Designing Sustainable Solutions with Alice Chun Creator of The QWNN – AOTK 252
One of the most amazing aspects of the crowdfunding movement has been the surge of unique, sustainable solutions brought to the marketplace. From reusable beverage containers to innovative clothing, more and more entrepreneurs are considering how they can bring a solution to their wider community. The solution that Alice Chun and her team have developed is something that everyone around the world needs access to: renewable energy. In her conversation with Roy, Alice opens up about The QWNN, where the idea came from, why she chose to take her product to Indiegogo rather than Kickstarter, and much more! Don’t miss a minute of this fascinating episode featuring Alice and The QWNN.
What is The QWNN?
Did you know that fossil fuels, used for energy and lighting globally, create 65% of the pollution in the air? Now more than ever, there is a significant need for sustainable and affordable sources of power. The QWNN is a unique, origami-inspired, foldable, portable lantern and power bank. This product has been designed to harnesses the sun’s power and give users brilliant light to accent their home, garden, and outdoor adventures. To hear more about this amazing product and the story behind its creation, make sure to listen to this powerful episode with Alice Chun!
Why sustainable solutions are so important.
As the global community faces increasing threats of natural disaster caused by global warming, new resources are needed to help devastated communities recover. Part of the mission and drive behind the creation of The QWNN is to help these communities by providing a product that will last. The company behind The QWNN, Solight Design, has a social mission to bring light to underserved regions around the world. The SolarPuff was created in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and they have since expanded to a whole line of solar lanterns. It's so inspiring to hear these amazing stories of innovation tied to social good!
The difference between Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Many startup entrepreneurs struggle with the decision of which platform to launch their product on, Kickstarter or Indiegogo. We’ve seen many entrepreneurs thrive with their innovative products on both platforms over the years. For Alice Chun, she has the unique vantage point of launching a product on both platforms, first on Kickstarter and then on Indiegogo. Alice made the switch to Indiegogo after a few rounds of miscommunication with Kickstarter, plus she really enjoyed the fact that Indiegogo provides a liaison specifically assigned to each project. Learn more about Alice’s experience on both platforms and more on this engaging episode!
[1:05] Alice Chun joins the podcast to talk about her product, The QWNN.
[4:20] Why didn’t Alice take The QWINN to Kickstarter? What changed with this version?
[8:00] How Alice and her team reached fundraising goals & press engagement tips.
[10:00] What led Alice to get involved with creating solar lanterns?
[13:10] Alice talks about the difference between launching on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
[15:15] Alice enters the Launch Round, rapid-fire questions.
[17:00] Why you should check out The QWNN.
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Connect With The QWNN
The QWNN on Indiegogo
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Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by BackerKit. BackerKit makes software that crowdfunding project creators use to survey backers, organize data, raise additional funds with add-ons and manage orders for fulfillment, saving creators hundreds of hours. To learn more and get started, click here.
The Smart Bottle that Never Spills with Fredrik Krafft – AOTK 251
Imagine grabbing a portable drink container that you never have to worry about spilling or finding the right button or angle to use. Fredrik Krafft has developed a smart bottle that does all the work so you don’t even have to think about it! In our conversation, Fredrik opens up about how he came up with the idea for the Lyd Bottle, what the pre-campaign work was like, how he engaged with his backers, the benefit of using Kickstarter Live and so much more. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from Fredrik’s journey with the Lyd Bottle!
What is the Lyd Bottle?
There are so many great portable beverage containers on the market today, how do you choose which one is right for you? Do you need a container that will keep your beverage hot all day? Do you need a container that is convenient to carry? Or do you just want something that makes sense? As so many products flood the marketplace, the ones that stand out are those help users cut through all the complexity and get down to the basics: is it easy to use? When it comes to the Lyd Bottle, the answer is a resounding, yes! The Lyd Bottle is the only beverage bottle designed with 360-degree, touch-activated access that lets beverages flow the moment the bottle touches your lips. Don’t ever worry about buttons, tabs or finding the right position ever again!
Take your time laying the foundation!
Many startup entrepreneurs get so excited about bringing their product to market that they fail to build a solid foundation for their product to succeed. From market research to audience engagement, it’s vital that startups take the time to not only perfect their product but make sure their marketing approach connects. Learning from the success and failures of others, Fredrik took the time to connect with partners who could help him bring the Lyd Bottle to market in the best way possible. To learn more about Fredrik’s story and how he was able to get the Lyd Bottle in the best position for success, make sure to listen to this episode!
Engaging with backers and learning along the way.
Let’s face it, a startup product succeeds or fails largely based on the way that the brand treats their backers. While many startup entrepreneurs go into the process with the intention of staying connected to their backers and keeping them updated, the truth is, many fail to do so. Fredrik and his team did their best to learn and adapt their engagement strategy along the way. When they noticed their response time slipping, they worked hard to address that, then found ways to proactively engage with their audience by developing answers to many common FAQs. What can you learn from Fredrik’s journey?
Leverage your network.
At the end of the day, launching a crowdfunded product isn’t for the faint of heart. What steps can an entrepreneur take to build a community early and get their product off the ground and headed for a strong start? According to Fredrik Krafft, it all comes down to leveraging your circle of friends and family to fan the flames of the project from the start! If you believe in your product, then do what you can to spread that excitement to your friends and friends, as they could end up being some of your best cheerleaders and financial backers!
[1:05] Fredrik Krafft joins the podcast to talk about his product, Lyd.
[3:00] What was the preparation work like for Fredrik before he launched his product?
[8:00] Fredrik talks about engaging with backers and how that evolved.
[10:40] The benefit of utilizing Kickstarter Live.
[12:30] Fredrik shares his biggest takeaways and lessons learned.
[15:00] Why it’s important to have friends and family support your venture.
[16:10] Fredrik enters the Launch Round, rapid-fire questions.
[19:20] How to connect with Fredrik and Lyd.
Lyd on Kickstarter
The Lean Startup
Connect With Lyd
Why It’s Vital to Build an Audience Before You Launch with James Daigle – AOTK 250
How do you handle adversity? Do you learn from it and move forward or does it tend to knock you back and cause you to question your approach? James Daigle joins the podcast to share his experience with crowdfunding and the lessons he’s learned along the way. In our conversation, James opens up about his first two unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns, what he learned from the process, how his third campaign succeeded, why it’s important to keep your backers in the loop and so much more!
Don’t forget to build an audience!
Building an audience is not an easy or straightforward endeavor, but it can set you and your fledgling product up for long-term success. Too often startup entrepreneurs charge ahead and fail to take the time to do their research and connect with an audience that will fan the flames once they launch. James Daigle wants as many entrepreneurs as possible to learn from his oversight and take the time to find an audience before it's too late. During a product launch is the worst time to be searching for an audience, do the legwork and connect before you launch! To hear James go into further detail on this important topic, make sure to listen to this episode!
Responding to disappointment.
Let’s face it, an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign is a tough pill to swallow. You pour time, resources and energy into an exciting project only to see it fail to reach the level of success you had hoped for. What do you do, scrap the whole thing and go back to the drawing board? For James Daigle, everything started off promising, they had the right tools and an ambitious goal, but they failed to reach their goal by $4,000. Instead of letting this disappointment sour him on the crowdfunding platform, James used this lesson as fuel and went on to launch two more campaigns before he found success. What can you learn from James’ story?
Finding a path forward.
Determined to find success through the crowdfunding platform, James Daigle and his team went back to the drawing board. Experiencing a second setback would knock most people out of the game but James pushed forward and tried for a third crack at getting a product funded via crowdfunding and he succeeded! If you are convinced that you have a product that will benefit the marketplace then stand behind it and don’t give up. Be prepared to face adversity and challenges, they can either defeat you or help you learn along the way. Learn more helpful lessons from James’ inspiring story by listening to this episode, you don’t want to miss it!
Why you need to keep your backers updated.
You’ve heard of the golden rule, right? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Consider that wisdom as you launch your product! Put yourself in the shoes of your backers and treat them as you would want to be treated by someone you’ve invested in. It really doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. If you don’t trust your ability to consistently follow up with and engage your audience, then outsource it! The last thing you want to do is cause ill will with the people who’ve taken a chance on you. For more perspective on this subject, make sure to listen to this episode with James Daigle!
[1:05] James Daigle joins the podcast to talk about his experience with crowdfunding.
[3:00] James talks about his first crowdfunding effort.
[6:50] Why it’s important to set realistic fundraising goals.
[9:00] The wisdom of building a crowd of fans before a product launch.
[10:30] Building off of crowds from previous campaigns, the third time's the charm!
[12:45] Why you need to keep your backers in the loop.
[15:00] James enters the Launch Round, rapid-fire questions.
[17:00] Why you should check out James’ work with Ubiqweus.
Ubiqweus Qbiq Kickstarter Campaign
Crossing the Chasm
Check out the Ubiqweus website
Follow James on Twitter
Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored...
Developing a Delicious Keto Meal Shake with Ted Tieken – AOTK 249
The Ketogenic health plan or Keto is taking the nation by storm, but what if you don’t have time to sit down and prepare a meal that keeps you on the plan? Here to provide a solution with a delicious Keto meal shake is Ted Tieken. In his conversation with Roy, Ted opens up about why he started the Ketogenic diet, how that led him to try his hand at a Keto-friendly meal shake, what it was like bringing that product to the marketplace, challenges he has faced along the way and so much more. Don’t miss this great opportunity to get an inside look at the beverage development crowdfunding community!
What is the Ketogenic diet?
If you aren’t up to speed, the Ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. The primary goal is for weight loss but many users also turn to it for reduced inflammation as well. One of the biggest struggles with staying on a Keto-friendly eating plan is dealing with all the prep-work needed for a satisfying meal. From shakes to prepared and packaged foods, the market is bursting right now with a number of great, Keto-friendly options. Having said that, there is always room for innovation. What really sells is not only a healthy option, but convenient options!
Convenience is king!
Let’s face it, no matter which eating plan you are on, from highly regulated to whatever is nearby, convenience will almost always win! As diet plans continue to pick up steam in our society, more and more options are moving toward catering to the need for convenient meals and snacks. While it’s usually a better idea to take the time to prepare a meal, it’s helpful to have alternatives nearby so you don’t have to abandon your dieting goals. That’s why Ted and his team developed their product, Sated. Sated is a ready-to-drink keto meal shake with a ton of fiber, protein, potassium and other nutrient-rich ingredients that provide the fuel you need to get through your day.
Building a solid base for marketing.
What is the best way to build and reach your target audience? Is it the best idea to look at Facebook Ads or is email marketing the best option for your startup? Each niche market is going to have different results depending on the habits of their target audience. For Ted and his team, they found that the best use of their time and resources was building up a robust email campaign that ended up bringing in an impressive ROI. They also connected with Keto enthusiasts on web forums like Reddit to build awareness and excitement. Learn more about Ted’s successful marketing strategies by listening to this episode!
Reviews that make a difference.
One of the hardest aspects of getting a startup off of the ground and running is a lack of awareness and public trust. How does an unheard of brand establish trust when they are new to the marketplace? Customer reviews are taking on an important role when it comes to building the trust that is needed for first-time buyers to take that risk on a purchase. With an eye toward their Amazon product listing, Ted explains that he has seen how reviews for Sated have impacted their sales and their market reputation. What can you learn from Ted’s experience with reviews? How will your business highlight this important aspect?
[1:07] Ted Tieken joins the podcast to discuss his product, Sated.
[6:00] Challenges with pre-campaign efforts and launching a beverage.
[7:30] What strategies led to early success for Ted and Sated?
[11:45] Ted talks about earning trust and getting good press coverage.
[13:45] Tips for startup entrepreneurs looking to create a new beverage product.
[16:10] Ted enters the Launch Round, rapid-fire questions.
[18:40] Why you should check out Sated.
Sated on Kickstarter
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The E-myth Revisited
Connect With Sated
Check out the Sated website
Sated on Facebook
Sated on Twitter
Capitalizing on Nostalgia by Creating the Best Water Gun with Sebastian Walter – AOTK 248
Remember the golden days of water gun hysteria? Back in the 90’s, it was every kid's goal to wear their parents down until they eventually caved in and bought them the best water gun on the market. From the super soaker craze to water balloon grenades, it seemed like every summer was an escalation of water weaponry. Where did all that fun and excitement go? Why are water guns so lame today? Sebastian Walter joins this episode to showcase his revolutionary water gun, Spyra One. In his conversation with Roy, Sebastian opens up about what led him to create the next generation of water guns, what the design process was like, how he engaged his backers, and much more! Don’t miss a minute of this fascinating episode featuring Sebastian and Spyra One!
Capitalizing on nostalgia.
As millions of kids from the 80’s and 90’s become the dominant purchasing group in America, retailers are scrambling to appeal to their interests. Leveraging nostalgia is one of the largest trends to capitalize on this target demographic. Taking one look at the box office will confirm this trend, the dominance of superhero films is just one example of the power of nostalgia. Sebastian Walter dove deep into the recesses of his childhood and found a key item that taps into the nostalgia trend and is ripe for disruption, water guns. Find out how Sebastian and his team are changing the face of the water gun market with their product, Spyra One!
More than just a toy.
You’d think that a few tweaks here and a few improvements there would be an easy way to make a profit off of a product that hasn’t seen innovation in decades, and you’d be right! But Sebastian Walter and his team took it a step further with the Spyra One. The biggest innovation is the pump integrated into the water gun; their campaign videos show users placing the gun into the water and the pump refills 25 shots worth of water in about 14 seconds. They’ve also included a digital readout that tells users how many shots are left before refilling is required. Sebastian and his team have done more than tweak a product for a profit, they have redesigned a toy with the passion and innovation of people who love what they are doing. Learn more about their story on this fascinating episode!
Spreading the word.
When was the last time that you shared something that you were passionate about on social media? How about with a friend? When you find something that you love, your natural inclination is to share it with people in your social circle! The same is true when it comes to innovative products like Spyra One. Before they even launched on Kickstarter, Sebastian Walter and his team worked hard to spread the word about their new and innovative water gun. Once they got the product in front of people and in their hands, the excitement caught on quick. Leveraging this excitement, Sebastian continued to stoke the flames until the product launched, resulting in a $60,000 funding goal fulfilled in about 25 minutes. What can you learn from Sebastian’s powerful story?
Don’t you hate it when you are sold one story but come to find out the real truth? Then why market like that? While every startup entrepreneur works hard to put their best foot forward, there is real value in leading with transparency and authenticity! The days of polished and perfect are quickly fading - it’s time to look for ways to tell your brand’s story in a way that really connects with the public. Sebastian Walter is convinced that his product was able to succeed on Kickstarter because the product was engaging and they told the story in a humble and authentic way. Hear more of Sebastian's story and why it’s so important to lead with authenticity by listening to this episode!
[1:05] Sebastian Walter joins the podcast to talk about his product, Spyra One.
[3:45] What was the design process like for the Spyra One?
[5:10] Spreading the word and ramping up excitement.
Marketing Innovative Tie Straps with WrapTie Co-Founder Mark Blackburn- AOTK 247
How do you make tie straps sexy? What is the appeal, what is the angle that you would use to bring them to the marketplace? Is there a compelling reason for the average buyer to look for an innovative tie down strap? Entrepreneur Mark Blackburn joins this episode to discuss his product, the WrapTie. In our conversation, Mark opens up about the rise of startups in Australia, which pre-campaign practices helped his product succeed, why it’s so important to connect with influencers, his view on the future of crowdfunding, and much more! Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to learn from Mark’s fascinating and seasoned perspective!
What is WrapTie?
Is there really a place in the tie strap industry for innovation and disruption? What type of product could bring an edge to such a niche market? Mark Blackburn and his business partner, Paul McNeill saw a way to address some of the common complaints that consumers have with the average tie strap. After developing a prototype that eliminated the frustrating aspect of having to deal with excess strap after tying down an item, Mark and Paul went searching for a platform to launch their product. Finally, the pair landed on utilizing the crowdfunding community to ignite the fire that would fuel the rise of their business. Learn more about the Mark and Paul’s journey by listening to this engaging episode!
How crowdfunding in fueling startups in Australia.
Why do certain regions and markets seem to cultivate more startups than others? Does it have to do with the government regulations in place or the cultural climate? According to Mark Blackburn, in Australia, it all came down to access. For too long, innovators and entrepreneurs in Australia have enjoyed limited access to platforms like Indiegoho and Kickstarter. There seems to be an uptick in innovation in Australia because more and more of these innovators who have been waiting in the wings finally have access to platforms that empower their creativity. Find out more about the startup scene in Australia from Mark’s perspective by listening to this episode!
Connecting with influencers to promote your product.
Did you know that one of the best ways to get your product exposure is by connecting with industry influencers? It’s true! While each situation will vary, Mark Blackburn and his team at WrapTie saw a greater return on their investment when they focused on getting key influencers on board rather than focusing on other methods. It wasn’t a perfect strategy by any means, Mark and his team had to struggle through trial and error like everyone else but at the end of the day, they’ve tracked close to 90 percent of their sales back to the reviews and endorsements of these key influencers. What can you learn from the WrapTie story?
Use your connections and expand your network!
What is your organization’s greatest asset right now? Do you have the most innovative minds in your field? Do you have a competitive edge over the competition? What if your greatest asset was not something you own but a connection you have? As Mark Blackburn and his team at WrapTime worked tirelessly to get their fledgling startup off the ground, they found that their relationships and connections were the greatest assets they had at their disposal. What connections do you have that you could leverage? Take a look at your sector of the market and look for ways to make connections with the right people who can get your product the spotlight that it deserves!
[1:10] Mark Blackburn joins the podcast to talk about his product, WrapTie.
[3:50] What has been fueling the rise of startups in Australia?
[5:30] Mark talks about the preparation that helped his crowdfunded product succeed.
[7:00] How connecting with influencers provided a good ROI.
[9:00] From crowdfunding to running an ecommerce business and lessons learned.
[11:30] Why it’s important to leverage connections.
[12:30] Mark enters the Launch Round,
An Inside Look at High Quality Performance Jeans with the Founders of Boulder Denim – AOTK 246
What are performance jeans? Are they just really soft jeans or is there more to it? Can you really rock climb, hike, practice yoga, and go on a date with performance jeans like Boulder Denim? On this episode, you’ll hear from Boulder Denim’s founders Bradley Spence and Taz Barrett. In our conversation, the guys explain how their second launch is different from their first campaign, what they’ve learned along the way, why they decided to take their product on the road, their plans for the future, and much more! Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from the innovative minds behind Boulder Denim!
Utilizing Kickstarter Live.
Have you used Kickstarter Live? Have you seen any compelling uses of it in the crowdfunding community? If you are unfamiliar with Kickstarter Live, it’s a tool for streaming livevideo from your Kickstarter project page. When Brad and Taz launched the second version of their performance jeans, Boulder Denim 2.0, they went all out and hosted the launch at a retail store with free beer while streaming the event on Kickstarter Live. What can you learn from Brad and Taz’s approach? Hear more about their story on this fascinating episode!
Why it’s important to listen to your backers.
Did you know that some of the best ideas for crowdfunded products come from taking the time to listen to your backers? It’s true! Time and time again, great inventors and entrepreneurs have improved their products by embracing the input of their users! For Brad and Taz, this practice of leaning into the feedback of their backers led to expanding and improving their performance jeans for a wider audience. After launching another Kickstarter Live session and taking the time to hear from their backers, the guys decided that the time was right to introduce their women’s jogger. Don’t underestimate the value of listening to your community! Learn more from Brad and Taz’s perspective by listening to this informative episode!
What are performance jeans?
While traditional jeans are certainly casual and durable, the last thing people think of jeans for is working out or performing any activity that requires flexibility and movement. Here to challenge that thinking, Brad and Taz have developed the performance jean, Boulder Denim. Ethically sourced in their home country of Canada, Brad and Taz have worked hard to bring a product that is useful, comfortable, fashionable, and fun! Not only is their product casual and effective, their approach is too! Taking a look around their website and listening to their story, you really get the sense that the guys care about bringing high-quality performance jeans to the marketplace. Hear more about this innovative product by listening to this episode, you don’t want to miss it!
Taking a product to the masses.
It seems that more and more crowdfunded products are getting the rock band treatment and hitting the road for tours around the country. Is that really an effective way to bring attention and publicity to your product or is it a waste of time and resources? While they were in the middle of their first Kickstarter campaign, Brad and Taz joked about how much they’d need to raise to justify a tour of the US promoting Boulder Denim. What started as a pipedream, Brad and Taz were soon able to turn into a reality! With the help of their supplier turned partner, they secured enough funding to take Boulder Denim on a 14-month tour of the US demonstrating the appeal of their product along the way. Want to take your product on the road? Get more details about their journey by listening to this engaging episode!
[1:05] Brad and Taz join the podcast to talk about their product, Boulder Denim.
[3:45] The difference between the first Kickstarter campaign and the second run.
[7:00] Launching at a retailer and utilizing Kickstarter Live.
[8:30] How have the guys cultivated a robust connection with their community?
[9:20] Lessons learned from a successful crowdf...
How Product Fuel is Empowering Entrepreneurs with Benjamin Arneberg – AOTK 245
How can successful leaders and innovators invest in the next generation by empowering entrepreneurs? On this episode, you’ll hear from serial entrepreneur Benjamin Arneberg. In his conversation with Roy, Ben opens up about his past crowdfunding success, how he’s utilized Amazon to grow his brand, tips he has for startup entrepreneurs, why he started Product Fuel, and so much more! If you want a peek inside the mind of a prolific business leader, you’ve come to the right place. Don’t miss a minute of this fascinating episode featuring Ben!
How Amazon can help startups.
The big question in many startup circles is, “What is next after crowdfunding?” Time and time again, the answer seems to be, Amazon. Is Amazon really a good platform to take your fledgling product? What makes Amazon a good option for startups? Innovator, Ben Arneberg is convinced that Amazon has the tools and audience that entrepreneurs like you are looking for. Ben has taken multiple crowdfunding projects to Amazon with impressive results! Learn more about Ben’s experience with Amazon and why it’s worth your time to investigate by listening to this engaging episode!
Worthwhile pre-campaign work.
What pre-campaign steps allow a crowdfunded product to get fully funded in the first four hours? Is there a magic formula that can guarantee this type of success? When Ben and his team launched Cold Brew On Tap, they experienced rapid success. Ben says that much of this success can be traced back to the successful campaign they ran previously. He also points to the work he and his team put in with building their audience through email lists and utilizing Facebook Messenger. Find out how you can benefit from using similar tactics as Ben expands on what led to his success and more on this informative episode!
Utilizing Facebook Messenger to connect with your audience.
If you’ve been around the crowdfunding community for very long, you know that one of the hot new topics is utilizing Facebook Messenger. Is it really as good as the rumors suggest? Can you expect a high ratio of open rates? While it may not be an option for everyone, Ben Arneberg and his team have found great success in investing in the use of Facebook Messenger. Instead of spending the time to figure it out themselves, Ben decided to connect with an outside team specializing in Facebook Messenger. The results that they saw were well worth the investment! From high open rates to audience engagement, Ben has become a firm believer in the new wave of utilizing Facebook Messenger to connect with your audience.
What is Product Fuel?
Are you looking for new ways to get your product out to the marketplace? Do you want to work outside of the usual parameters and try different platforms to get your product where it needs to be? Then you should check out what Ben Arneberg and his team are doing at Product Fuel! They are Amazon and crowdfunding experts who have the experience and knowledge to help products and brands get the exposure they need to build momentum and turn a profit. The folks at Product Fuel will be the first to tell you that they won’t guarantee success, but they can offer up their valuable insights and strategies that they have used to get impressive results. To hear more about Product Fuel and their awesome work of empowering entrepreneurs, make sure to listen to this episode!
[1:10] Benjamin Arneberg joins the podcast to talk about his career in crowdfunding.
[2:15] Ben talks about how he got started as an entrepreneur.
[4:40] Why Amazon is a great platform for new products.
[6:30] Ben opens up about his new product, Cold Brew On Tap.
[8:00] What pre-campaign work has led to success?
[9:30] Is it practical to utilize Facebook Messenger to connect with your audience?
[11:20] Make sure you validate your product idea.
[13:00] Tips for putting your product in the best position for success and lessons learned.
Rebranding a Company and Overcoming Challenges with Kurt Swanson – AOTK 244
How can rebranding a company impact its reputation? What causes a company to move forward with the rebranding process? Kurt Swanson joins this episode to talk about the crowdfunded air conditioner, Kapsul, formerly known as Noria. In our conversation, Kurt opens up about the decision to rebrand his company, challenges they’ve faced over the last two years, what it was like taking Kapsul on the road, tips for inventors, and much more! You don’t want miss a minute of this fascinating episode featuring Kurt and innovative product, Kapsul!
Why would a company go through the rebranding process?
Let’s face it, rebranding a company isn’t the easiest process in the world. What would cause a business leader to start that process? How would it play out? For Kurt Swanson and his team at Noria, the decision came down to dealing with an international trademark issue. While they loved the name, Noria, it made sense for them to avoid the legal confrontation and start the rebranding process. In an effort to avoid the same branding issue again, Kurt and his team went through a lengthy and thorough process to come up with the Kapsul brand. Learn more from Kurt’s perspective by listening to this engaging episode!
Getting your product in front of backers and the general public.
What does it take to engage your audience and get them excited about your product? While telling a compelling story and using the medium of photography and video can be helpful, nothing beats getting your product into the hands of your customers. Having faced delays with product delivery, Kurt Swanson was eager to get his product in front of his backers and the general public. This eagerness led Kurt and his team to take Kapsul on the road to generate renewed interest and publicity for their innovative product. Their efforts paid off and the feedback was immensely helpful for Kurt and his team. What can you learn from Kurt’s journey?
Community managers are worth their weight in gold!
How will your brand engage its followers? Do you have a plan in place or do you hope to figure it out as you go? Don’t make the mistake that many brands later regret! If you haven’t learned from the many stories of brands that have come before, learn from Kurt’s story with Kapsul! One of the key decisions from early on that Kurt wishes he would have made is the decision to hire a community manager. Since hiring a community manager, Kurt and his team have been able to devote more time and resources to get their product into the hands of their backers. Learn more from Kurt and why he is so happy with his decision to bring on a community manager by listing to this informative episode!
Setting the right expectations can make all the difference.
One of the best ways to build trust in the crowdfunding community is to be upfront about the process and to maintain an open line of communication with your backers. Too often brands get sidetracked and off target when it comes to these important practices. Don’t fall into the same trap! If you want your crowdfunded product to succeed, make sure to communicate realistic expectations to your backers from day one. Do everything in your power to avoid overselling and under delivering! If more and more inventors take the time to carefully and accurately communicate what backers should expect with the whole crowdfunding process, the community will be better for it. Hear Kurt Swanston expand on his advice for inventors and much more on this episode!
[1:05] Kurt Swanson joins the podcast
[1:50] Why did Noria change its name to Kapsul? How did it go down?
[5:30] Kurt gives an update on Kapsul since their first crowdfunding project 2 years ago.
[7:50] What was it like taking Kapsul on the road?
[9:20] How can inventors avoid product delivery delays?
[12:00] Kurt talks about hiring a community manager.
[13:30] Advice for an inventor considering a crowdfunding campaign.
Creating Popular Products that People Love with John Fiorentino – AOTK 243
Let’s face it, there is no secret formula for creating popular products that the public will instantly fall in love with. However, John Fiorentino has tapped into something with his products that resonates with people. When pressed, John admits that he looks for products that he knows that he’ll love to use on a regular basis. He also enjoys taking his products into public spaces like parks for people to try so he can assess their reactions. The results John and his team have seen speak for themselves. Gravity Blankets and Moon Pods have become huge success stories that many entrepreneurs are scrambling to learn from. Hear more from the brain behind these successfully crowdfunded products by listening to this fascinating episode!
Gathering a following.
What does it take to set up a great product idea for long-term success? What steps can you take right now to best position your business for growth? For John Fiorentino, the answer was to create a following. In his words, John got to enjoy “acting like a crazy person” for six months while carrying around a selfie stick, documenting his journey of product discovery. This video journal and blogging experiment allowed John to connect with a good size audience and develop an email list. Later on, as he went to launch his first product, John was able to rely on this email list to prime the pump when it came to initial sales and word of mouth momentum. Learn more about John’s story and why it’s important to gather an early following by listening to this helpful episode!
Addressing the topics of stress and comfort.
As you go through the process of finding a product that will catch on with the public, consider addressing something that people are concerned about. Subjects like stress, health, posture, comfort, diet, and overall quality of life resonate with the public because we all want to live the best life possible. John and his team discovered the power of this message when they addressed the topics of stress and comfort with their two products, Gravity Blankets, and Moon Pods. What can you learn from John’s approach? How will your product or service resonate with a large audience? Hear more helpful insights from John’s story on this episode!
People will market your product for you if they love it!
Many inventors stress about how they will get their products in front of people, but what if that is the wrong thing to worry about? Imagine what good it would do if inventors could focus solely on creating amazing products without an eye on the marketing steps? According to John Fiorentino, that’s exactly what they should do! While it may be easier said than done, John has found that when you create a compelling and useful product, people will practically market it for you! This isn’t just a theory for John, he put it into practice with his latest product launch, Moon Pod. With this product, John and his team significantly decreased their marketing efforts to see if people would really spread the word - it worked! Learn more about the success of the Moon Pod by listening to this engaging episode!
Too much success?
What would you do if your product became too successful? Sounds like a great problem to have, right? Too often, many inventors and entrepreneurs don’t ask themselves this question when they take their product to crowdfunding platforms. As you prepare for your project, make sure to plan for success! Learn from the stories of leaders like John Fiorentino who had issues with supply chains and struggled to ensure that their product could get to backers. Put a plan in place now, before the worst case scenario can happen. Discover additional lessons and insights about scaling a popular product by listening to this episode featuring John!
[1:05] John Fiorentino joins the podcast to talk about his inventions.
[3:30] What went into the process of creating a Gravity Blanket?
[5:30] Challenges faced with designing the Gravity Blanket.