similar to the landing page system, allowed marketing managers and protocol specialists to easily make changes without needing to submit special requests.

Project Management System

To facilitate the implementation of large-scale changes, I developed a project management system using the company's existing Jira installation. The system is straightforward: team members create a ticket, select options, and the system assigns it to the appropriate person for the task. All project and task communications are documented on the ticket through comments or linked Slack conversations. By consolidating multiple disciplines and functions into a single project management environment, we minimized the likelihood of missed communication, coordination issues, and important details being overlooked. Over the course of a quarter, we created and executed on over 2.5k tickets, resulting in an improved brand and a more cohesive team.

I’ve worked with George on multiple product launches, a company brand update, and a series of ongoing marketing campaigns. He approaches every opportunity with a can do attitude, an attention to detail, and remarkable creativity. He has an ability to extract relevant insights even from complex technologies and translate them into simple intuitive visuals and concise sound bites. And he has fun in the process, bringing together teams in a collaborative and productive manner. The bottom line is I highly recommend his services.

Frank Weiner, Director of Product Marketing
Blockdaemon

Ongoing Creative Direction & Strategy

Once the website was launched, the remaining brand assets were implemented throughout the company, including new legal letterhead, slide deck templates, and updated internal social media and employer branding. I provided ongoing guidance to the team and made strategic creative decisions to ensure brand alignment over the following nine months.

Resources Page Case Study Mockups used for promotional purposes. Credit: Andie Baker

Results

Thanks to the improvements made by the Blockdaemon marketing team, several notable goals were achieved. As of Q4 2023, the website and social media properties receive over 15k visits per month, and marketing flows like lead generation continue to improve.

Lead Generation Flows

The new marketing site aimed to reduce the number of clicks required for a prospective customer to convert. We successfully reduced this number to 3 while maintaining a higher level of lead generation compared to before. The simplified landing page system played a significant role in achieving this by drastically reducing the complexity of the lead validation and forwarding process to Sales.

Site Performance

Compared to the previous website, the new Webflow site loads faster by up to 40%, particularly on mobile devices, which was a previous issue. Additionally, these improvements take into consideration the increased load from new tracking engines added to the site to provide insights into user behavior and conversions.

Empowered Team Members

Within a month of the new website's launch, I received numerous praises about the new editor and CMS system, which can be attributed to Webflow. The custom systems I set up for stakeholders and team members on the website also contributed to their positive experience.

Increased Brand Perception

Following the rebranding, all aspects of our audience engagement began to steadily increase. We saw better turnout for campaigns that were filtered through our LinkedIn or Twitter posts. Our overall following grew, and we experienced a significant spike in newsletter signups and readership. Our YouTube channel also saw growth, and conversions from the blog increased, all during a crypto winter.

Takeaways

The Blockdaemon marketing team successfully implemented a comprehensive brand refresh, including a new website, improved graphic identity, and streamlined content across various channels. The new website reduced the number of clicks required for lead generation and improved site performance by up to 40%. The simplified landing page system empowered marketing managers to easily create landing pages, resulting in increased lead generation.

The rebranding efforts led to increased audience engagement, with better campaign turnout, growth in followers, and a spike in newsletter signups and readership. Despite the challenges of the rapidly changing industry, the project was executed carefully and successfully, resulting in a more cohesive team and an improved brand perception.

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