I came up with the idea for Koben silk-lined jeans about two years ago and have been working on refining the product ever since. During this development period, the team and I were deliberate in finding the best distribution strategy for getting us as many eyeballs as possible while maximizing our exposure with Bloggers, Media sources and Retailers. Ultimately, we felt like the best place to get the coverage we were looking for was a crowdfunding or crowd-sourcing platform. KickStarter has the most monthly uniques and has a decent history with fashion-related campaigns, so we decided that would be the best fit for our project. In doing the Koben Kickstarter campaign, we learned a lot of things from people who had done KickStarter campaigns and just trial and error in running our own campaign. Here are some of the things we learned from the experience:
- Get coverage – All of the blogs and articles written about crowd-sourced funding will tell you that you need to get coverage. This can be somewhat confusing and a little overwhelming. Who should I target? Where should I spend my time and resources on getting traction? How do I get a hold of media personalities? These are all questions we didn’t have good answers to but they forced us to think strategically on how to get coverage by using our network of friends and acquaintances to get coverage. Start with people you know and ways that you know you can get in touch with them, i.e. – Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. These were great resources in figuring out who was interested in our product and what connections they had to media that they were willing to make.
- Provide Details – One thing that really helped us was that our network that we found from our social networks was able to point out that people were already talking about us via a Reddit feed. This was a great (and scary) platform that we could use to answer questions and explain the features of our jeans. The lesson here for us, was that we needed to be more succinct about the product features and the claims that we were making about our product. We quickly modified the KickStarter + website content to address the concerns brought up in the Reddit feed.
- Make your Backers feel special – This seems obvious but the ways you can make this happen might not be. One of us tried to reach out within 48 hours of a Pledge to thank our Backers and make sure they felt like we really appreciated them backing us, which we did. Make sure there is a differentiator in the way you treat people and in what you provide. Especially with a KickStarter campaign, people are taking a risk on you and your project, so make sure that they feel appreciated both with how you communicate with them and something extra when you give them your product. Making the Backers feel special will benefit you greatly in the long run by inculcating loyalty with your initial customers.
Hopefully these tips will help anyone out there who is thinking about starting a Kickstarter campaign. Thank you again to everyone who supported Koben Clothing and contributed to our Kickstarter campaign. You can also enter to win a free pair of Koben jeans below: