June 27, 2022

SwissBorg: the crypto app that leverages the power of community

SwissBorg is the perfect example of a company that understands the power of community marketing and knows how to leverage it for the benefit of its members – and of course their own. In 2022, product-based strategies have become pointless: people are looking for meaning now more than ever. They want to feel a sense of belonging and choose which brands to support, according to their core values and mission. In the era of marketing 3.0, building a community is central to a successful business. 

How did SwissBorg create a powerful community of more than 650’000 verified users on their app?  What kind of challenges did they face and how did they react to them? What is their perfect media mix recipe? That’s precisely what you’re about to discover today.

Meet SwissBorg: the crypto player that truly puts its members at the core of its growth

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SwissBorg was founded in 2017 by Cyrus Fazel and Anthony Lesoismier to “accelerate the world’s transition to decentralized nations”. Through the crypto platform they have built, they wish to create a new financial ecosystem that is fair, accessible to all, and meaningful. How? By the democratization of wealth management: making it fun, fair, and community-centric. 

SwissBorg allows every one of us to invest and build our assets by leveraging the power of the community. The company believes the decentralization of the blockchain permits the creation of a more inclusive and affordable model for all people. And they do so using the best technology. SwissBorg makes it possible for all to participate in the world of cryptocurrencies with a single platform and in full transparency.

What is remarkable, is that the crypto-sphere quickly recognized  SwissBorg as a key platform. After only 3 years of existence, the startup gained unicorn status, reaching a 1 billion valuation with hundreds of employees working in more than 20 countries. When SwissBorg states that it is “community-centric”, they mean it; from day one, the company has placed the community at the center of its operations, raising $53 Million from 24k people across 149 countries. 

SwissBorg’s tremendous success is rooted in the strategic choice to integrate marketing 3.0 into its business model. If marketing 1.0 was all about the product and marketing 2.0 about consumer retention, marketing 3.0 changed the game by placing values at the core of all activities to make the world a better place for all. The illustration below demonstrates how clearly and effectively SwissBorg embraces a specific vision and how they achieve that on a day-to-day basis. 

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How the GAFA restrictions on crypto participated in the success of the SwissBorg community

Advertising for crypto companies requires brands to be even more strategic and resilient. Especially at the time, restrictions imposed by the GAFA on pure crypto players were strongly challenging marketing activities in the crypto market. To this day, Google doesn’t allow SEA campaigns, and Facebook narrows the field of possibilities to invite people to invest. Big advertising platforms are extremely strict, but things are about to change. Of course, when the SwissBorg App was launched, it had to bounce back intelligently in the face of such restrictions, especially after the development of its cryptocurrency, the CHSB token. And it did so efficiently by turning to less mainstream channels which allowed the app to grow and nurture its community of users.

While most advertisers go for the classic SEA and social media campaigns, SwissBorg opted for Twitter and Discord to promote their brand and services. It is no secret that Twitter is a fine choice for the crypto market and Discord offers many features to make the community interact and participate in developing a company. Indeed, SwissBorg brings people to Discord to establish a conversation. People who follow them can engage in quests while the platform allows for different levels and rights depending on their activity. There are also different levels of information and possible relations with a company that allows monitoring of the community with great granularity.

The perfect media mix to build a community

The smartest move SwissBorg made, was to adapt to such restrictions by leveraging the power of influencer and affiliate marketing. When we think of these practices, we immediately think of their high costs compared to regular online advertising. While it is true that the cost of these marketing practices is higher, the impact on a company’s growth is largely worth it for enterprises such as SwissBorg. Take Revolut as an example. Most of their acquisition is based on referral, a technique that is more impactful than regular advertising as it makes the community gain from participating. That is exactly what SwissBorg managed to do. 

Discord and Twitter participate in building the community, but the success of SwissBorg can only be partly attributed to these channels. The active presence of SwissBorg’s CEO  on Youtube provides great value to the community which is also organically created: Every Tuesday, Cyrus Fazel hosts “PowWow” live sessions to share the latest SwissBorg and crypto market news with the community.

The impact of community marketing

The participation of the SwissBorg community is such that the members promote the app and the brand themselves during events. By being present at a stall during an event, members are rewarded and thus more likely to encourage others to do the same. By referring someone, the referee as well as the referred person wins a reward ticket valued between 1 and 100 Euros in CHSB (Swissborg’s cryptocurrency). During some promotional periods, the reward ticket doubles its value between 2 and 200 Euros in CHSB, intensifying incentives for community members to take action. The community is so strong that members themselves take the initiative to organize events all around the world while SwissBorg staff only comes as a support, giving the community members control and responsibilities.   

The Ballman NFT project, founded by Stan Wawrinka, is another great illustration of the success SwissBorg has created in a short period of time. NFTs are an absolute blast for crypto players, allowing great fundraising opportunities. But, the word NFT by itself is not enough to sell. Project Ballman recently launched its collection of NFTs. As they struggled to generate sales, they turned to SwissBorg who acted as an advisor. After setting up the collaboration with the crypto app, Project Ballman sold out in less than 24 hours. SwissBorg knows its way around. The quid pro quo for the partnership – which was not imposed – is that Ballman uses the SwissBorg app to manage its treasury.

Although most of their marketing budget is allocated to give the SwissBorg community a voice, the company also uses classic communication channels such as OOH/DOOH. Conferences are also part of their strategy, to verbalize the crypto-sphere and to educate people about new wealth management opportunities. Of course, the media mix they use varies according to location and upcoming events.  

Lessons to take home

  • Community marketing is the perfect way to build meaningful relationships with your users/consumers who participate in growing your community.
  • Brands need to be resilient in the face of advertising restrictions and market trends to adapt quickly and efficiently and create opportunities.
  • The importance of investing in growing your community and nourishing it: no business model should ignore community to build impact. At least if you’re living in the 21st century.
  • SwissBorg is a step ahead: what certain enterprises see as “cool” communication channels are outdated to them. Platforms such as Discord and decentralized social media are the future.
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SwissBorg team

This article wouldn’t exist without the precious help of Elodie Sogan, Marketing Acquisition Specialist, and Maxime Slemett, Marketing Acquisition Manager at SwissBorg in Lausanne. Thank you, we are forever grateful to learn from you!

Keep learning, keep exploring.

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