You have an idea for a product that you think — you know — is fabulous. Your friends, family, and hair stylist have told you as much. The next steps: launch a Kickstarter campaign, get funded, and take your idea to market.
If only crowdfunding were that certain.
In reality, crowdfunding campaigns are more likely to fizzle than sizzle. No matter how great the idea is, you probably didn’t get feedback from the crowd before you launched. (And who is the crowd you want to reach, anyway? Do you know?)
You need consumer feedback before you start your crowdfunding campaign. Here’s how to go about getting it.
The importance of market research and consumer feedback
Startups fail, restaurants close, and products flop because the market to support them wasn’t there in the first place.
It doesn’t matter if your gut instinct tells you that people will buy your bourbon-infused face masks because hello, bourbon! You are not your target customer.
Consumer research helps you figure out who your customers are, what they need, and how your product will help them. It also helps you identify the competition and learn to differentiate yourself.
Feedback is especially valuable in crowdfunding. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are a form of feedback in themselves. People can find and support all kinds of creative endeavors — or not. So before you ask them to support yours, understand whether your idea is brilliant or bonkers by tapping into an unbiased audience of potential buyers.
How to conduct consumer market research
Surveys, interviews, and observation are among the most common and effective consumer market research techniques.
Thanks to the hyper-connected world we live in, this research can take various forms: email surveys, social media listening, online focus groups.
Maximize the impact of your research by asking the right questions. A few ideas:
- Would you use this product/service? Why or why not?
- How much would you pay for it?
- Would you change anything about it?
- What do you like most/least about it?
- Would you buy this instead of Brand XYZ?
Getting consumer research right takes time and resources that you might not have. But there is a quicker, more cost-effective way to get the feedback you need to launch your crowdfunding campaign.
A DIY consumer research tool
PickFu is an instant polling platform powered by a panel of more than 10,000 U.S.-based respondents across a broad range of demographics. They’re continually vetted and paid a stipend to ensure the highest level of quality.
When you create a poll on PickFu, you can tailor the respondent pool by age, gender, income, and a whole host of traits, to reflect your target customer.
You could, for example, survey only people who participate in crowdfunding, or female liquor and spirits drinkers who regularly buy body care products.
A 50-person poll starts at $50. You get results usually within 30 minutes, including not only votes but also written comments.
How to use PickFu for your crowdfunding campaign
Think of PickFu as a magnifying glass. Use it to scrutinize every aspect of your product and crowdfunding campaign page so you know where and how to improve.
- Product idea. Is there really a need for bourbon-infused face masks? Validate your idea now so you don’t waste time and money later.
- Product name. It’s tough to come up with a name that’ll resonate with buyers. If you’re unsure or can’t decide, test your options on PickFu.
- Logo. Is your logo memorable? Does it make sense to buyers? Use the feedback to adjust accordingly.
- Product design. Test different aspects of your design and packaging to see if respondents find it appealing and functional, or if they spot any areas to improve.
- Price. Ask respondents how much they’d pay for your product, or if they’d be willing to pay a certain amount.
Crowdfunding campaign page
- Title and tagline. These have to be short but high impact, given how much content competes for people’s attention on a crowdfunding site.
- Images. Do your photos look professional? Does your thumbnail image highlight your product best? Test them to see what your audience prefers.
- Story. Your messaging is a critical element of your campaign page. Use the feedback from PickFu to refine your story.
- Pitch video. If you have a pitch video (you really should, according to Indiegogo), you can upload it or key excerpts to PickFu and get people’s reactions. This type of sentiment analysis is gold.
- Backer levels and rewards. Let the audience guide you in setting perks. Doing so gives you a better understanding of your customer and positions your product smartly.
No one can predict if your boozy face masks will hit it big, let alone if your campaign will get the support you need to bring them to market. However, you can remove a lot of the guesswork by gathering insights from your target audience on PickFu before you launch your crowdfunding campaign.
You have the wisdom of the crowd; you just have to leverage it.
Khierstyn – Founder and CEO at launchandscale.co