Our Kickstarter campaign for the Helium Core, a hardware product that we developed over the last 9 months, successfully concluded on May 27. We were fortunate enough to raise 134% of our goal of $30,000 in order to fund the tooling and first production run for our first product. As our first independent foray into developing and launching a consumer product (we’ve done it as employees at other companies before), this is truly exciting, and we look forward to the opportunities this presents.
The entire experience taught us a lot about crowdfunding, but ultimately, we realized that the basics of launching and promoting a crowdfunding project isn’t that much different from launching and promoting any other product. The main elements are all there - customer segmentation, positioning, messaging, PR, paid advertising, content, social media, customer feedback, mutually beneficial partnerships - the major difference is the expediency with which we moved, because of the time limitation that crowdfunding campaigns impose.
A few of our clients have asked us, “So what’s next? Are you winding down ClearSketch to focus on Helium?”. The short answer is “No, we’re not”. In fact, our marketing skills are sharper than ever, thanks to our recent crowdfunding experience. What will change is the types of projects we focus on. Over the span of the last year, our projects have included leading the buildout of a new service within a $20M+ organization, providing marketing strategy for a division of a $200M+ e-tailer, building a brand identity for a startup and a $20M+ academic services company, creating and executing a content marketing plan for a $160M+ banking equipment company, and multiple video and photography projects.
We’ve come to realize that our sweet spot lies in the ability to conceptualize and execute great content - content that’s original, piques people’s interests, and gets desired results. Helium’s successful Kickstarter campaign was driven in large part by our content machine and our ability to understand our customer segments and feed them with fun, interesting content. Some examples of that include filming the Helium Core on the wing of a small aircraft and on a drone, and putting together video and text content that resonated with the market segments who we believe the product appeals to.