by Erik Hanberg
Originally published in Marylhurst Unlimited, now available online at Issuu
Need a bag that works equally well as a briefcase as it does a grocery bag? Matt Geiger did, and he had a hunch other people did too. But how to find them? Geiger, a Marylhurst interior design faculty member and Portland, Oregon-based product designer, turned to Kickstarter.com.
He launched his “Blank Brand” bags with a $6,200 minimum goal — the amount he estimated he needed to do a run of bags at a small production sewing company in Portland. In less than a week, Geiger hit that threshold. He eventually raised more than $15,000 for his all-purpose bags, almost three times his goal.
Below are his tips for launching a successful Kickstarter campaign.
- Have A Great Video – “I was fortunate that I know the basics of video editing, so I shot the entire video myself. I knew I didn’t want a goofy video; I wanted the video to show how hard I was willing to work. I was trying to convey humility, but also confidence that I could make these bags.”
- Ask Your Friends And Family To Spread the Word – “I thought I would get most of my sales from design blogs, but a major part of my sales came from the network of my friends and family, which I didn’t expect. I emailed a few people about it — close family and friends who I thought would be interested — and they told their friends about it on Facebook and through email.”
- Have Very Low and Very High Reward Levels – “I wanted to have very low reward options for people who just wanted to contribute a little bit, and very high reward options, in case someone really wanted to support the project. So I started in the middle with rewards based on the expected retail price of the bags and worked out from there.”
- Research! – “Kickstarter has a lot of data on what makes for a successful campaign, and I used a lot of it. I also spent a lot of time studying the videos of successful campaigns, so that I could get it right.”
- Account for Fees – “Between credit cards and Kickstarter, about 10% of what you raise goes to fees, so don’t forget to account for those when you’re setting your goal.”
To learn more about Matt Geiger and his “Blank Brand” bags, visit BlankBrand.co
About this Story
This feature story from the newest issue of Marylhurst University’s alumni magazine.
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