Bob Lefsetz wrote the following piece on the Pebble watch campaign on Kickstarter that has raised over $8,000,000 so far. It’s interesting to see Leftsetz bang on the crowdfunding drum but from what I can tell he’s in favor. He’s got some good tips and ideas in this piece and its worth a read…
Dated 12:46am Friday May 4th
1. It’s cool.
No amount of marketing genius will blow into the stratosphere something that is not cool, something that is not great. There are millions of marketers out there, few idea people and even fewer who can execute.
If you think it’s about releasing an album and waiting for your career to happen, you’re sorely mistaken.
Pebble has updated their Kickstarter offer eight times:
This creates return visits. This keeps people interested and talking. Change for the sake of change yields little.
In updates Pebble gives more information, thanks and new offerings.
We live in the information age. Not everyone wants to read every word you write, but a small coterie of your audience does. And some of these are the sneezers who will spread the word.
If you write your autobiography online, you might think you’re pissing in the wind, but you’re not.
Assuming people have a reason to be interested to begin with, or you write in such a fascinating manner.
The album is dead and buried. It doesn’t work career-wise and barely works economically. Can you see the benefit of constant contact with your audience? Pebble can.
3. Varying price/offer points.
Some people want to jump in head first and give you all their money and time and others just want to dip their toes in the water. Allow both to participate.
By charging one price for an album, you’re missing the point.
You may lament the advent of the iTunes Store, but allowing grazers to buy one single is a good thing. If you’re really that good, they’ll buy more.
As for live business… I can’t see why Phish and Gaga and anybody with a dedicated fanbase doesn’t sell a season ticket. The best seats in the house for every show. And to block scalpers you get a laminate, with your picture on it. Check Kickstarter, there’s always someone who’s gonna pay a fortune. LET THEM!
Your copy should evidence a knowledge of your customer and a relationship. Straight, overhyped copy is ignored. Make inside jokes, be self-deprecating, be entertaining.
5. Quality photos
Unfortunately, we’ve gone lo-fi in music. But the pics of the Pebble are part of the enticement. It almost seems real. You can see one on your wrist, you want one.
Someday we’ll have music this good. Remember the advent of HDTV? You’d watch the test pattern it was so good. We need that to happen in music.
This is already happening in music. That’s the best way to break a band today. By getting another act to vouch for you, whether it’s Patterson Hood with the Alabama Shakes or Usher with Justin Bieber.
This paradigm may ultimately be overused, but now it’s paying dividends.
7. Selling out
As you can see, the cheapest Pebble is no longer available. That’s how you create heat, by selling out. Works no different in music. Once it’s a hot ticket, everybody wants in, there’s a feeding frenzy. We’ve got it wrong, we want everybody to pay a lot from the get-go. But what if we had a low hurdle for a desirable product. Let’s say a band sold twenty of the best seats in the house for twenty bucks. Once again, we’ve got the issue of scalpers, but never forget entertainment is all about smoke and mirrors, creating the sensation of heat. There’s not enough innovation in pricing, in supply and demand.
It incentivizes people to buy, they don’t want to be left out. The fact that this Kickstarter offer ends on May 18 is driving business.
9. Success breeds success
The fact that Pebble asked for $100k and has now raised in excess of $8 million makes it a story. And people are touched by the warmth and fuzziness of it. The upstart beating the man.”