Who do we target to maximize growth?

Hello Everyone,

This is my first (of hopefully many more) post with the Index Coop.

This largely builds off great work done by Coop members:

As The Index Coop experiences rapid growth, it can be difficult to maintain focus on the activities that leverage core competencies and benefit your target market. Documentation around value prop, personas, messaging and positioning can provide a jumping off point for content and marketing.

I have read through The Index Coop governance documents and the vision to become the Blackrock of DeFi and crypto is clear, but our value proposition for customers isn’t as clearly defined. As The Index Coop continues to grow it’s important to understand our competitive differentiators and the customers that we serve.

My overall goal is to develop:

  • Value Proposition for The Index Coop
  • Buyer Personas (starting with a highest value personas)
  • Positioning and Messaging for each Persona

Use Cases

  • Guide which products opportunities to pursue
  • Standardize our messaging in all forms of marketing to maximize return for our target markets
  • Provide clarity to the broader market on the value the Index Coop provides and how its differentiated or positioned in the market
  • Shift our marketing activities as our products and the DeFi market move throughout the Adoption Life Cycle

In Progress
To kick this off, @LemonadeAlpha and I have been interviewing customers with over a $100k investment in DPI. We have targeted these users because:

  • DPI is the most broadly accessible index product and has the highest AUM
  • The current UX for buying and holding (gas fees) DPI disproportionately benefits larger holders (>250 units). This is evidenced by 56% of AUM residing in this segment (with 80% >50). Due to this, we believe this is the segment with the most opportunity for growth in the short term.

Insights so far
There are many distinct types of personas of high net worth investors, two that keep arising are: DeFi Dolphins and fund managers

  • DeFi Dolphins/Whales are spending a majority of their time looking at individual tokens, are risk seeking and are less concerned about smart contract and market risk.
  • Fund investors, because they manage other people’s money and not just their own, are more risk averse and concerned about the safety of the fund. They typically invest up to 30% of their funds in DPI because of the perceived low relative risk of market volatility and security of the Index Coop technical architecture and well-executed DAO.

(Both types don’t notice/care about fees and have decided to invest with DPI because of the perceived integrity of the Index Coop)

Key Quotes
Additionally, I wanted to share a few encouraging oft-heard quotes:

  • “You could become the QQQ of DeFi”
  • “You’re basically the S&P 500 for DeFi”
  • “DPI makes it so I don’t have to think”
  • “DPI allows me to invest in DeFi without doing anything”

Next Steps

  • Complete personas by the beginning of June
  • Test messaging and positioning statements with through June
  • Tweak and refine for distribution to the Coop by the end of June

Future Considerations
Once this first round is complete we can target other products and persona types.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

I look forward to sharing with all of you soon.


Great post and initiative! No such thing as too much research in this area.

Two questions:

  1. Test where and with who in June?
  2. Will you keep in tight synch with CDWG and I so we can ensure best serving of personas and their needs in website update?


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Great questions, DevOnDeFi.

  1. We have a few additional investors who have said they would do an interview. We’ll present the messaging and positioning to them and possibly the previous people we have interviewed. I don’t typically tell them it’s our positioning but rather some statements we’re trying to validate.
  2. I have not talked with the CDWG group yet so I appreciate the question. I will reach out to you on Discord so we can discuss plans to synch up.

I also so other use cases in the PWG for new product ideas. I’ve reached out to OverAnalyzer to discuss what we can.

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This is sure to be an incredibly helpful exercise for fine-tuning various Coop activities when all is said and done. Great work so far!

I know we have to be mindful of scope creep for an initiative like this, but worth asking here: are you incorporating any questions around MVI into these interviews?

As we’re having conversations with custodians and institutional/HNW investors, the IR team has historically led with DPI but are now proactively bringing MVI into the conversation more to better understand the market’s reaction and interest level.

I’m personally curious how much overlap there is between the DPI and MVI buyers. Understanding interest in MVI from the DPI folks might dramatically alter our strategy if we find they are likely to be completely different users.

Just a thought…

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Great to see this is happening.

a) Generally curious to learn more about Dolphin/Whale processes for evaluating tokens, the kinds of tokens they are most interested in, what their process is for evaluating and then investing. Is this something that would lend itself to an ongoing online survey in order to stay closer to the customer’s interests, etc.

b) Agree that reactions to MVI are helpful if only to start conversations around sector-oriented products. Conversely interested in understanding how they view trading products like ETH-FLI relative to DPI.

c) Segmenting could ideally include some distinction between trading (<3 mo holders) vs long-term investors (>3 mo holders).

I’m working with @Pepperoni_Joe on market/competitive analysis now … segmentation between ST and LT investors is highly relevant to positioning efforts.



For the first round of interviews we wanted to focus on DPI given the AUM compared to our other products but, we noted in the beginning that we wanted to broaden the scope once we have a good process for gathering this information. Ideally we’ll hit this for all of our products as we mature the process.

We had initially discussed doing FLI next but I agree that MVI has similar use cases. FLI seems to apply more towards the DeFi dolphin vs the Fund Manager but we can ask some high level questions in the next interviews and see what resonates between the two.

It would be great to connect and see how we can leverage this content in your conversations.

a) I’m finalizing the two personas we have and should hopefully have them out this week. We covered many of these areas. For the Dolphin/Whale, they are typically following the market (primarily through Twitter and Discord) looking for the next short-term opportunity. They’re evaluating primarily from influencers and referrals but they primarily look at the $$$. DPI was seen as a holding area while they evaluated other opportunities.

b) FLI came up organically in almost every conversation, particularly for the Dolphin/Whale. I’ll start asking some high level questions on MVI in the next round of interviews.

c) That’s the primary distinction we found between Dolphin/Whale and Fund Manager. There are additional considerations for why they purchased DPI but that was a significant differentiator. The Fund Manager is our bigger opportunity because they tend to hold longer and their portfolios can grow quicker because they’re actively working to bring in new clients.

In relation to your point about market/competitive analysis, neither buyer persona saw other Index products as our primary competitor. Dolphins/Whales would invest in other Index products if there was an additional incentive, but once the incentive expired they sold and put their money back into DPI. Our primary competitor was BTC and ETH because of their relative stability.

I’m happy to connect and see how I can help. I’ve done market/competitive analysis in the past and agree that this segmentation is a key component to positioning. I’ve started creating positioning and messaging for these two personas but if you guys have already started it would be great to do a collab.

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