It’s ‘up’, it’s ‘down’; ‘sideways’, ‘backwards’… What it is, is a ‘mad rollercoaster’. It’s easy to get ‘low’ when a backer drops out and we’re equally guilty of getting ‘high’ when someone pledges, so let’s take stock, let’s call this a ‘therapy piece’ and look at it objectively.
The first thing to take into account, is the fact that our net pledge value is pretty high. This is by no means a ‘pile ’em high and sell ’em cheap’ operation, we’re making something expensive. So every single backer represents a pretty big slice of our success or indeed, failure. When you couple this with a pretty narrow demographic (this is DEFINITELY not a ‘please ’em all’ generic timepiece), there’s not much room to rest on your laurels.
We’ll start with (what might be perceived as) the bad news… Two days ago, our campaign peaked at 95% funded, and we immediately saw a 5% drop off with cancellations. This is incontrovertibly a ‘spike’ (or the opposite of a spike; a ‘trough’? I dunno). Sure, we’ve picked up a few cancellations along the way, but non-so-many as when we were on the precipice of reaching the funding goal.
This is pretty hard to analyse. We THOUGHT that a ‘wave of positivity’ would increase backer-count and take us over the line, NOT have an adverse impact. More backers = more confidence = more pledges right? Nope.
We can only surmise, that the realisation of the project being funded, was enough to create a reality check for Backers who were ‘on the fence’; not really sure whether they wanted to part with quite so much cash. With this in mind, the first question we have to ask, is ‘is our value proposition misguided?’ – A two hundred dollar watch you’ve backed is easy to put on a mental ‘back burner’ and forget about, a $600 watch, not so much.
If this hypothesis is right, it’s not all bad news. There’s no better way to qualify a sale than to let your buyer ‘cool down’ on their purchasing decision, and if they’re still around after 3 weeks, qualitatively speaking, they’re a hot prospect.
We’re also aware that there are a few Journeymen Backers, who love to engage, but not necessarily buy. ‘Bailing at the last minute’ would suit this profile… And of course, there’s also a strong argument that we’ve got something horribly wrong! If we’re in the business of placing blame, the first place we should start is ‘right here’, with ourselves.
This last point raises the million dollar question; ‘what could we be doing better?’ – Well we know you can’t please 100% of the people, 100% of the time, and we certainly can’t respond to every single piece of advice given, but we’re definitely listening to our backers and changing things where we can. Not much else we can do on that front.
As most of you will know, we’re kinda ‘dangling’ around the 90 – 92% funded ‘area’. The thing is, providing we can keep our funding around that number, especially for the last week, things actually look pretty good.
I’ll post an image here, but to get a clear idea for yourself where I’m coming from, try googling ‘successful kickstarter funding progress graph’. There’s a common identifier within ‘most’ of them. (We’ve looked at ‘unsuccessful’ graphs too by the way, but those curves are less like our own).
The graph above isn’t ours but it looks a lot like it… Anyway, the important ‘detail’ here, is the curve-acceleration towards the end. This is NOT unusual, believe me, we’ve poured over hundreds of these.
So where do these pledges come from? Well, from what we can see, there’s two main sources. 1/ ‘Cold’ social ads based on the strategy; ‘last few days’, ‘last day’ etc, and 2/ Converted campaign followers. In each case, the underlying core proposition is ‘sense of urgency’. The campaign is about to ‘go away’, so this (as well as at the very beginning) is when (we hope) backers ‘jump on’.
How can we leverage this information to help us succeed?
The first thing we’ve got to fight against is the potential for negative ‘pack mentality’; ‘when one jumps, they all jump’, ‘if they’ve lost faith, it must be for a reason’ etc etc… The only way we can do this, is by upping our work rate and absolutely NOT distance ourselves from potential failure (we need to own that as much as potential success).
The other thing we can do, is take the most valuable feedback from our Backers and address it as best we can, so tomorrow, with 7 days remaining, we will be publishing a job list of things you can expect to see over the next 7 days. Who knows? Perhaps some advice that you’ve profered will be taken into account.
Our main objective though, will be to convince existing backers to stay in it until the very end, to run through the line… That’s what we’re going to do, no matter how things look on the surface.