Braten Oak’s Origin Story
Anyone who has ever read a comic book, watched a comic-based TV show or movie experiences the superhero’s origin story.
I apologize, this is not a superhero origin story. However, this is the origin story of Braten Oak, my brother John and I’s full-service crypto and blockchain marketing agency.
John, want to take a walk?
In the summer of 2019, I called John to ask if he wanted to take a walk to catch-up. Nothing out of the ordinary, we grabbed coffee, and headed to our treasured walking trail.
Our walks usually consisted of John and I discussing interests we had, our individual goals and/or any updates we wanted to share with each other.
During this particular walk, I shared with John that I was learning the skill of copywriting. I had experience in digital marketing, specifically working with platforms like Google and Facebook, but I wanted to expand my skillset.
John explained that he had been working on a simplistic, crypto-based price app called PriceOfOne. After he explained the app and its functionality, he asked me to create some advertisements for him on Google once he finished building the app.
After our walk ended, we headed back to John’s house in Wake Forest, NC, to further discuss the marketing of the app.
If we build it, they will come
John and I worked together in the past while marketing his crypto-based website, Moon Banking, a website designed to allow users to vote and comment on the crypto-friendliness of banks worldwide.
For that project, we used Google to market the website. We had decent results, but we wanted to explore different avenues for PriceOfOne.
To begin our journey to find marketing avenues that would accent PriceOfOne best, we searched on the internet for a marketing guide, or a marketing report, that detailed how to market a crypto-based app.
When we couldn’t find any crypto-specific marketing guides, we casually joked, “Why don’t we just create a marketing report tailored for the cryptocurrency and blockchain space?”
We got quiet, three shooting stars shot across the sky, and a genie appeared out from the vase in the corner of the office. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate, John and I are never quiet.
“That’s it! Let’s write a marketing report based on our experiences doing so,” John exclaimed.
I had to chime in as well. “Oh! And we will collect data and compare which marketing avenues were the best.”
That day we immediately began figuring out the logistics of the report. Initially, we thought a three-page PDF would suffice to get the job done, and when we completed the report, we would upload it to Amazon for likeminded crypto marketers.
Not to spoil the ending, but the marketing report became so much more than what we had intended.
Big tech guards the gate. Again…
All hopped up and ready to go, I started running ads on Google a couple weeks later after John told me he launched PriceOfOne to the app stores.
Two weeks into running our three initial ads, I wanted to do some A/B testing. I created two new ads that used more cryptocurrency language to compete with the best ad from our initial run.
My two new ads were created and ready to run. Normally, I would switch the ads to active, and after Google reviews them and gives them the green light, they would begin running.
This time was different.
As soon as I switched the new ads to active, they were immediately flagged and wouldn’t run. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t have any issues with the first group of ads two weeks prior. What was the problem?
I dug deeper and discovered we needed a certificate from Google to market our app, but the downside was that the certificate was for crypto exchanges only.
PriceOfOne is not an exchange. It’s a simple price app that shows the price of cryptocurrencies in real-time, with a clean, simplistic user experience.
Back to the drawing board we went. We needed a way to reach users outside of Big Tech’s walled garden.
The pieces were coming together
A couple months passed, and John was living in Beech Mountain, NC, with his wife and newborn daughter.
I was still in Raleigh, NC. John and I had weekly Zoom calls where we discussed marketing efforts for the report.
After Google ads blocked our efforts, John and I did some digging on the best way to market PriceOfOne. We wanted to collect data about the efficacy of our marketing efforts so we could include data in the report we were building.
After a few weeks of digging and researching, we came up with three marketing avenues we wanted to explore: engage an influencer for a social media post, publish a press release with a crypto-focused news outlet and run display ads.
I got a call one day from John while he was walking around Grandfather Mountain. He had an idea to start a book club. I was entirely confused, yet excited — it could be a cool idea. After our book club discussion, we continued talking back and forth until we reached the topic of our marketing report.
“We are already creating a marketing report. Why don’t we start a marketing agency?” John said.
John and I paused our conversation. Two shooting stars zoomed across the sky, a bear came riding down the mountain on a bicycle, and an elf appeared in the woods giving John a thumbs up.
Wait, wait, that’s not entirely true, it was three shooting stars.
“Yes, yes, yes, we will use the marketing report we create, to launch our marketing agency,” I said.
John couldn’t agree more.
Now, let’s get something straight before I continue. John and I didn’t just randomly think, “Oh, we could totally start a marketing agency. Let’s just do it. How hard could it be?”
John is a talented front- and back-end developer. He had years of experience writing code and creating tech, websites, etc., in-and-out of the crypto and blockchain space.
I have a digital marketing background with experience working in-and-out of the crypto and blockchain space as well.
Starting a marketing agency in the crypto and blockchain space was achievable because we have the skillset.
Will this book ever get finished?
Fast-forward about three months, and we had run and collected data on all our marketing efforts for our marketing report.
It was time to fit all the data we collected and create our three-page PDF.
Once we started creating the marketing report, we quickly realized two things: one, we didn’t have enough room to present our data in only three pages. Two, if we were going to create this marketing report, let’s do it right and essentially write a book and dive deep into the reality of marketing a cryptocurrency or blockchain product.
It felt like eight years, but after eight months, we finally finished the book. We called it Cryptocurrency Marketing with the Pros.
The book was done, and it was time to launch our marketing agency. But what were we going to name the agency?
Meaning of Braten Oak
Each of the words in Braten Oak has a meaning.
John and I both knew we wanted to express two things. We were two brothers who started the agency, and we wanted it to tie back to Raleigh, NC where we were born.
My long-time girlfriend is Serbian. I looked up the word “brother” in Serbian and discovered “brate.”
With the first word, “brate,” we needed a word that tied to Raleigh, NC. That was the easy part. Raleigh is the City of Oaks.
Boom! I got it. “Brate and Oak.” I called John and told him what I had. He liked it and said, “Why don’t we go with Braten Oak? Drop the ‘and’ and add ’n’ to brate.”
The name Braten Oak was born.
Braten Oak is traveling to the Moon, past Mars, Saturn, everything
Our book, Cryptocurrency Marketing with the Pros, was completed and on Amazon. We spent the next several months creating the infrastructure for Braten Oak, including the website, call center and communication network. It was time to turn on the machine and reach clients.
We officially launched Braten Oak on May 5th, 2021.
Where we’re headed
It has been an exciting adventure to say the least.
Braten Oak was created from walking around a trail in the summer of 2019. We just didn’t know it at the time.
John and I created Braten Oak with one main purpose in mind: to create freedom for us, for the people who build cryptocurrency and blockchain products, technologies and businesses, and for anyone interested in this phenomenal space.
We love crypto. We have been in involved with it for many years. John got interested in 2012, and not too long after that, John was getting me interested in crypto.
We hope to work with you in the future, and please share your crypto or blockchain project with us. We’d love to help get your product out to there to spread freedom in the world.
Our podcast, Marketing on the Moon
Look, we get it. Not everyone likes to read, especially when you have perfectly good, functioning ears.
That’s why we created a podcast, Marketing on the Moon, which you can find on your favorite podcast platform.
Our first episode is about the origin story of Braten Oak. We dive deeper into other subjects as well.