Crowdfunding Campaign Success

Client: Tailfin , UK

Kickstarter is the most popular crowdfunding website out there. With over 300 thousand projects launched on the website, amounting to billions of dollars invested, it is a very attractive option to get projects off the ground. However, it is not for the faint hearted. When you drill down into the success statistics around these projects, the picture looks less than rosy. In the ‘design’ category, you have to be ranked in the top third in your sector to ‘win’; that means nearly two thirds of all projects ‘lose’.

Yes, crowdfunding is an amazing phenomenon, but it really is not about simply having an incredible idea; it also takes a huge amount of hard work before you launch. When I first started talking to Nick Broadbent – the Founder of Tailfin: a new, British, cycling brand – about his Kickstarter project, the hard graft didn’t seem to faze him. In fact, quite the contrary: he relished the challenge. Tailfin’s launch product was the Carbon Rack and Waterproof Panniers.

The Challenges:

We had to get the Tailfin project 30% of its funding goal within the first 48 hours of launching to be in with a chance of success on Kickstarter. No pressure, then!? We needed to get the Kickstarter page in front of as many ambassadors and promoters of cycling products around the world, whilst simultaneously delivering targeted content via email and social media to the projects fans and followers. All of this meant strategizing and preplanning – tonnes of it.

The Work:

Collectively, we held naming sessions and workshops to create the product’s identity, ‘Tailfin’. We identified the target consumer demographic and, combining this with the designer’s (or designers’, if there are several) aspirations for the product, generated the core brand. Working with an incredible graphic design team, we then extended the brand, creating a strong visual language and logo. Then I went deep into the road-bike scene, exploring publications and bloggers. I grilled Nick about the sector, his design, the reasoning behind the choices he made, the engineering of the product, and its uniqueness. I explored the terminology and language of the road-bike user tribe. We had to find our team of ambassadors and this research help us identify early adopters that we’d need to generate momentum. We had to have clear and meaningful messaging about the product’s value and why they should support us. I generated a content strategy for the Tailfin team that drew out key messages along a time line of the project’s launch. Also inside the content strategy was the list of what content and collateral had to be generated on brand and on message. Alongside this, I also created a full database of publications and bloggers, subdividing them into categories to allow for accurate targeted marketing.

The Results:

The first 48 hours were a triumph! The product’s successful project received over $225,000 from Kickstarter backers and the final product launches in April 2017. The beautiful and innovative design has gone on to win the prestigious “IF” Cycle Design & Innovation award 2017, and Nick is now continuing to build the Tailfin brand and create further, disruptive, cycling products. The last year has been an adventure and the next 12 months will continue to be an amazing ride for Tailfin.