Creators and entrepreneurs know how challenging it is to launch a new product or concept, even if you have an established brand or business behind it. A well planned and executed crowdfunding campaign is a great way to validate interest live in the marketplace – where you can spend less, test more, earn enough and build an interesting tribe to follow your product.
Having a crowdfunding campaign as part of a product launch or test strategy can give you the early data you need to overcome the challenge of product development, by improving your understanding of what is important to your clients. Crowdfunding enables you to foster a strong following around a product or concept with fewer resources than traditional testing, broad market researches, vague surveys, concentrated focus groups, and doctored interviews. The ability to pitch, stage and exhibit your product via crowdfunding online provides for a unique opportunity to answer the key question: will anyone be willing to pay upfront for what I have to offer? If you ponder about the investment required for a successful product launch, this is a far more affordable channel to test your plans in the real world. Additionally, if you incorporate the lessons learned from your campaign, you can be more confident that your efforts will be more effective and precise when taking your product to your online shop, retailers or distributors.
Another crucial hurdle crowdfunding can tackle is manufacturing your new prototype at scale. If you do not know how the market is going to perceive or react to your new product, crowdfunding gives you the chance to test the idea by setting minimum pre-order goals and observe if it takes off before you commit to bulk orders to produce your product. The crowdfunding platform acts as an active third party by verifying the concept, pricing, category, product bundling and people behind it. The platform also gives your business the confidence to develop your next new idea or innovation, even if it appears to be too bold.
As you launch, you will rely on pushing campaign updates through social media platforms and likely have some paid digital advertising to drive traffic towards your campaign page.
Campaigns can generate significant publicity for your business and for the specific product you’re testing or raising funds for. The hype is invaluable for elevating your profile to potential partners, investors, collaborators or retailers while developing trust with your potential customer base. Well executed media outreach means researching journalists beforehand who have covered similar or comparable campaigns and contacting them either at launch, once you’ve raised 25-40% or when you achieve a set milestone on your campaign. Certain journalists are more attracted to successful campaigns than brand-new campaigns, this is where the early research can pay off by targeting your outreach for success. Lastly, always make it easy for the journalist to write about you by giving them whatever materials they need to tell your story, high-resolution images, a link to your campaign and several methods to contact you.
Crowdfunding used to be seen as only suitable for startups and early-stage businesses however, it has now become clear that it’s a great and relatively affordable tactic for any business to perform market validation. From SMEs to multinational corporations, crowdfunding is a unique opportunity to generate buzz for your product while providing invaluable insight through market validation.