We’re cancelling our Kickstarter campaign today. Although we raised over $20K in just a couple weeks, we just didn’t reach enough people. People don’t know about Beacon & Lively (yet), pure and simple. So like any good company, we’re adjusting our strategy based on lessons learned over the last couple of weeks.
First and foremost, there is a market for smart jewelry. Ringly, fresh off an infusion of $1M in funding, launched their connected rings a week earlier than us and reportedly sold $100K in 24 hours. We’re the David to their Goliath. No VC funding, no fancy PR machine. Just a talented team of passionate people that have almost brought Beacon & Lively to life, mostly through the support of REALLY loyal and excited fans like you!
We believe that we are ready to launch Beacon & Lively and stake a claim in the wearable tech and jewelry markets. We have patents pending, a beautiful brand, and an initial product design that is fashionable and chic. In short, we believe that we will succeed.
So why has the Kickstarter not gone to plan? Well here are our “lessons learned” and what we will be doing differently in the future:
- Press is critical- We always knew that PR would be crucial to our success, so we hired a prestigious PR firm out of NYC. Unfortunately they just never made traction, and our project had 1000’s of views instead of 100,000’s of views. This was ultimately the biggest reason why we struggled. We’re currently evaluating new PR firms that more closely share our passion, goals and kickass spirit.
- Pre-orders vs. crowdfunding- Right away we knew that Kickstarter was going to be difficult for our customers. Many of our backers were confused. “What is a Kickstarter, anyway?” was a common comment we received. We added some explanations to our campaign, but for many people, the Kickstarter page was too confusing. Maybe if we offered the B&L Cuff made out of potato salad, we would have been successful? :-) Going forward, we will look at alternative platforms for pre-funding that allow us to control the look, feel and simplicity for our backers.
Although we are disappointed with our crowd funding results, not much has changed when it comes to our focus. In fact, we recently sent out pictures of our new prototypes, and they look amazing (they are pictured at the top of this post)!
Going forward, our future is dependent on our ability to execute:
- Prototype feedback- We will have some really exciting announcements over the next couple of weeks as we reveal our fully functional prototypes! We’ll then “take them to the street” to get feedback on design, comfort, and functionality. And yes…we know some of our Backers would like to be first to try them on! :-)
- Find funding- This is already progressing. We’re not worried, nor should you. It’s important that we find sources of capital that share our vision and enthusiasm!
- Build backers- We’ll continue to get the word out over Facebook (almost 1000 likes) and Twitter (500 followers). We’ll also start attending conferences to get our designs in front of people. When people see our designs, we consistently get “wow, I would wear this even if it didn’t connect to my phone”.
As we draw our Kickstarter to a close, we invite all our Backers to follow our progress via Facebook and Twitter. We’ve also set up a “hidden” page on our Web site especially for you. We’ll move our regular communications and updates there. Make sure you bookmark and follow this page. Your comments and support have been amazingly helpful, and we hope they will continue!
Also, in recognition of your early support, when we re-launch our pre-order and sales efforts, we’ll honor your Kickstarter pricing.
Finally, THANK YOU for your passionate support. We believe in our bracelet, our backers and our potential.
As one of our backers said, “I am so excited that to learn about this project!! I have been begging anyone and everyone I know to develop this very idea for the past year.” We agree and we are working really hard to bring the idea to life.
So “what is a Kickstarter anyway?”…we don’t know and we don’t care. We’re focused on Beacon & Lively here and creating a bracelet that changes the way people think about wearable tech and jewelry.
WE BELIEVE THAT ...
Technology can be polite.
Staying connected doesn’t have to be disruptive.
A phone on the table is bad manners.
A mobile device makes terrible company, unless you’re alone.
And we believe that you’ll be seeing the B&L Cuff at a store near you soon.
More to come,
Dave, Veronica, Jordan, Brett, Pat, Anna, Joe, Phil and Andrew