Developing Our Narrative
As discussed in Part 1, Dash doesn’t have an outspoken leader in the way that most of the other top coins have, and the direct result of this is that we aren’t defining our narrative as well as they do. While those other projects have that one person that the media, investors, speculators, etc can focus on, due to our decentralized nature, we instead have a lot of smaller voices having equal weight all telling a slightly different story. This leads to a lack of clarity in our brand.
First, when I say “defining our narrative”, I’m not talking about our capabilities or our definition; I don’t mean “Dash is digital cash” or the “so easy your grandmother can use it” mantra. Rather, I’m talking about defining the image we want people to have when they hear “Dash” and something we as a community can rally around. Right now, our story is defined in a large part by trolls and fudsters, which is doubly unfortunate. Not only are we not perceived in the image we wish, but we waste an inordinate amount of time fighting those who push these false narratives. What we need is a cohesive idea about who we are and the role we play. For example, a community member recently commented about how the BTC narrative is falling apart which is leading many to abandon ship and how we can use this opportunity to present Dash as the savior of crypto. The idea of being the savior of crypto creates a powerful image and interfaces directly with people’s emotions. This emotive image is what we’re missing.
In order to improve our brand clarity, we first need to define our story. There are a few ways we can develop this: we can pay an outside PR firm, we as a community can actively develop it, we can let DCG, Dash Force, or some other DFO come up with it, or we can do nothing proactive and simply allow the Dash narrative arrive naturally. All methods have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Paying a PR/marketing firm to develop our story would probably be the easiest way as all we have to do is throw some money at them and sit back and let them do the work. The obvious problem with this method is that it’s unlikely that they’ll come up with an appropriate story simply because they can’t understand Dash without being a part of the community. It also goes against the community driven ethos of Dash.
The second option is to let the community decide. If we go the community route, we again have a few options. We could create a channel on one of our various platforms and let anyone contribute and see what happens, we could create an invite-only group of some of the more cerebral members of the Dash community, or we could create a dedicated team where the members or leaders of the team are voted in by the network. While the community route is the most decentralized of the bunch, it’s also probably going to be the least efficient and productive. There’s the very real threat of ending up with “beige”. Design-by-committee is usually terrible because it lacks a singular vision and tries to please everyone so whatever they put out ends up being bland and boring.
The third option would be to let DCG, Dash Force, or some other existing DFO come up with the story. This option is a hybrid as a singular entity does the work but this entity is still held accountable to the network. This will invariably lead to cries of centralization, but I think that’s a fairly superficial criticism. Remember, decentralization isn’t the goal, it’s the means to achieve a goal, namely eliminating points of failure and corruption. Since DCG, Dash Force, and other DFO’s are still accountable to the network, this slight centralization within the greater decentralized DAO may be an acceptable trade-off if it’s the most efficient way to come up with a quality brand image.
The final way to define our story is to simply do nothing and let the narrative develop naturally. The problem with this is that the story will inevitably lack cohesion. Not only that, this is pretty much what we’re doing now and it clearly isn’t working. Our poorly defined image was the impetus for this article series after all. If we do nothing, I believe Dash will still be fine in the long run, but doing nothing proactive to improve our image will likely cause us to continue to languish in market cap, and while a high market cap isn’t our purpose, a low market cap does slow our ability to realize our potential.
As far as my preference of the above options goes, I probably lean toward letting DCG or Dash Force come up with the narrative with a dedicated community team being my second choice. However, this article isn’t about my preference, it’s about getting a discussion started so we as a community can decide how to best improve our image.
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