Failed [Marketing Committee-2] Rebranding Services

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Authority Nodes Blockrock Mining Blockrock Mining BlockVenture DBGrow DBGrow HashnStore HashnStore HashQuark Prestige IT Prestige IT

  • Total voters
    27
  • Poll closed .

Chappie

Factomize Bot
This is your grant tracking thread. Below, you will find information from your original grant.

Grant Proposal
https://factomize.com/forums/threads/marketing-committee-2-rebranding-services.2282/

ANO / Committee
Group: Marketing Committee
FCT address: FA3i8WbLoRvmWmpRLEBYENLZdEBK9TNG74UWrvHAGWgAyW11iHBu
FCT: 10000

Total FCT Requested
10000

Start Date
2019-09-01

Completion Date
2019-10-31

Success Criteria
  1. Brand identity
    • A blog post with ‘our story’
    • A new name selected and voted on
    • Domain(s) registere
    • SM accounts created
  2. Visual identity
    • A new logo
    • A new style guide
  3. Legal groundwork
    • A report on trademark and copyright published

Timelines and Milestones
M1 Engage with outside branding professionals
  • Grant payout date -/- 2 weeks

M2 Proposal of shortlist of 3 names for voting by the Factom Community
  • Grant payout date

M3 Domain registration and social media accounts created
  • Grant payout date + 4 weeks

M4 Proposal of 3 styles for voting by the Factom Community
  • Grant payout date + 4 weeks

Budget
This grant is seeking 10,000 FCT which will be liquidated to pay for the following:
  • Fees for external professionals
    • Brand identity
    • Visual identity
    • Legal groundwork
  • Various out of pocket expenses, such as
    • Travel (if needed)
    • Registration fees and/or taxes
    • or similar
If the price of FCT drops significantly between the grant application and grant payout and we have to sell at less than ideal prices, we will be entitled to limit the work or request and addition (backward payable) grant from the community.

If the price of FCT increases substantial between the grant application and grant payout and we are able to capitalize on this from a selling standpoint, the unexpected revenue will be made available for the next grant round.

The grant will be administered by Maarten Boender on behalf of the Marketing Committee.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
@mboender @Marketing Committee

Today is your grant start date! We look forward to regular updates from your team.

When you are ready for the final determination poll, first summarize the grant and self score then go to the thread tools dropdown at the top right and select "Create Final Determination Poll".
 

mboender

BI Foundation
I don't know if I'm reading the timeline of this project incorrectly, but shouldn't there be at least one grant update by now? Thank you.
You just beat me to it ;-)

I would like to share an update on the Rebranding Grant.

Since the grant was awarded, we formed a Workgroup with 6 members: Anton Ilzheev, Damien Michael Nichols, Dominic Luxford, Emile van Vijfeijken, Greg Forst, and myself.

We had several online meetings, a few in person and a lot of discussions on Discord.

Between the community, the workgroup and the professionals, 50+ brand names were proposed and discussed, resulting in a current shortlist of 6 brand names.

The names on the shortlist will now be checked for trademark issues. We’re also locking down the domains (.com, .org and/or .io). Some of those were available, others we would have to buy. Of those, for some the price is known, others need to be researched and negotiated.

We already have identified some problems with some of the 6 names. We’re most likely going to replace these names with others in order to have not less than 5 names for the community to choose from.

Depending on the time it takes to do the trademark research, we will then present the names on the shortlist to the community in a video conference and upload the video and presentation to the Discord channel. The wider community will be able to discuss these on Discord.

The Factom Governance requires to have the name change be approved by both 80% of the Guides, as well as 60% of the ANOs.
For this we intend to hold two rounds of voting on the Factomize forum. The first voting round will be to vote on the names to determine which name receives the most votes. The second vote will be for the approval of that name by the Guides and ANOs.
 

mboender

BI Foundation
The legal committee did a trademark check in order to discover potential problems with the names on the short-list. Unfortunately, several of the promising names fell out, which is a setback because we now have to go back to the long-list. And again do the trademark check.

We're planning a WG meeting this Thursday (10/24) to discuss a new timeline. My estimate at this point is another 2-3 weeks before we can open up for a discussion on names.
 
The legal committee did a trademark check in order to discover potential problems with the names on the short-list. Unfortunately, several of the promising names fell out, which is a setback because we now have to go back to the long-list. And again do the trademark check.

We're planning a WG meeting this Thursday (10/24) to discuss a new timeline. My estimate at this point is another 2-3 weeks before we can open up for a discussion on names.
Makes sense, it's a difficult process. Thanks for the hard work and the update!
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
@mboender @Marketing Committee, your specified completion date has now passed. Will you please update us on the status of your grant?

If it is completed, please first summarize the grant and self score then go to the thread tools dropdown at the top right and select "Create Final Determination Poll".
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
@mboender @Marketing Committee, it has now been 30 days since your grant was to have been completed. Will you please update us on the status of your grant?

If it is completed, please first summarize the grant and self score then go to the thread tools dropdown at the top right and select "Create Final Determination Poll".
 
As a community member who contributed to this can we please see some proof of invoice to the "brand agency Life of Jupiter" [0] for €12,500?

They seem to only be on facebook from what I can gather? Can we get a website/director or general contact point?

Barring that being produced for whatever reason, think it is only fair for community members to be asking the company directly.

Thanks!

[0] https://www.google.com/search?q=brand+agency+Life+of+Jupiter
 
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David Chapman

Factomize
As allowed by Doc 106, a vote was created to determine whether a determination should be forced for this grant. 18 Standing Parties voted Yes, 10 voted to delay 1 month, and we had one abstain. As a result, a final determination vote will now be started.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
The final determination poll has been created, and will be open for 5 days. Use the following rubrik when scoring:

Exceptional (9.0 - 10.0) - Successful
Overachieved (7.0 - 8.9) - Successful
Achieved (5.0 - 6.9) - Successful
Underachieved (2.0 - 4.9) - Failure
Total Failure (0.0 - 1.9) - Failure
 

Mike Buckingham

Cube3
Website Committee
Governance Working Group
Given that we are required to evaluate the success of this grant it would be useful if @mboender @Marketing Committee would make a self assessment of the success of this grant, ideally with reasons. I'm happy to leave the way you do it to you but as a minimum would expect to see an assessment of whether the grant (work) met:

1 the specification/requirements, a quality measure
2 the time targets in the plan
3 the cost budgeted of doing the work as borne by the sponsoring community

From what I can see at the moment the biggest issue is that the work was considered not to have been delivered quickly enough. However it appears from the update provided that progress has been made on a number of fronts, so it would be good to see that quantified in grant terms.

Potentially more importantly I would like to know how the Grant Success Determination will/may affect the progression of the work. Will you continue?
 

mboender

BI Foundation
This (long) post is to provide the community more information about the work of the Rebranding by me, the workgroup and the agency Life on Jupiter (https://lifeonjupiter.nl/).

Soon after it became clear that the community wanted a Rebrand for the protocol, after the discussions on Discord and before the Grant request, at the end of July, early August, the Marketing Committee, with me taking the lead and with help of Greg (Forst), we started research and talks with several community members and branding agencies.

We felt strongly that we needed the help from professionals with the branding. First of all, branding is not a simple thing. Trying to come up with a bunch of names is not branding. Second, being in the blockchain world un general and our Factom community specifically, makes us pre-opinioned and ‘blind’, we focus on the things we know or think and lose some perspectives. And most of us, even the people with marketing experience, have been in technical jobs or companies most of the time.

We started with a briefing document and had several meetings with potential agencies. We received several proposals with budgets ranging from $120,000 (Innovation Protocol) to $29,000 (What Works Studio). Some for the full scope, some for parts of it.
We knew that we would not have the budget for such proposals, however great some of them were.

At that time, I approached my brother, who has been in Media and Branding for most of his life, being part of or co-founder of some of the most successful, award-winning agencies in The Netherlands. His insight was that agencies always will try to sell/provide full-service, because finding a great name is the result from a creative ‘aha’-moment, which is very hard to sell and all the hours consulting on the process is not. (“it pops into their head while under the shower or when they’re on the can. Customer will not pay the big bucks for that”). He advised me to look for one or two seasoned professionals rather than a full agency and focus on just help with the naming process. To take an Agile approach just using professionals, rather than a full-service approach.

Which we would be able to afford. The proposal from Life on Jupiter consisted of two parts, 1) Brand direction and naming and 2) Brand identity development, at respectively € 12,050 and € 13,210. To limit our exposure to overruns, we negotiated a fixed-price of € 12,500 for the first phase or €22,500 for both together.

This was the basis of the Grant request. Two parts, the naming process and the branding process. We requested funding for the first part and argued that for the implementation of the branding we had a lot of people and talent in the community.

After the grant was approved, we formed a workgroup with different people from the community. Some from the US, some from Europe. Anton for his experience with visual focused projects, such as websites and UI/UX, Damien for his experience with building communities, Dominic for his experience with other branding projects, Emile being a FCT-hodler and running a successful website company and Greg and myself from the Marketing Committee.

The workgroup had one of the first meetings of August 27th in which we discussed the process and how to move forward. This included moving forward with the agile branding approach and professionals as proposed by my brother.

(To make this clear, again, my brother has been helping us for free, receives no direct or indirect compensation or money, and has no ties with the professionals, Life on Jupiter, in any way other than he has worked with these professionals in the past.)

We started with them to create a list of criteria/ guidelines for the rebrand:
  • Meaningful (Supports Brand Direction)
    • Limitless possibilities
    • Catalyst / empowering
    • New world
    • Growth enabler
  • Richness & depth for communication
  • Understandable
  • Simple
  • Short
  • Memorable (does it stick?)
  • Ownable, Unique
  • Positive emotional connotation (give new, fresh energy)
  • Relevant for future, future-proof
  • Sounds good when pronounced
  • Avoid misspelled names
  • Do not add ‘protocol’ to the (domain) name
  • Availability of domain(s) .org / .io / .com

Parallel, we requested the community to propose names and had meetings with the professionals where they guided us, specifically with how we viewed and thought of the protocol, its potential and our vision on that.

To lay the foundations for a strong brand with a meaningful name and
a supporting identity we first look at who you are as a group and who
you want to become. Based on the briefing and our conversations we
identified a couple leading directions we think could be strong enough
to carry the main brand direction.


This resulted in several brand directions we then started to explore further and started to add names to, according to the criteria.

Brand Directions.png


Over 60 names were proposed, discussed, voted on.

The professionals created several proposals/presentations, totaling over 200-pages. They spend over 100 hours on working for and with us.

This was a time-consuming process. Some of the workgroup members were pushing forward because of the sense of urgency for the rebranding to happen. Some wanted to slow down and argued that timing was not important: the name was most imported, even if it would take months.

I strongly believe that here lies the main cause of the problem with this grant and exposes a fundamental weakness when working in a community context rather than in a traditional business context: the need to create and have consensus in a community vs the capability to push things through in a business.

As a result of our internal discussions on the work and approach, and the need for consensus, the workgroup decided to not continue to the next phase with the professionals, but to stop after the naming process.

Another big cause of this grant to be late, was the fact that many of the names we considered – the criterium ‘no misspelled names’ did not help – where not freely available and needed legal checks. Some very nice names fell out.

At the time of the discussion and vote to end this grant – 3 months in – we just finished our third round of voting and vetting, and we had a list of names we were ready to propose to the community:
  • Abdala
  • Andalay
  • Facility
  • Imagyne
  • Lightshield
  • Open Data Layer
Names are very, very subjective. Some I love, others hate, and vice versa. Specially without any context or background story, which we intended to add last week.

So, to the specific question from Mike as to the self-assessment of this grant, I personally agree with his statement that
the biggest issue is that the work was considered not to have been delivered quickly enough.
and
that progress has been made on a number of fronts
I dare to say 'good progress'.

We could not really inform the community on all the work we were doing without revealing the names we were discussing and open us up for a lot of discussions: everybody has an opinion about names. But we could have done more.

I believe this grant has failed only from the point of view of delivering results earlier, but:
  • The members of the workgroup, as well as the professionals, worked hard and put in a lot of hours. So did the legal committee.
  • We did produce a good lot of names and several good names we would have been happy to take to the community.
  • We did this cost-effective, not only compared with the other offers we received, but also compared to the hours spend. We limited our exposure by committing to just the first phase and at a fixed price.
    At this point I also want to bring up that most grants, if not all, include payment to people who perform the work for the grant, be it software development work, research or other. Some below costs, some at a profit.
    In this grant, none of the members of the workgroup have received any compensation, directly or indirectly, for all the work they did for this grant and the community.
In fairness to the workgroup members I ask the community to judge this grant not just on the fact that it took too long, but also on all the work they did behind the scenes for this community.

(edit: added attachments)
 

Attachments

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mboender

BI Foundation
Potentially more importantly I would like to know how the Grant Success Determination will/may affect the progression of the work. Will you continue?
As stated during the discussion on the vote for “final determination”, did the fundamental reasons for the rebranding change? I do not think so.
  • There is still the conflict in naming that leads to confusion in almost every PR, post or tweet.
  • There is still the people that we meet who think Factom was dead.
    Even today with PegNet most people that come to that think it was built by Factom Inc.
To eliminate that confusion has always been the main reason for the rebranding.

So, yes, I would be willing to continue the work.
 

mboender

BI Foundation
As a community member who contributed to this can we please see some proof of invoice to the "brand agency Life of Jupiter" [0] for €12,500?
If the community does not want us to continue the work, as it looks now, I will prepare a final report, with the details of the budget and the costs, including copies of the invoices.

(added) For now, FCT 10,000 * $3,22 = $32,200 -/- $14,375 -/- $100 = $ 17,825 left.

They seem to only be on facebook from what I can gather? Can we get a website/director or general contact point?
https://lifeonjupiter.nl/
 
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Mike Buckingham

Cube3
Website Committee
Governance Working Group
This (long) post is to provide the community more information about the work of the Rebranding by me, the workgroup and the agency Life on Jupiter (https://lifeonjupiter.nl/).

So, to the specific question from Mike as to the self-assessment of this grant, I personally agree with his statement that

and

I dare to say 'good progress'.

We could not really inform the community on all the work we were doing without revealing the names we were discussing and open us up for a lot of discussions: everybody has an opinion about names. But we could have done more.

I believe this grant has failed only from the point of view of delivering results earlier, but:
  • The members of the workgroup, as well as the professionals, worked hard and put in a lot of hours. So did the legal committee.
  • We did produce a good lot of names and several good names we would have been happy to take to the community.
  • We did this cost-effective, not only compared with the other offers we received, but also compared to the hours spend. We limited our exposure by committing to just the first phase and at a fixed price.
    At this point I also want to bring up that most grants, if not all, include payment to people who perform the work for the grant, be it software development work, research or other. Some below costs, some at a profit.
    In this grant, none of the members of the workgroup have received any compensation, directly or indirectly, for all the work they did for this grant and the community.
In fairness to the workgroup members I ask the community to judge this grant not just on the fact that it took too long, but also on all the work they did behind the scenes for this community.

(edit: added attachments)
Marten, Thank you for a comprehensive response. This does a good job of setting out what has been done and the process you have been through. It strikes me that despite the lack of pace, which admittedly was an aspiration, the rebranding group have been thorough, spent wisely and are well poised to produce some useful results. I am pleased that there is a preparedness to continue.

We could be to "throwing the baby out with the bath-water" by stopping this work. If there was a need to rebrand as proposed, rightly I believe, by David, then we need this more than ever to unify and promote the fabulous work being done in a memorable brand.

This may be a case of either doing it quickly or doing it right. I know that in the current climate time is against us but suggest that doing it right is the best approach in the long term. (The alternative is that we stop and stay with the current name/brand which may admittedly be influenced by Inc's stance on their own branding.)
 
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David Chapman

Factomize
Thank you for taking the time to share that report @mboender

I want to communicate that my work to bring this grant to a close is not a judgement on anyone that makes up the Rebranding Working Group. I simply feel we need to head in another direction.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
The final determination poll has now closed. The final score is 3.21, with 24 total counted votes. The grant has been determined to be a failure.
 
@Tor Paulsen I and other Rebrand Committee members asked 5-6 times for budget info while the committee was engaged, and never received an answer. Hopefully some clarity is finally provided in this forum.

Given how the process went, what money was spent on, and the failed determination by standing parties for the Rebrand grant, returning the unused funds would seem to be mandatory to me. I can't imagine a situation in which the unspent funds of a failed grant should remain in control of the grantees.

As I've stated in the past, I believe the remaining funds should be given to Factom Inc to assist in their rebrand efforts. I think this is a fair, logical solution that benefits both Factom Inc and the community.
 
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