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Kickstarter at the top, nerdy distribution?

Created in 2009, Kickstarter is a platform that allows inventors to finance their projects with Internet users called backers. On the participative site, the company sets the amount of funds necessary for the deployment of its project, the deadline as well as the material consideration (the finished product, a dinner with the designer, some goodies …). Once the threshold is reached, the backers receive the promised gifts and the investments continue until said date.

Christophe-KuhnerFormerly acclaimed by creators of anonymous projects, the platform now attracts more established companies. What are they looking for? Of course, financing at lower cost but also: the guarantee of consumer interest in the product, the creation of word of mouth to prepare for its arrival on the market, and a direct sales channel with a high margin ( Kickstarter only takes 5% of the funds collected).

If these incomparable advantages for designers justify their attraction for Kickstarter, how to explain the craze of Internet users?

Emotion and gamification: the foundation of Kickstarter's successTo generate enthusiasm for their projects, the designers rely on empathy, emotion and gamification before and during the campaign; the objective being to create a very strong, often irrational, link with the consumer.

Before the operation, the creators put the package to create word-of-mouth around their initiative, by scripting their presentation (we reveal the photos, we explain the concept then we have it tested by a privileged few) or by creating the buzz thanks to the support of celebrities (at the beginning of the year Katy Perry invested 5,000 dollars, via the platform, to finance the album of the group of RnB TLC).

During this phase, empathy is at its peak: the internet user discovers a project whose values, purpose or use match their convictions or needs. Once created, this empathy is converted into financial investments through emotion and gamification.

During the 20-30 days of the campaign, a veritable arsenal of marketing tools is made available to designers to gain backers' support:

  • The early bird. These early bonuses, based on the universal taste for the exceptional, reward the first investors. They constitute a formidable emotional lever.
  • Stretch goals. These are additional financial targets, higher than the amount initially set. Once achieved, they give rise to additional gifts and other strech goals that create suspense, expectation and a strong addiction.
  • Add-ons. These paid elements, complementary to the basic offer, increase the average basket while punctuating the campaign. These are ferocious levers whose target is collectors who want to offer themselves "the complete offer".
  • Community management. Thanks to permanent interaction with his backers, via messaging tools, the designer creates a narrative in which each of them has the feeling of playing an essential role, going as far as influencing the progress of the campaign.

Kickstarter, the future of distribution?Although it is a different universe, characterized by purchase and resale and not by design, the world of distribution would be well inspired to use the mechanisms implemented on Kickstater to reinvent itself. For a brand, such an approach would fundamentally aim to federate around itself an involved community, exacerbate the feeling of belonging and create a new relationship with its customers. That being said, how can this recovery be done?

First step, create empathy by enrolling clients in a fun and collective adventure through projects (mainly presale) whose values ??and objectives they espouse.

Second step, give substance to these designs which can be protean. These can be pre-sale projects managed by the brand itself or in support of talents / startups or even external projects with non-profit goals but jointly carried by consumers and the brand.

Concretely, we can imagine:

  • A sports brand (Decathlon type) calling on the financing of its customers to design and launch a new sports outfit (100% organic and intelligent) in line with their needs (measure their own performance) and their values ??(respect for environment).
  • A supermarket chain (Carrefour type) playing the role of investment platform to financially support a new talent (Michel and Augustin type).
  • An organic brand (Naturalia type) joining forces with its customers in a joint initiative to develop local organic association projects. A collective adventure with strong emotional potential and whose support would be through loyalty points!

These examples among many others illustrate the potential that the world of distribution has, provided that it is not static! He must be lively, agile and dynamic by being on the lookout for the latest initiatives in the world of innovation in order to integrate and adapt them to his ecosystem. It is at this price that the customer experience will continue to be enriched!