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It has been over three years now since Kickstarter launched in New Zealand. Even though some were skeptical, we now know that crowdfunding is not just a fad! Blender has been involved in both a successful and an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign. This means that we have the unique perspective of knowing what does and doesn’t work.

Here’s one of our previous crowdfunding campaign: Quebee. It didn’t work out but it means that now you and I can both learn from it.

Crowdfunding isn’t just for startups and entrepreneurs, it’s a proven and powerful way to introduce a new product or concept to a large audience and get them to engage with them on a whole new level.

It’s really important to get a crowdfunding campaign right. This comes down to telling a great story and making sure you back that up with a few key components. 43% of all crowdfunding campaigns are reward based, it is the most popular and most applicable for physical new products. However, it does take some effort, so if all you’re looking to do is get a quick buck, you’re looking in the wrong place. P.s if you didn’t know Star Citizen (a video game) raised almost USD$125M in their crowdfunding campaign.

Here are my top tips to make your crowdfunding campaign a hit:

1. Market your thing (Marketing)

Crowdfunding isn’t a magic cash machine. It’s simply a powerful marketing tool – if you can use it properly, you’ll reap the rewards. Crowdfunding is essentially another way of getting your product in front of the market – except in this case; your product doesn’t even have to exist. It’s an investment to find out if your concept is desirable and validate your market – but of course, that does mean you need to make an investment. What you should be investing in is marketing.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not putting enough of an emphasis on marketing and PR during the build-up to the campaign. You need eyeballs watching first, so make sure you have a really good following and a mailing list of at least 1,000 before you launch.

2. Do you know who you’re talking to?

Like any advertising, you need to know who your target audience is. Be sure that your product’s potential audience lines up with the people who frequent crowdfunding sites.

Likewise, think about which site you should be using. Indiegogo and PledgeMe tend to be more generic, while Kickstarter seems to attract particularly tech-hungry people. It’s really about understanding the people who will buy your product and figure out the best way to reach them.

3. Get the metrics right

From my experience,  getting your pricing and funding goal right is absolutely crucial when it comes to crowdfunding success. It can be really difficult to set the right price for a completely new product, so do some preliminary testing of this before launching your campaign. You can do this by either using a landing page or running some surveys.

It’s also really important that you set the right funding goal. The key to this is to ask for enough to ensure that the product gets made, but try not to aim too much above that. If people like the product, then you may receive more than expected, but set the target too high and you might wave goodbye the money people do pledge.

Crowdfunding isn’t just a way to raise money, it’s a way to get smarter faster and really know your market.

You acquire loyal fans who can provide you with hugely valuable insights before it goes fully to market. While crowdfunding may not be right for everyone, it’s another great option for getting new products off the drawing board.

Don’t be afraid to back yourself! Do your research and get the word out there well before you launch your campaign. With the right idea and the right preparation, you could be the next big NZ crowdfunding success.

Check out Quebee

From concept to prototyping to manufacture, we partner with businesses to create commercially successful products and some great ongoing relationships.

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Oliver McDermott

Co-founder and Managing Director of Blender Design. He lives and breathes innovation and is passionate about using design to create products that make the world a better place.