“We set out to build a brand that offers a place of solace during uncertain times.”
Everyone wants to get on Okay Bears’ whitelist.
What’s really driving the hype is their killer branding. From the onset, Okay Bears was intentional: they’re building a global web3 brand. IRL friends, Suby and Kais, co-founded Okay Bears together. Kais, one of the co-founders is a brand strategist and recognises the value of NFTs to branding. Unlike traditional commerce, NFTs represent a unique experience to connect deeper with your audience: they speak to a person’s personal branding. An NFT pfp (profile pic) remains a timeless meta in the fast paced, ever-changing world of NFTs as it is a visual symbol of belonging (which we all need) and signifies social capital.
“The key difference between web2 and web3 branding is that web3 is community-centric. Members rep their PFP NFTs on social platforms and with that spread brand awareness. In addition to the accomplishments of a project, presence and action by the community help contribute to establishing a brand.” It’s still early days but Okay Bears have made their move, expanding the idea of NFTs as a new class of media assets and a tool for connection.
Kais and Suby of Okay Bears share their pre-launch guerilla campaign marketing and why NFTs and branding just makes sense:
ME: What’s the story behind ‘Okay Bears’? As you know, the term ‘bearish’ is associated with a declining market.
OB: When the market is bullish, there is euphoria in the community; whether on Twitter or Discord, the mood is high, and the vibe is strong. When the marketing is bearish, channels tend to be silent, and people deal with financial uncertainty alone. We set out to build a brand that offers a place of solace during uncertain times.
We wanted to take something with a negative connotation and turn it into a positive by creating a place where the community can come together when the chips are down.
The key to building a brand is establishing a positive emotional connection with your audience. On the day our Discord opened, our slogan 'we're all gonna be okay; WAGBO' was born, not by someone on the team but from Kick, a community member. The brand was an instant hit. The community just got it, and it was clear that there was a void in the market that Okay Bears was ready to fill.
ME: In your view, how can NFTs amplify brands?
OB: In the traditional business sense, you have the company and its customers. The NFT space breaks down this separation by combining both the company and its customers through the community. That's where the power of brand building lies. NFTs can amplify brands because the creators and the community are equally invested in the product. Both parties want a collection to succeed and are in constant dialogue.
Before NFTs, web2 brands had to rely on customer surveys and market sentiment reports to try and understand what their customers wanted. By exploring NFTs, those brands now have direct access to their customers through Discord servers, where together, they build the brand as a community.
ME: It’s amazing how Okay Bears achieved social media growth so quickly. Everyone wants WL! What’s your secret?
Charlotte Beers, former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather said: "A brand is created when a company EARNS the right to have a relationship with their customer." To build a strong brand, you need a good product and a strong community.
When it came to our product, the art, we made no compromises. We carved a niche for ourselves by creating characters that were both super cool but also clean. The bears aren't heroes, and they aren't degens; they are just okay. In a polar world of winners and losers, heroes and villains, artists and builders, the middle ground has been left barren. That very ground lays the foundation of our brand, where it is okay to be okay.
As for the community, from day one, we set out to build a community that is equal, fair and organic. We involved our community members with our brand building through three guerilla marketing campaigns before launch.
The first campaign saw hundreds of people change their Twitter profile pictures to our 'okay' logo. Our second campaign encouraged people to go outside and take photos of their hands, making the okay sign and telling the world that #WeAreOkay. The response was phenomenal. Around 4,000 people from over 80 countries tweeted terrific photos of their hands in front of city landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben. For our third campaign, we showed the strength of our community by 'raiding' Twitter posts from other brands about causes we vibe with. Posts from WWF and TIME went from 50 interactions to 5000+ in a matter of hours. Together with our community, we amplified messages about wildlife preservation, mental health and climate action.
We value the relationship we've built with the Okay Bears community and cannot wait to take things to the next level together after mint!
WAGBO 🚀. Okay Bears mints on Launchpad today!