Is Hive Selling Sizzle And... Stakes?

OK, so, I'm feeling quite impressed.

I'm impressed with @lordbutterfly and all the work he's doing to market, grow, and move Hive forward. I'm impressed with the structure he's created and the focus on influencer marketing. I'm impressed that he's brought on passionate people such as @guiltyparties. (Seriously, read his Why I'm On Hive Challenge response, it's fire.) I'm impressed with the budget. And I'm impressed he's done months of work —something close to a full-time job it seems— for little compensation.

Like... what!? That's incredible. That's passion. That's true love for Hive, from what I can see. (Sidenote: This man deserves real, abundant, monetary compensation for the work being done. Hopefully, we can find a way to 'realize' that.)

Anyway, I'm so glad @enforcer48 pointed out these marketing efforts to me. Inspiring stuff. And since this is only my 5th day here, I won't pretend I know anything about most of this. I don't even know how to buy/sell crypto or replenish my hive power. I know almost nothing.

But I do know about branding, messaging, & taglines because I help clients with this regularly over at I do know about sizzle and steak. And I may be able to contribute some value to Hive's marketing here.

So, what sparked all this?

Well, lordbutterfly's post thumbnail from a couple of weeks ago caught my eye. I love it, it's so cool!

It's cool because it's animated. It's the first 'moving' thumbnail I've seen on Hive, actually. It used a cool marketing style teaser gif. It was a black-and-red honey-comb that morphed into the words "Hive: Join The Revolution." (You can check it out here: Hive Marketing Proposal - Update 4.)

It's a flashy first impression, which I love. I'm just not sure it conveys the true value of Hive to others well. It's fantastic 'sizzle,' for sure. For me though, the tagline just doesn't convey a whole lot of 'steak.'

As a highly 'visual' person, I've done a similar thing many times, in many businesses. I focused so much on visual polish, that I neglected the importance of clear messaging and 'resonant' language.

After screwing up 11+ businesses in painful ways...

I finally realized the jaw-dropping power of targeted, purposeful language. I learned why copywriting is such a lucrative profession. I learned that persuasion is a key ingredient of marketing and overlooked by a surprising amount of people.

Before all this, @slobberchops got me thinking about Hive's name. In particular as a contrast to Hive-competitor Steem, and how its name clashes with the already-established gaming platform, Steam. Is hive better? Worse? That's subjective, but there are some pros. It's short, catchy, and the 'hive' concept matches well with 'social media.' So perhaps it'll get the job done. But it's the tagline that really inspired me to give my input, so I'll get back to it.

From Nike's "Just Do It" to M&Ms "Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hand", taglines can do a lot of heavy-lifting to spread a project, campaign, or brand. Let's look at some potential taglines for Hive.

Which message is more likely to get my friends on board?

"Join The Revolution" or "Social: Uncensored"

Which message sets expectations more for newbies?

"Join The Revolution" or "Social For The Smart"

('cause straight up... you must be above average intelligence to navigate Hive, Crypto Keys, Stakes, etc. The messaging can evolve later, but for now, there's no point in targeting people of 'below average' intelligence for Hive marketing.)

Which message is clearer about the value of Hive?

"Join The Revolution" or "Social That Pays."

I believe these examples are eye-opening. If I want my friends to join Hive and have stakes in it, they need 'steak' in whatever I communicate to them. They need to be persuaded to ditch their current convenient and habitual platforms. Which means they need to get an emotional 'hit' from whatever I tell them. And although "join the revolution" is great, cool, and true... it's a 'generic' message that I imagine compels few, if any, to check out Hive. It won't work on my friends because they need a message that resonates, period.

I see it like a great song with sour notes in its opening, people instantly switch it off.

It may not seem fair for people to dismiss something just because of a 'wrong-fit' tagline, but this is reality. People make split-second decisions on the value of what they read. I'd hate to see a great Hive marketing effort be derailed just because its first impression is weaker than necessary.

And it's easy to solve. Just take the time to brainstorm better messaging. Ask questions like "will this persuade a viewer to read more?" etc. Or even better, get a brilliant copywriter on board. Copywriters are responsible for so much of the world's persuasion and society's adoption of new things. They are immensely valuable. Even my 'dabbling' in persuasive copy has been a game-changer for me personally, and I know it can help Hive.

Anyway, my main point is that I love Hive, I love the people contributing to it, and I love uplifting marketing & branding efforts when I can.

I've enjoyed my time on here so far.

(Even though I'm already out of RC and the @giftgiver's faucet isn't getting me back on track.) I've longed for a 'better' social platform for the world, and I'd love to see Hive be adopted as that.

The thing is... for that to happen the beliefs, moods, and choices of the minds behind Hive must be elevated. Understandings of growth, shareability, branding, culture-creation and more will need to rise. Wisdom is power. And it's an organic process relying on people contributing effort & upliftment when they feel called to.

One of my favorite things is when a creation like Hive blends 'sizzle with steak' so well that others can't help but embrace it. It doesn't always happen, but I aim to plant the seeds for that, regardless.

To sum up, as far as mass adoption is concerned:

Sizzle plus steak equals... stakes.


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