Coolest is a cooler that gives you something cool – a frozen mixed drink. The idea for the product came about a decade ago, according to Ryan Grepper, because he attached a blender to the engine of a weed whacker. The frozen drink machine was a big hit and so Grepper moved toward making a product. Fast forward to 2014 and Grepper has a $13 million idea that was initially a dud. That’s right – the first Coolest campaign didn’t even raise $125k.
What caused Coolest to become a hero after it was a zero? Here are 7 lessons that can be learned.
1. Demonstrate Your Prototype
Instead of promising features that happen through stretch goals, have a fully functional prototype that you can demonstrate to your target audience right away. Backers are attracted to a product that they can see, not promises that are potentially empty.
2. Be Customer Focused
The attention span of people today is about 30 seconds or less – at least initially. If you don’t capture their attention by then, you’re wasting your time. All of your marketing materials need to be about the value that your product can provide a customer and nothing more.
3. Timing Is Everything
If you’re trying to launch a product around the Black Friday rush, then it has to be incredibly spectacular or it is going to fail. Time your launch to when people in your targeted audience are most likely to have disposable income. If you have a cooler like Coolest, don’t launch in winter when people don’t want a cooler. Launch in the summertime when people have a need.
4. Talk About Your Campaign Before You Begin
Much of the success that any crowdfunding campaign experiences comes from what happens before the application to Kickstarter ever happens. If people aren’t excited about your product, then they aren’t going to support it at all.
5. Go All In With Your Social Contacts
You need to blanket social networks so that everyone knows about your campaign… at first. Eventually you’ll start to see more of a response from one or two networks that is greater than the others, so then you can begin focusing your attention where there is the most interest.
6. You’ve Got To Market, Market, Market
Before, during, and even after your Kickstarter campaign is when you need to market your product. Launching with a good idea is just one component of a good crowdfunding campaign. The best idea in the world will never sell unless people know about the product.
7. You Can Always Start Over
The best part about crowdfunding is that you can always start over and take a different approach. Coolest has 13 million pieces of evidence to show this is true.
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