On September 5, 2012, Aaron and Erik Melander’s first Kickstarter project, the Supr Slim wallet, ended with $203,488.
On Novermber 1, 2012, Robert Sha’s first Kickstarter project, the Minimalist wallet, ended with $116,802.
On Novermber 26, 2012, Jack Sutter’s first Kickstarter project, the TGT (Tight) Wallet, ended with $317,424.
Aside from the fascinating intersection of production simplicity, demand, and convergence in time, these projects share another common variable that drove much of their success.
Their pledges-by-day data (provided by KickTraq.com) shows that, in all three cases, a significant jump in sales occurred at some point during the campaign.
Supr Slim: August 7
TGT: November 2
Minimal: October 9
Though all three projects were featured by various blogs and media outlets throughout their campaigns, each of the three were featured by the same men’s gear blog day their sales exploded: Uncrate.com. This data facilitates triangulation of Uncrate as the most impactful media outlet for designer wallet projects.
Many project creators spend hours, days, and weeks drumming up media attention that ultimately doesn’t result in increased sales.
Due to the large amount of time required to actively market a crowdfunding campaign, data such as this is invaluable as it allows project creators to determine how to spend their efforts.
Depending on the category and type of project, high-impact media outlets will vary, but the strategy remains constant – identify high-impact outlets and focus resources on them.
Brad, creator of the wildly successful Bottle Grenade project which ended with 1,702% of its $2,500 goal on January 31st, 2013, launched a second project called the Wrench That Fits (WTF) just 29 days later, on March 1st, 2013. Leveraging his first project’s 1,182 backers, his new project raised more than three times his goal on its first day live.
In addition to capitalizing on his relationships with previous backers, Brad was able to leverage relationships with the press that had been formed during his first project’s campaign.
In Brad’s case, this strategy has lead him to double the pledge total from his first project ($42,560) to his second ($85,564).
As demonstrated by the two Serial Crowdfunding cases, successful projects can be leveraged to give subsequent projects from the same creator major boosts in both support from backers and media coverage. (Even projects that do not complete their goals can leverage what success they do have for future projects.)
One day into their crowdfunding project launch, Chadwick Parker and Joe Huang had already raised $18,456 toward their $50,000 goal.
Their product, an aluminum case for notebooks called the IPX -PRO, was off to an envious start. Because Kickstarter features recently launched projects, it’s not uncommon for a new project to gain early traction, but sharply declining pledges over the next few days suggests that something else was at play in this case.
The project video opens with the project creators smiling at the camera, saying, “We’re really glad to be back with a new project. We want to say thank you to all the backers who have supported us in previous projects.”
Perhaps due to the youth of Kickstarter.com, not many project creators have created more than one campaign. Chadwick and Joe, however, are no ordinary project creators – they’re serial crowdfunders. The IPX-PRO is their tenth project launched on Kickstarter since 2011.
Of their previous 9 projects, 7 were funded successfully, raising a total of $501,544 from 7,475 backers.
In the comments section of the IPX-PRO project, we get a better idea of how the project was able to generate such huge success on its first day. The first six backer comments read:
In addition to the good reputation Chadwick and Joe were able to foster through their previous projects, they had also amassed a fan base of 7,475 people which they could leverage for future projects.
There are a lot of variables that play a key role in determining a project’s success. Some of the questions that you ought be ask yourself are:
The project High Pheels by Taylor Jones serves well as an example. With a $5K goal, High Peels achieved less than $1.9K in pledges after a 45 day campaign (we recommend 30 day funding duration; we echo Kickstarter’s words: “We recommend that projects last 30 days or less. Shorter durations have higher success rates, and will create a helpful sense of urgency around your project”). Compare this project with Jeska Shoes (also selling modular shoes) that made $20M in 4 years.
While there are some subtle differences to the product functionality between Jeska Shoes and High Pheels, there is one major flaw in the Kickstarter project: a lack of credibility on the project creator.
This lack of credibility irradiates in the project creator’s lack of attention to details and low quality pictures and video.
We do believe that the Kickstarter crowd is fairly acceptable of non-professional videos (after all, Kickstarter is all about helping people with a lack of resources). The Precision Machined Dice is an example of a case where the video quality did not play an essential role in increasing pledges. While the video quality was fairly poor, Amber Rix (the project creator) was able to raise over $153K.
It is ok to have a low quality video as long as the project creator’s portrayal of competence is not harmed.