One of the more dynamic and attention grabbing ways to develop and market new products today is Kickstarter, a web-based home that funds creative products including films, games, art, design, technology and, yes, housewares.
Three entrepreneurs who raised funds on Kickstarter for their products – silicone baking sheets with the accent on design and functionality, an educational toy and app for kids and a one-piece, silicone spatula – sang the praises of the never-before avenues it provides, yet also cautioned the potential users that it’s no cakewalk.
In fact, getting a product to market based on funding from individuals who simply like and support the idea takes a lot of hard upfront work and dozens of details that you wouldn’t necessarily think about. It requires a constant push in various types of media—from balloons to ads— to keep the funds flowing and an unending vigilance to keep the process moving forward.
Samantha Rose, who concocted a glossy marketing campaign to back her spatula, calls it “a full time job.” She was meticulous about the graphics she distributed, making them look professional while offering influential information. The hard work paid off. Looking for $15,000 from backers to get production going, Rose attracted more than 1,600 backers who gave her more than $48,000.
Using the initial money to work with a designer, she expanded the line into different sizes and asked for $50,000 on a second campaign. More than 1,800 backers gave her more than $136,000. The reason for her success: she told a story backed up with facts that supported the quality of the product and projected her business savvy. Most people don’t raise that kind of money and even she suffered serious anxiety over whether anyone would be interested, Rose said.
Jon Lindholm, who parlayed his Kickstarter support into a now flourishing line of silicone baking sheets, used his already developed design smarts to offer functional eye candy that would appeal to the modern consumer. He suggests following these rules:
- Now you can do it all, now you have to do it all;
- Twice as interesting beats half the price;
- Turn on your scoundrel detector;
- Get ahead of the transition;
- Make sure your brand is easy to spell;
- When a bird flies with the wind it goes really fast and;
- Regardless of the outcome, you will always have a good story to tell.