A great brand name is intended to be recognizable and to register with consumers as a kind of virtual contract; intuitively relaying specific promises. It is easy to spell and pronounce, it is instantly familiar, and it is memorable when spoken aloud. The mnemonics activate memory cues and elicit positive associations. It has cross cultural reach; it is religiously and politically agnostic; avoids embarrassing or offensive outcomes when translated across different languages; and has an association with societal needs. The best brand names stimulate strong visual images, causing us to see in our minds-eye what we hear.
Historically, companies built brands around a name that provided some context of the value of the goods and/or services being offered, rather than aligning a brand to an individual identity. Associating a corporate entity with a human identity was thought to limit the potential size of the target audience.
But in the 21st century, products and platforms like iPhone, YouTube, and Facebook emerged, taking full advantage of Humans’ increasing fascination with the concept of self-awareness; a fascination that was increased exponentially by the emergence of social media platforms. Now, branding appeals to the ego directly. We are told/sold that our self-impressions matter—our inner voice is offered a platform. Human creativity and experience is sought after, sociality is encouraged, identity is valuable. Every aspect of human life is now a potential commodity.
We are encouraged to buy and sell ourselves using an array of popularized technologies. At the root of this paradigm shift in branding was an unsanctioned effort to accumulate our private, but digitally mineable, data. Behind the newfangled products and services, that were pitched to us as pathways to personal fulfillment, was a data mining enterprise in disguise.
The material world, and mankind itself, is now a constant stream of information. We are living, breathing bundles of data bytes and sets; uploaded, downloaded, transferred, saved, analyzed, reconfigured, optimized, and often sold, without our knowledge or consent. The Information Age is here to stay. Data is the new gold.
The lawless, Wild West days of unmitigated seizure and sale of personal Data are numbered. Recently, Apple announced that apps for IOS had to eliminate secret recording of consumer behavioral data (clandestine coding), or be eliminated from the App Store.
Corporate accountability for the stewardship of collected personal data is front and center in public consciousness. How it’s collected, secured, and ultimately commodified is drawing scrutiny and critique from every angle. The leading data governance solution available today is blockchain technology. Companies incorporating blockchain technology into their business models are today’s entrepreneurial pioneers in forwarding new ethical standards in global business practice.
How will blockchain-based companies develop their brand in ways that capitalize on these best intentions? How will fundamental expectations for increased honesty be demonstrated by branding choices? The age old question of “What’s in a name?” may be more important than ever.
DOC.COM is the name, and burgeoning brand, of a blockchain-based company that provides free basic healthcare services; utilizing blockchain technology and a crypto-based economy to fund and maintain possibly the largest public, decentralized biometric database in the world. This database is called the Lifechain, and one of its radical functions is to give control of personal health data back to the patient.
In less than a year of operating on the global healthcare scene, DOC.COM is being adopted by the United Nations as a global partner in the effort to end healthcare injustice worldwide. DOC.COM is living up to a profound branding power that is inherent in its name; a name which exudes a most unlikely balance: humanism and corporate dynamism in perfect harmony.
Unlike a rose, DOC.COM by any other name would not smell as sweet. Just as “rose” implies the perfumed glory of the flower we share with love, so too will DOC.COM evoke a memorable blessing of 24/7 free access to healthcare—the scent of compassion fills the air. This brand name will have a power that is increased by public policy and protocol—actions speak loudly! DOC.COM acts on behalf of the powerless, the poor, and the distraught.
DOC.HEALTH tends to the wounded body; DOC.EMOTIONS to the weakened mind; and DOC.COM is the new name for CARE.
“What’s your name?”, I asked the Cause. “I am COMPASSION!”, it replied. “But, you may call me, THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE!” “Then, you must answer also to FREEDOM?” I asked. “Yes! And to JUSTICE, LOVE, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and DOC.COM!”
History has come full circle. In the early 1900’s, the “house call” accounted for 40% of doctor-patient interactions—today that statistic is only .06%. DOC is an acronym for “Doctor On Call”. A hundred years ago, only the wealthiest citizens had the luxury of cash-on-delivery visits to their home by a qualified doctor. Thanks to the advent of smart phone technology and face-to-face video conferencing, a paradigm shift in healthcare practice is unfolding. DOC.COM is leading the industry’s charge and transformation as their doctors make televideo visits to homes in need of CARE, 24/7, absolutely free. Once a luxury concierge service, the house calls of DOC.COM serve impoverished populations that suffer the injustice of healthcare access inequity.
If IPhone, YouTube, and Face Book are branded to appeal to the “ego self” and the projection of an individual’s persona, we can view the branding power of DOC.COM as diametrically appealing to humanity’s sense of life’s intrinsic value; the vital need for self-care, personal awareness of our mortal fragility, and our most private urge to survive.
DOC.COM is at the heart of a new kind of activism: corporate activism. It is a hybrid business model for the 21st century; focused on building a sustainable crypto economy that will finance a viable solution to global healthcare injustice. DOC.COM identifies its mission as a fight against the unconscionable fact that half of the world’s population is denied healthcare access. Healthcare cost is legitimately a weapon of oppression. The standard for-profit global healthcare industry has turned socio-economic status into a tyrannical measure of determining who receives life defining benefits. Well-being is wrongly a privilege of wealth.
The proof of DOC.COM’s concept is already working in 24 countries. Launch of services across Africa is planned in 2019, with the help of the United Nations. One day soon, DOC will transition from a proper noun to a verb. Academics and researchers around the world will “DOC it.” People in need will “DOC it”, because it’s free, and whole populations will eventually be “DOCked”—Glorious!
DOC.COM’s brand strength is obvious. It sounds imminently familiar. In most cultures of the world today, the word Doctor, as it is spelled, implies a medical professional. But DOC.COM was not the brand name right from the company’s beginning; it was arrived at organically as the vision of the company’s founders took hold and expanded from its early inception, as a Health Data Company, to its current goal of becoming a Global Universal Healthcare Portal.
The company originated in Mexico and, aptly, the brand development journey began as Doctordice, a Spanish word translated in English meaning “Doctor Says.” We see at its inception that the semantic emphasis of branding was already concerned with the value and importance of Doctors disseminating knowledge. Doctordice would be the public name from 2012 – 2015, as the company expanded its free healthcare services in exchange for anonymized patient health data.
By 2015, the data collected, and its value to Academic Researchers, National Governments, and the business sectors of Health Insurance and Pharmaceuticals, had begun to reach critical mass. Internal questioning about how best to secure and store data moving forward led the Doctordice team to the cutting edge technology of Blockchain—a seed was planted in 2016, and the discovery process began.
The rebranding between mid-2015 and mid-2016, from Doctordice to Docademic, directly correlated with the expansion of the company vision from a free basic healthcare phone app service to the earliest incarnation as a Global Universal Healthcare Portal. The envisioned, autonomously run, database on a blockchain would become a global center for biomedical and genomic research. The team’s inclination and intention for the rebrand was to additionally emphasize the value of the company to academic medical researchers:
Doctor + Academic = Docademic.
Cofounder and CEO of Doctordice / Docademic, Charles Nader, admits he was never satisfied. He knew in his heart that the magnitude of the company’s potential to be a transformative service to humanity had not yet found its perfect name. A final epiphany came in late 2016, with the help of Nader’s brother, Jonathan, with whom Charles often discussed possible options. Jonathan came thundering into the room like a bolt of symbolic lightning: “How about DOC.COM?”
Charles Nader knew immediately, “I had to own the rights to DOC.COM. No effort would be spared. I immediately saw DOC.COM embodying our global vision for healthcare universalization. It was simple and succinct.” The quest was on to secure the perfect symbol of brand identity that will one day become a coup de tat against the unjust healthcare systems of the world.
After a period of due diligence beginning in early 2017, Nader discovered the domain, DOC.COM, was not in use, but was in fact owned by a Japanese computer processing company based out of Silicon Valley. That company had acquired the domain asset through the purchase of another company nearly 20 years earlier. Nader called the company’s legal department to inquire about the purchase of the domain, but without immediate success.
“They had no idea what I was talking about,
they were not aware they owned it.”, says Nader. He kept calling, week after week, for months
without making any headway. That’s when
he hired the Domain Brokerage Firm, Afternic, a subsidiary of Go Daddy, to join
the fight. “It took 3 more months of
heavy negotiations before a six-figure price tag was agreed upon and the deal
was signed.”, Nader said. It would take
until April of 2018 for the domain ownership of DOC.COM to be transferred to
Docademic—a year-long battle for the perfect name was won.
Validation of the greatness of the DOC.COM name came swiftly: within 5 minutes of domain transfer to Docademic, DR Reporter announced it as newsworthy to the public; in the months to follow Nader received countless offers to purchase the domain. There was a 7 figure offer turned down with all the rest and that companies counter offer came back: “NAME YOUR PRICE”. Rejected!
While the fight for domain ownership waged, Nader and his team began another epic journey into the cryptosphere. The yeoman’s work of developing a proprietary blockchain, the Lifechain, had begun. The process that began with Docademic’s ICO fundraising period then turned to architecting a revolutionary tokenomic ecosystem—that process is ongoing today. Nader explains, “The crypto economic system is a vital component of hybridity in the make-up of our unique business model, and is just as important as the healthcare services and the data collection. Because each complex facet has a symbiotic relationship to the others. All aspects of the system are interdependent; all aspects of the system when in harmony orchestrate the music to our ears of free basic healthcare and psychological care for the world.”
A beautiful global vision for humanity is at stake. It’s awkward to even consider the name DOC.COM to be a brand in the traditional sense. It’s better to see it as the name which suits the identity. With DOC.COM, Nader believes, “We have reached the pinnacle of our purpose in the world. Our name clearly defines our heartened path. Our known goals are contained in the chosen name and yet this name, DOC.COM, which we had to earn, continues to broaden our vision and lengthen our path.”
And looking back on the journey we begin to understand and appreciate what is in a name. DOC.COM is a monument to social justice work made up of the material desires of the incarnations that came before it. In Doctordice, a recognition of the power of health education to transform lives. In Docademic, a recognition of the gravity of the importance of data access and stewardship to the future of healthcare research discovery. We arrive at DOC.COM, a cumulative expression of the value of interconnectedness across all industry sectors of influence; a bold statement about the need for the universalization of healthcare; the embodiment of a commitment to make healthcare justice a reality for humanity.
DOC.COM is a liberation movement!
Marching past the misguided institutions and resources that currently populate a broken socioecological framework unjustly isolating the poor from a basic human right. Helping the unemployed, the single parent, the disabled and the elderly; empowering the impoverished, the socially excluded and the disenfranchised; offering a 21st century mobile solution for the problem of healthcare in-access.
DOC.COM is bearing witness!
Health(care) inequities are related to social contexts: where we are born, live, and work—PLACE becomes hardened placement. Social policies MAP OUT reach of resources. DOC.COM is FREE Basic Healthcare and it’s map is the world!
Special thanks to Henry Avignon, who has truly embraced the mission of making healthcare a reality for everyone.