Crowdfunding has matured

By Georg Tichy

crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has changed since the first exciting days, and several new trends show the maturing industry. Projects rooted in sustainability remain popular, such as hemp fiber glasses frames and window blinds with integral solar panels. There is an emerging trend in remaking classic equipment using new lighter and less expensive technology, such as a large format camera with a lightweight wooden body, and a turntable with all-in-one functionality. Fashion and design projects remain popular, with a move toward minimalism and simplicity in clothing, shoes, and accessories such as watches.

Running crowdfunding campaigns has also matured. Those who invest in new product development have come to expect a degree of sophistication in the marketing of a campaign as a sign of business maturity. Common best practices have been identified, such as video marketing, a strong mail campaign before the crowdfunding (CF) campaign opens, contests to build up the mailing list, and access to products from the first production run at below cost. This last is a critical piece for companies with a working prototype, and allows the crowdfunding campaign to be used to estimate demand, take first orders, and form a customer base.

Some companies are also using multiple CF-campaigns through the course of their business growth. Expansion, new product development, and opening new branches or outlets are all reasons for a second or third crowdfunding campaign. Companies that have had success with crowdfunding are turning back to it as a method of funding business growth and expansion.

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