The #1 most funded project of all time at the time of this writing is Ryan Greppers Coolest Cooler campaign, which raised over $13 million on Kickstarter. Coolest is a party cooler that offers a built-in ice crushing blender, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, and a built-in USB charger. As it is described in the campaign, Coolest brings “60 quarts of awesome.” It should be noted that Grepper failed with his first try on Kickstarter, it was only when he regrouped and tried it again did his campaign become wildly successful.
What can you learn from this Kickstarter campaign? What it takes to go viral and get a massive amount of support. If you want the best chance to replicate results, check out what this campaign worked hard to do.
1. Design Your Campaign To Be Newsworthy
Media coverage is imperative to make a crowdfunding campaign go viral and the media are usually not interested with a story unless its unique and there is a buzz surrounding it. That means you will need to create your own buzz at first and have momentum behind your campaign before the launch. Much of the media coverage Coolest enjoyed came only after initial success that was created before and during the launch (see #4 for more on this). This Kickstarter campaign was covered by virtually every major mass media outlet in the United States today. It was not just national exposure that helped, but local as well. There were tech publications involved, political websites, and even business websites. More exposure means more potential backers.
Related: 10 steps to crowdfunding success
2. Coolest Had A Very Clever Domain Link
Having a good direct domain link to a campaign is essential for modern crowdfunding. What Coolest was able to do was create a simple, yet very effective name: CoolestKickstarter, which linked it in directly with the well known Kickstarter brand. Think about what that says. It’s the product name, certainly, but it also has a subconscious implication: that this campaign is the best campaign in the history of Kickstarter. The results proved that it really was.
3. Enhance A Product And Solve Problems
Grepper identified consumer pain points and provided a solution to them while at the same time offered innovative technology and exciting features to his prototype. He also made his campaign about what he could provide to us, not what we could do for him. If you want to have a good time at a tailgating party or at the beach, it’s difficult to bring all of the equipment that is required. What Coolest did was solve problems by incorporating all of these needs into one essential product. Not only is it a cooler, but its a blender, cutting board with utensils, carryall with gear tie-downs in addition to the tech components. It also allows its users to keep the wet sloppy ice from penetrating dry food products which most coolers don’t offer. This is why over 60,000 people backed his project.
4. Surpass 30% Of The Funding Needs Within The Campaigns Opening Days
This is how you will get noticed and create the buzz needed to go viral. Studies have shown that almost all successful crowdfunding campaigns bring at least 30% of their targeted goal within the opening days of their campaign. This is achieved by pre-launch planning and marketing efforts which comes from early supporters you have obtained during this time. Anywhere from 25-35% seems to be the magic number depending on your project. Its extremely important for a campaign to have momentum before its launch. Crowdfunding campaigns need an initial push, then the platform & crowd will take it from there.
5. Give Your Contributors Creative Rewards
At the higher contribution range, Coolest offered the founder’s skills as a bartender at your own party using his own products. Combined with the fun, humorous descriptions like “dogs and kids both like me,” which showed his contributors that he was not afraid to put himself out there to them. Then there was the perceived value – people could save over $100 on their own cooler by preordering. The cooler itself was the most popular funding reward with over 50,000 backers, which showed strong market validation for his product. The crowd had spoken and they wanted this cooler!
6. Make An Awesome Video
Mr. Grepper distilled his whole campaign into a 3 minute and 22 second information packed, visually pleasing video. In most cases, the video will be the only part of your presentation that anyone will see, so make it count. In our fast paced society, people will not spend the time on a long, dull video, they will simply move on to something else that captures their attention. Studies have shown that campaigns with videos raise more funds and are far more successful. Almost everything you need to know about the coolest campaign is in his video, including Greppers ability to make the product.
Campaign Video For The Coolest Cooler:
Final Note: The Coolest Cooler and other campaign’s like it are few and far between. They are among the top 1% of all crowdfunding campaigns and a lot of time, thought and effort went into these projects. That’s not to say that anyone cannot re-create the success that Coolest Cooler did, with the proper components in place. There are so many everyday products that can be improved on— pick one and give it your best shot, you never know if you can be the next Coolest Cooler.