Assisting Tanbii, a Web 5 Mobile App, with Its Global Launch

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Overview of Tanbii

Tanbii, a game startup based in Tennessee and Los Angeles, is a groundbreaking Web-5 mobile application and metaverse that seeks to revolutionize the way people combat climate change. To be more specific, Tanbii is an interactive game that can inspire and incentivize its users to practice carbon reduction actions through the gamification of the entire process. Utilizing advanced technologies such as blockchain and AI, Tanbii can seamlessly bridge the gap between the real world (Web-2) and the virtual world (Web-3) for a greener planet.

With its central value being to inspire eco-conscious individuals to cut carbon footprints, the game itself utilizes the logic of rewarding users with tokens that could be devoted to sustainability efforts to incentivize the usage of the app. To elaborate, Tanbii simplifies tracking and reducing users’ carbon footprint in everyday activities like walking, spending, shopping, traveling, and many more. Users can then earn Tanbii tokens through these eco-friendly actions, which could then be used to redeem 150+ rewards, including sustainable travel and eco-conscious brands. With Tanbii’s collaboration with relevant NGOs, these tokens could also be used for supporting Earth-friendly initiatives such as tree planting, ocean cleanup, reef restoration, and more.

Phase 1: Understanding the Project

With its upcoming beta launch, Tanbii  partnered with GRC-UCLA to create and present a comprehensive proposal that could enhance and elevate Tanbii as it prepares for the app’s global launch. The ultimate goal was to foster the growth and impact of the app by implementing key initiatives across three aspects: an ambassador program, a marketing plan, and monetization strategies.

To break down the project scope, we decided to assign a sub-team of two to three consultants for each of the three initiatives being outlined. The first initiative we focused on was to design an ambassador program so that Tanbii – by leveraging the influence of enthusiastic users as brand ambassadors – can tap into new networks and user segments. The second direction we marched toward was to design a marketing plan for Tanbii. This is because while Tanbii holds immense potential, its awareness within the target audience remains limited. A focused marketing effort can amplify brand visibility, attract new users, and establish Tanbii as a leader in sustainability gaming. The third initiative we agreed to work on was to provide recommendations for Tanbii’s monetization strategies. This is because while Tanbii offers immense value, sustainable revenue generation is still essential for its continued growth and impact. Exploring innovative monetization strategies can ensure the app's longevity and scalability.

Phase 2: Approaching the Problems

For our first initiative of designing a new ambassador program for our client, we started with closely examining the existing “not-yet-matured” one. Through reading the program logistics and analyzing the actual communication and interaction in the respective discord channel, we identified several problems that our client could start with to adjust their program. Then, we conducted case studies of how relevant startup or student-focused applications such as Menta Network and Collegeboard have initiated their own ambassador leaderboard. Based on these qualitative comparisons, we brainstormed a series of creative ideas and features that our client could immediately adopt to bring the existing ambassador program up to a higher level. An example of our ideas would be how we identified the existing leaderboard reward should be more incentivizing than the token system that was already used in the app. In order to tackle this problem, we introduced the idea of “Leaves 🌿” that our client can adopt instead – it could act like a token but is worth more per each received (e.g. 5 new recruited users would accumulate one leaf for the ambassador.

During our second initiative, we mainly focused on devising a detailed plan of how Tanbii could potentially collaborate with the LA 2028 Summer Olympics. In order to prepare our client for his call with the Vice President of Sustainability, we collected every single sustainability-related initiative that past Olympic Games and Asian Games had adopted. Based on this “database”, we then identified initiatives such as the Zero Waste Life House and the One Kilogram per Person project that our client could potentially be inspired from. This eventually helped us to provide a total of 5 ideas that Tanbii eventually decided to use all during their call.

Last but not the least, for our third project goal of researching monetization strategies for our client, we began our analysis by sourcing Tanbii’s main competitors. There, we conducted in-depth case studies where we broke down how these applications would approach the question of gamification strategies; We even modeled out how each specific feature in a game could lead to the game’s monetization. For example, we identified that similar adventure games such as Dreamdale prefer to include one-time purchases that are meant to skip ads or to get more game currency.

Based on these efforts, we proposed what insights Tanbii could derive for each case study, before eventually advising it with a tailored monetization plan.

Phase 3: Reflecting the Impact

One of the challenges we faced was that the project pace was faster than our expectation. Each week, the client would point out a few new sub-directions that he would like us to tailor toward. However, we managed to quickly adjust to this style via conducting regular progress updates with our client. In these weekly check-in meetings, my co-pm and I would quickly summarize all of our actions and findings over the past week. This allowed us to fully adapt to our client’s fast pace of work and constantly changing conditions given  Tanbii’s nature as a gaming startup.

Another problem that we were not expecting was a sudden change in direction for our second initiative – developing a marketing plan for Tanbii. In particular, we were originally aiming to help our client to draw pictures of its target audiences and analyze how to reach them. However, after the first week of our project, our client had found itself discovering an opportunity to potentially collaborate with the LA 2028 Summer Olympics. After a series of communication, we managed to fully understand our client’s shift in needs and thus how we could pivot in order to fully meet its goal.

Future Outlook

Our final deliverable for Tanbii provided a comprehensive and well-supported series of recommendations and actionable plans for each of the 3 initiatives. Along with this support, Tanbii has successfully launched its beta version of the app during November 2023. As it is currently stepping into a new stage of development, Tanbii has extended its contract with GRC-UCLA, due to the “beyond-the-expectation high-quality” work we presented. In this new project, the GRC-UCLA team will continue to support Tanbii in terms of three new directions – product development, business growth, and continuous monetization. In addition to how we will continue to help Tanbii to achieve its social impact driven goals, we believe that we, as consultants ourselves, would continue to grow and improve alongside the process.

More posts by Rose Yang.
Assisting Tanbii, a Web 5 Mobile App, with Its Global Launch
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