Crowdfunding – A Success Story

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, not all businesses are suited to raise funds through crowdfunding.

But I thought it would be interesting and helpful to look at one company that had remarkable success with crowdfunding – and I think I know why.

The company is Kerfulffles and it chose Kickstarter as its CF site. Kerfluffles makes what  I call “designer marshmallows” – a totally new concept that clearly captured the imagination (and pocket books) of many contributors. This product was seen as “cool” and people wanted to throw their support to the founder and creator Spring Barnicle in Tennessee.

Her funding goal, $2,023 was also fairly modest and therefore achievable – and clearly tied to something specific because it’s such an odd funding figure.

In Spring’s proposal she talked about how each marshmallow was handmade with all natural ingredients and organic “when possible.” People like to read this stuff. It makes them feel better when they can’t stop eating marshmallows.

Then she went into great detail (with visuals) about the various flavors, etc. Everybody wanted to try some! And they could if they’d just contribute.

So here’s another selling point for Kerfluffles: they cost next to nothing to send to contributors and loads of people wanted to sample various flavors. The marshmallows made great rewards; they were cheap to send; she gained new customers with every reward, and word of mouth spread like wildfire.

How many people supported Kerfluffles? 2,467! If you look at comments from backers during the funding period, some were actually egging each other on to give a little bit more money! They wanted the founder/creator to succeed.

So how much did Kerfluffles raise? $104,667 (remember, the funding goal was $2,023). Voila – a marshmallow business was launched thanks to crowdfunders.

But it definitely wasn’t all roses. Take a look at some of the back pages of Kickstarter and you’ll find some irritated Kerfluffles contributors who didn’t feel they had been “respected” enough or they weren’t sent the marshmallows fast enough.

All your good news can backfire publicly if contributors aren’t handled properly because they can always post nasty emails and damage your PR.

Your idea may not be the next Kerfluffles, but if you have a compelling story to tell and the time to commit to the necessary steps in crowdfunding – Go for it. You have little to lose and some funds to gain. The more I learn about crowdfunding, the more interesting it gets.

Stay tuned and contact me with any questions.

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