Sometimes, to get the ball rolling, we all need a light kick up the bum. Whilst it’s good to thrive from challenge and high risk, for many of us, it’s not the most comfortable place to be. Going it alone can seem incredibly daunting and sometimes, it’s nice to know that there are people out there who are backing your idea. Enter Kickstarter. We all know how lucrative a successful Kickstarter campaign can be; get your idea heard by the right people and you be in with a shot of having some serious success. Whilst having a successful Kickstarter campaign is something that many of us only dream about, the reality is not as far away as you think. All it takes is a great idea and a little hustling and things can take off much faster than you would think. But don’t take our word for it – take a look at these 3 startups that used Kickstarter to begin something truly brilliant.
Pebble was one of the first companies to create the now incredibly lucrative smartwatch, a piece of technology it seems that we all want to get our hands on. The Pebble watch tracks fitness, sends you reminder notifications, connects with your smartphone, shows you your favourite photos and, oh, tells the time. Pebble’s Kickstarter campaign was incredibly successful; originally pitching a goal of $100,000, the company ended up with over $10 million pledged at the end of their campaign. The key to their success was the recognisable innovation in their idea; although what they were offering was brand new technology, it had been taken from other areas of the digital market with which we were already familiar. It was easy for consumers to envisage the product as it had a clear use and functionality in their lives. The Pebble team also have an incredibly good marketing plan; their website is witty, eye catching and simplistic. There is no surplus jargon; what you see is what you get.
The Micro, however, offers a variation of a well known model. Spotting a gap in the market, The Micro developed 3D printing technology for smaller items, creating items in minute detail where other models failed. Surpassing its goal in 11 minutes, the company went on to fund over $3 million to build its brand. The Micro succeeded as it honed in on a problem within an existing market, highlighting how it could make its customers’ experience better. The Micro also put forward a very smart marketing plan, gaining its investor’s trust by putting meaningful thought into its strategy. Teaming business smarts with innovation, The Micro couldn’t not be a huge success!
Finally, The Coolest. The most successful Kickstarter campaign ever (up until now, of course), The Coolest is a water cooler meets ice crusher meets USB charger and Bluetooth speaker. Somehow tackling the whole water and electricity debacle, founder Ryan Grepper built an incredibly lucrative and successful product. Whilst The Coolest might seem like an unlikely success, its ability to combine the perfect elements of a day in the sun into one easy device seems to have won over people everywhere. The key to the campaign’s success was Grepper’s earlier failure. Whilst initial failure is not something that we want to go through, it allowed Grepper to weigh up his marketing strategy and realign his funding goals, ultimately winning him more clients.
Of course, these are three examples of incredibly successful campaigns and whilst you might not be aiming for the same kind of funding as these projects did, there are still some interesting lesson which can be learnt. Identify a useful gap in the market and what problem your customer needs solving. Use existing technologies and products as a springboard for your ideas; how can you make them better and how will they benefit your customer? Finally, think long and hard about your marketing tactics. Ultimately, you need to get people to trust in you and your brand so doing some leg work beforehand is vital. If you can show people something that will make them excited, you’re well on your way to being a success!