Hribarcain is a newly founded UK technology company that was launched on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in 2016. After starting in a small design studio in Bristol their first product launch was “Magno, The World’s First Magnetically Controlled Pencil.” They then developed a range of titanium pens and expanded internationally to provide products to thousands of customers worldwide, raising over £250,000 in revenue. As an SME marketing and crowdfunding specialist I was keen to meet the company founders at a recent networking event and hear more of their story.
Co-founders Ashley Hribar-Green and Matthew Aston Cain are British entrepreneurs with a wealth of experience in product design engineering. After working for one of the largest technology companies in the world (Dyson), Ashley and Matthew launched Hribarcain to pursue their dream of designing products that challenge convention as a result of ground breaking innovation. In this case it began with a range of magnetically controlled propelling pencils with a subsequent brand extension in to pens.
Rewards crowdfunding allowed Hribarcain to promote their products direct to end-user buyers without first needing retail distribution agreements. They also used Indiegogo in 2018 for a campaign with US dollar pricing, whereas their Kickstarter campaigns have been priced in UK pounds.
Matthew already had previous experience from using reward crowdfunding on Kickstarter to generate orders for his range of Astoncain minimalist watches with top quality components and functions at a reasonable price. At a recent networking event in London organised by Masterclass Crowdfunding, he happily shared 10 top tips based on his seven years’ experience of using reward crowdfunding.
1. Have a clear and concise video that runs under 2 minutes – it’s your business card. This is his advice after sometimes using longer running videos.
2. Advertising – use some! Let people know you’re crowdfunding
3. At the close of the project don’t simply just fulfill the reward item orders, up-sell to the buyers. In Magno’s experience it can add a further 15% sales income
4. Make your pricing attractive, reduce it to create urgency within the limited time period of your crowdfunding project, maybe to 50% of RRP
5. Possess a clearly defined USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to stand out from competitors
6. Use quality photography in your crowdfunding project. It will help to enhance the image of your product or service and reassure people you’re serious about what you’re offering them
7. Only use quality, reliable manufacturers who won’t cut corners and reduce the value of your items
8. Price in a minimum 50% margin to allow for mistakes and to afford some marketing (see Point 2)
9. Consider fulfillment delivery costs right at the start of selecting reward items and maybe opt for smaller, lighter ones, or at least smaller packaging to meet postal rate sizes
10. Find other crowdfunding project owners who have complementary products, such as matching up pen makers and notebook suppliers, or maybe cooler boxes and food and drink providers, and agree to co-promote each other’s products to your respective networks.
All of these are great pieces of advice, though there’s also a lot more to consider. If you are considering using reward crowdfunding yourself then please get in touch via [email protected] for us to meet, either in person in London or maybe on Skype, and discuss your ideas and how to effectively plan for success. You can also follow me on Twitter, @Cliveref.