It’s quite an achievement that in the three weeks since the blockchain-based Rally app launched, it has already attracted more than 20,000 users.
However, this is not enough for its ambitious founder and CEO James Cashiola. He wants to see at least 50,000 users by the end of the year.
So, what is Rally? It’s a marketplace for direct engagement and community building, built on blockchain technology. It formally launched on Wednesday after extensive beta testing.
It is a tokenised economy which makes the promise that “engagement is king.”
Registered users are rewarded with tokens for promoting their favourite brands to friends via word-of-mouth endorsements.
Research shows only one in four people buy-in to traditional advertising, yet 83% of those questioned on the issue said they would follow a brand recommendation from a friend. Which clearly shows friends’ endorsements hold much more sway.
Cashiola has more than 20 years’ experience in network systems and telecoms, before deciding to use blockchain in this way. He describes himself on his Twitter biography as a Bitcoin veteran, decentralised mining enthusiast, cryptocurrency believer and software technologist.
He points out that the “intense and rapid uptake” of the marketplace is “entirely organic, demonstrating how the power of community-sharing and a token can be used to stimulate mass market activity.”
Cashiola says that the point of Rally is to “grow a community where people are, for the first time, being rewarded for an activity they’ve always done [as part of their everyday lives] in a completely transparent way.”
He says: “Think about how many times a week you send a friend, colleague or loved one a link about a new article, book or product that you like and would recommend.
“People do it all the time. Up until this point, however, we’ve never been rewarded for doing so.”
Rally changes this status quo as users earn tokens from brands with every link they share – whether it’s public or private
He adds: “We have invested a great deal of time and money in building our word-of-mouth marketing ecosystem, and it is gratifying to see the power it has generated in such a short space of time.”
The main difference from other social media platforms is it encourages users to share their interactions via email, messaging, SMS and social media and not just limiting themselves to the platform itself.
Users can start to build a community of followers based upon an authenticity of promoting the brands they like and use – swapping comments, tips and insight on their favourite brands with like-minded individuals. The platform has proven popular with influencers, who want to communicate with their followers in an authentic and transparent way.
For the brands themselves, Rally claims to offer a cost-effective route to generating scalable word-of-mouth marketing programmes, while improving budget efficiency.
With current advertising models, brands can pay big platforms like Facebook large amounts of money for clicks or likes. But the actual interaction between the brand and customers is virtually non-existent.
Secure tokenised system
With this new model, customers are directly rewarded with brands seeking to gain an insight into customers’ behaviour in the long run. Each action is driven by a decentralised and secure tokenised system.
Cashiola points out the power of social networks is already known and appreciated.
“People love to interact with others, share information and make new contacts, while brands love a platform from which to target current and potential customers.”
His previous work in telecoms and IT made him aware of how social networks operate behind the scenes. He then realised the potential of blockchain with its decentralising qualities presented “a way to challenge the established social networks that centralise profits for themselves.”
The potential, he went on, can be mutually beneficial to brands and customers and is simply “phenomenal.”
Already integrated via 20,000 unique crypto wallets, it aims to reach more than 50,000 users by the end of this year.
The Rally token will be fully operable within the community and will be made available for trading on crypto exchanges next year.