Building your brand on Kickstarter is no easy task. Staying afloat in the Kickstarter sea of anonymity requires strong branding, perseverance, and – of course – a fantastic product. Check out these four essential techniques for building your brand on Kickstarter. All examples are taken straight from four wildly successful Kickstarter projects.
The 4 Essentials of Business Branding on Kickstarter
If you want to hit it big on Kickstarter, your page has to be able to achieve the following four goals.
#1 Tell Stories: Brands that tell stories establish a sense of connectedness between the product, the creator, and the backers. People don’t just back projects on Kickstarter because they think the idea is cool or interesting. They also back projects because they want to support the story. Clue: you are the story.
#2 Build Trust: Some Kickstarter projects face major trust issues. No matter how exciting your project is, if you can’t gain people’s trust, you’ll never get your feet off the ground. Keep reading for tips on overcoming this hurdle.
#3 Answer Questions: Think about every possible question someone could ask about your product. Now condense that information as much as possible and get it out there!
#4 Invest in Quality Video: Video is arguably the most important medium for Kickstarter marketing. See the end of this post for how Zach Braff conquered video on the platform.
4 Amazing Kickstarter Pages & Why They Work
Ready to see how these four Kickstarter branding techniques come to life in real projects? Each of the four following projects corresponds to the four essentials of business branding on Kickstarter. Enjoy!
OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console
OUYA is a self-professed totally new type of game console. The console is built on the Android, which allows anyone to develop a game. This is the first truly open gaming platform for television.
What Happened: OUYA was able to raise $2 million on day one. Currently, they’re nearing the $8.6 million mark.
Why It Worked: OUYA does a beautiful job of presenting a problem and offering a solution. The Kickstarter video uses developers to explain why closed gaming platforms is a problem, and then offers the solution: OUYA, of course. The video tells a wonderful story about how the founder, Julie Uhrman, had a vision, worked hard, and is seeing that vision come to life.
The 10-Year Hoodie: Built for Life, Backed for a Decade!
The 10-Year Hoodie by Jake Bronstein is the response to cheap, poorly made foreign goods that many people have been craving. Fed up with clothes that fall apart, Bronstein created a hoodie so durable that if at any time in the next ten years it comes apart at the seams, his company (Flint and Tinder) will mend it free of charge.
What Happened: The 10-Year Hoodie went well past its original goal of $50k, collecting over $1 million.
Why It Worked: The 10-Year Hoodie was successful because Bronstein was able to build trust with his backers. He offers a quality product that aligns itself with a crowd that wants durable, American-made items. He reinforces that trust by responding to his supporter’s desires. When customers wanted an inner pocket, he made one. When people expressed a preference about the zipper pull, he was accommodating. Bronstein knows how to build trust.
Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android
In May of Last year, Pebble Technology soared up the Kickstarter charts with its brilliant smartwatch. The watch features a small e-paper display that can show text messages, emails, caller ID information, and run basic apps, all connected to the user’s iPhone or Android via Bluetooth.
What Happened: The company culled over $10.2 million from nearly 69k backers, far surpassing its initial $100k goal.
Why It Worked: First and foremost, Pebble has a great product that meets a growing niche market. Also, Pebble was the first smartwatch to feature iPhone compatibility. From a Kickstarter perspective, you could say the Pebble team may have enjoyed some of their success because of their willingness to answer questions. At the bottom of the Pebble Kickstarter page you’ll find a wealth of FAQs, answering questions on everything from tech specs to metal allergies. Check it out to get inspiration for your own product/idea.
Wish I Was Here by Zach Braff
When Zach Braff, famous for Garden State and Scrubs, wanted to make a new movie, he went to Kickstarter. Braff is one in a long line of celebrities and people of influence who have found Kickstarter to be the most effective way they can build their brand, increase hype, and, of course, get that cash!
What Happened: The page was launched on April 24. Eight days later (at the time of writing this article), Braff has $2.3 million.
Why It Worked: Braff created a fantastic Kickstarter video. Sure, some people are going to donate just because they’re fans. However, you don’t have to be a fan to appreciate his clever video and personality. Spend a little extra on production, and you’re likely to see it come back to you.
Looking for more Kickstarter and business branding tips? Check out the interesting Kickstarter strategies we saw from Soma this spring!