There is a marketing tool that helps develop new products, research the market, monitor rivals, promote product launches, make connections with new demographics AND makes money.
Too good to be true? Too high-tech for SMEs? Never heard of it so it must be too new to be proven?
Crowdfunding, beloved financial lifeline for start-ups and charities, has been hijacked by established brands.
Companies are strategically using platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowdcube, to soft-launch products and services and involve funders in development with the pleasant, but unnecessary in many cases, by-product of an additional cash injection.
Never thought of crowdfunding as an option for your business? From start-ups to SMEs, businesses are seeing the tool as a vital component of their marketing toolkit in three ways:
- Testing new products
With capital not necessarily the goal, savvy brands can test the water using crowdfunding sites. They can keep an eye on what up-and-coming products are getting a big buzz and monitor rivals’ plans to help shape their own.
The amount of interest – and cash pledges – a concept attracts can directly inform whether to take it forward and funders’ feedback can contribute insights in how to take it from a good idea to market leader.
Market testing is an expensive business but with crowdfunding it is the funders who are effectively paying to provide the defining data – and, given they are literally invested in your product, they tend to be actively engaged customers who want to offer ideas and solutions to develop the prototype.
- Crowdsourcing a consumer community for new products
Having a ready-made customer base is every business’s dream – but that is hard to do when perhaps your product is an entirely new idea.
GoHenry, the savings app for children, got parents enthusiastic about a tecchie-alternative to pocket money – before the app even existed.
It raised almost £4m on Crowdcube, and more than half of the investors have gone on to become goHenry customers.
Being in at the ground floor, crowdfunders are invested in the product’s success and become informal advocates through social media and word of mouth before it is even launched.
It builds audiences for future projects and strengthens customers’ brand loyalty.
- Repositioning brands
Major brands are taking the opportunity to reposition themselves as cool and entrepreneurial, using crowdfunding to offset distrust of ‘big business’.
This kind of up-close-to-the-action connection with customers appeals to hot new demographics such as millennials, who are perceived as early adopters and the customer base of the future.
If you are looking to revolutionise the way you look at marketing, join ATTAIN’s crowd and contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org