Planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign? You’d want to learn from the success story of homegrown leather company Faire Leather Co. which recently raised over $406,000 to become the most-funded Kickstarter campaign in Singapore. The local leather goods company’s Kickstarter campaign which launched last November and ran for 50 days, saw over 1,000 backers pledging over $406,000 to fund the making of their first two designs, the Travel Briefcase and Everyday Padfolio — eight times more than their initial target of $50k. Their Kickstarter project is the most-funded out of the 628 initiated out of Singapore to date.
“We wanted to find out if there was a need for the products we were proposing as well as nurture a community that we can continue to have an open dialogue with — that’s when we thought of using Kickstarter,” says the luxe label’s Chief Brand Officer and co-founder Ryan Choy, 30. Ryan, who had set up Faire alongside CEO and second-gen entrepreneur Joseph Lor, says that they plan to use the surplus cash to growing the team and introducing more products under the label. We get Ryan to dish out 10 tips for acing a crowdfunding campaign.
#1 PLAN AND BUDGET
“There’s a long, pre-planning process. Don’t just jump into [launching a Kickstarter campaign] hoping it’ll work out or that you can work [at it while it’s ongoing]. Plan the pricing tiers properly and consider costs like advertising spend, shipping and other miscellaneous items. Encourage impetus by planning your stretch goals, rewards and updates, where possible.”
#2 KNOW YOUR PRODUCT
“Be very clear about your product’s unique selling point, like what problem it solves and how it adds value to the consumer. [The idea for our Travel Briefcase and Everyday Padfolio] started with a question: ‘How difficult would it be to make a bag that could neatly fit all my essentials?’ Like most working professionals, I’d carry my Kindle, laptop, notebook and other daily essentials in my bag. But I always had to dig around my bag to find my things ’cos everything in it was always [jumbled up]. Joseph and I both identified a gap in the market for a bag [with many compartments to neatly organise one’s essentials] that solved a simple, everyday problem [of messy, disorganised bags].”
#3 BE DATA-DRIVEN
Faire’s joint venture with local data analytics driven e-commerce retailer Y Ventures Group helped the brand identify what their target consumers want and come up with a unique product. “The data helped by providing core actionable insights… For example, their results revealed that consumers place a strong emphasis on zippers, pockets and compartments. These findings contributed greatly to the creation of our prototype. We knew that we had to reimagine the structure of the conventional briefcase and make something that no one else had before.”
#4 CONDUCT FOCUS GROUPS
The company gleaned insights from regular focus groups. It also set up a chat system on its website for real-time customer engagement. “We created many feedback channels to constantly engage with the online community, whether it’s via social media, EDMs or email drip campaigns. Every conversation we’ve ever had — whether through discussions, focus groups, research or data analysis — contributed to the final product.”
#5 RESEARCH YOUR COMPETITION
“Do your homework by analysing your competition and previous campaigns. It’s important to learn what has and hasn’t worked with other similar campaigns.”
#6 KEEP YOUR CROWDFUNDING PITCH SHORT AND SWEET
“Communicate the value proposition of your product in the shortest amount of time possible, bearing in mind that yours is one of several thousand live projects [on Kickstarter]. Craft a good and meaningful tagline. Don’t oversell your product with fancy vocabulary or over-styled imagery. Offer visual collaterals such as photos, GIFs or videos that will help your target audience imagine the product in the best possible way.”
#7 HAVE A SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN TO BUILD BUZZ AROUND YOUR LAUNCH
Ryan and Joseph created hype around their campaign’s launch via referral campaigns, drip campaigns, social media activity and focus groups. “We ran a referral campaign to get more people excited and talking about the launch. For every five successful referrals they made, they would receive a complimentary product. It definitely helped us [reach our campaign goal of $50,000] in under 48 hours ’cos these people would already have a rough idea as to what we were doing when we launch.”
#8 HOLD A PHYSICAL BRAND LAUNCH
“Our brand launch [held concurrently with our Kickstarter campaign] allowed people a glimpse of our products’ craftsmanship and level of quality, and to see the Kickstarter product samples live. It definitely helped our brand image and our legitimacy in wanting to deliver the product we created.”
#9 KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR PROJECT
“You might need to sacrifice sleep in order to entertain queries from interested parties worldwide. Anticipate all possible questions. Don’t leave your backers waiting when they ask questions or be unsure in your responses.”
#10 BE GENUINE
“When launching a campaign, you’re not just selling a product, but also yourself and your story. Be honest and transparent with your backers. Don’t lie or make statements that you’re uncertain of, or worse, make promises that you’re unable to make good on.”
PHOTOS: FAIRE LEATHER CO.