This article is a response to the initial sentiment analysis I posted on Twitter on Apr 13th:
In this follow-up article, I will quantify the overall social sentiment of @AzukiOfficial after the most recent NFT NYC event.
For full transparency, I am financially invested in the collection. I own one Azuki.
However, I have tried my best to remain completely objective and used several non-holding analysts as reliable sounding boards.
Without further ado, let's dive into it 👇
Representation & Demand
Within just a few months of conception, the Azuki community quickly soared into being the second most represented PFP NFT collection across Twitter accounts.
However, the brand took significant blows due to @ZAGABOND (Founder of Azuki) publishing an article called A Builder's Journey where he revealed that he had co-founded several past NFT projects, which he later abandoned and left to run on their own. These projects included Tendies, CryptoPhunks, and CryptoZunks.
In his attempts at retribution, many saw his efforts as clumsy and simply not good enough, so Azuki started losing a significant part of their community. Azuki and BeanZ collection prices dropped more than 77% from their respective ATH levels during peak FUD.
However, Azuki has since rebounded back to a floor price of 11.2 at the time of writing and is back to being the second most represented PFP, currently boasting 4,104 unique Azuki PFPs (+22% MoM) across Twitter.
In terms of NFT NYC activation, Azuki saw a +27% run-up in floor price leading up to its 'Enter the Alley' event as many had their eyes on a potential new announcement.
These two metrics combined (# of PFPs + FP) have historically acted as a proxy for demand. Thus, the overall representation remains positive for Azuki since we've seen levels consistently increase in anticipation of their next move.
Despite all the FUD, Azuki has not shown any significant decline in the number of total followers across their Twitter profile. However, the growth factor in terms of total followers has significantly declined in comparison to the previous months since conception.
When compared to our initial sentiment analysis back in mid-April, Azuki was on average gaining 1,400 new followers daily. Compare this to the past 30 days where Azuki has lost 1,114 followers overall, and it's clear that there's been a huge shift in traction & momentum.
However, there are additional factors at play here outside of ZAGABOND's blog post release that have caused significant drops in traction across the entire NFT sector. These include:
- Current macro conditions & political feuds world-wide
- NFT volumes nearing a 1-year all-time low
- Exhaustion of initial collective mind share
To back up the above with something more than just assumptions, let's take a look at how one of the leading collections across the NFT index, Moonbirds, has maintained its momentum going into the bear market.
Moonbirds was on a rapid surge to 200K followers but has since then remained largely stagnant as a result of extreme macro events kicking in. Remember - this does in no way whatsoever imply that Moonbirds is doing poorly or not living up to expectations, but rather, that the entire sector is highly impacted by contagion.
To conclude - the entire sector has seen declines in momentum, meaning that there are no signs of concern as Azuki is performing well compared to the rest of the top collections across the NFT index in terms of traction & social sentiment.
Reach & Sentiment
The overall social reach has deviated around the 30-40% range, hinting that the activity comes from active members with decently sizable audiences consistently representing the brand.
Among the top 10 ETH projects, Azuki is consistently competing for #3-#5.
The quality of this reach can be harder to objectively quantify but is extracted through the sentiment of the top trending Azuki posts on Twitter. Here it's clear that many holders were positively impacted by the brand's "Enter The Alley" event during NFT NYC:
Additionally, Azuki seemed to have left an extremely positive impression on prominent thought-leaders and influencers from other representative NFT communities:
Now meanwhile Azuki is still far away from its peak reach levels back in March, hitting numbers as high as ~70%, the collection is clearly showcasing strength through recovery as sentiment seems to be dominantly positive amidst the bear market.
It's important to note that contagion is influential in all areas, thus impacting all key metrics.
Performance is, therefore, derived from a direct comparison to other blue-chip projects, rather than just the isolated historical data for Azuki.
A proxy for external demand outside the NFT sector can be found by analyzing search trends across Google. On the internal end, a relative performance indicator can be extracted by comparing this search trend to other notable NFT collections.
These numbers give us a rough insight into how many outside retail investors are actively eyeing the brand at any given time, highlighting Doodles (major NFT NYC activation) at the forefront with an Average score of 13 and Azuki trailing right behind at 12.
Further, these numbers individually represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.
Analyzing the data, Azuki is most definitely still sustaining relevance, but far behind its peak levels where it got about halfway to BAYC's popularity levels.
However, due to contagion, this is not a cause for immediate concern but rather an indicator to monitor leading into the next bull run.
The results were roughly the same with the exception of "Doodles" returning skewed data due to its commonly searched term outside of NFTs. This is why "#### NFT" was opted into for a fair comparison.
It's clear that Azuki captured a massive amount of initial attention post-conception but then lost a major part of its relevancy and positioning due to FUD.
However, the data suggests that the brand is slowly restabilizing with clearly evident demand.
To me, Azuki is a moonshot play — I am optimistic that it can succeed in continuing to dominate Asian culture within the NFT landscape, but with its current positioning, the odds are stacked against it. There is tremendous execution risk at this stage.
What keeps me engaged is Azuki's stellar execution track record and most recent display of commitment at NFT NYC.
With the same trajectory and ethos of over-delivery, the odds of a come-back story are slowly being shifted in their favor. From here, the duty simply rests upon the team to continue to execute and regain more of its lost mind share.