The Flying Tent has taken Kickstarter by storm, romping home with an impressive €470,000. Like the most successful crowdfunding campaigns, it’s been run with military precision and an unrivaled attention to detail. So, when we got the chance to pick the brains of Eva Riesemann, one of the innovators behind this fantastic campaign, we jumped on it.
“A successful crowdfunding campaign is one of the best market research tools out there,” Eva explains. “Especially in the early stages. You can see if there is a market for your product by how many people it attracts. There are also PR benefits – people want to read stories about new, innovative products.”
Well, they don’t come much more innovative than this. Ever fancied slinging a hammock between two trees on a hike, safe in the knowledge that you are protected from every combination of mosquitoes, rain, wind, and sun nature can throw at you? Then the Flying Tent is for you. This Kickstarter success can even be pitched on flat ground, worn as a poncho (yep, you read that right), and folded neatly into an unobtrusive bag. What’s not to love?!
“The idea came about two and a half years ago when our CEO Joachim Leitgeb had the idea of creating an all-in-one hammock and rain poncho. Our design team just took it to the next level.”
That tendency to push the boundaries seems to be a universal affliction for these guys. The go-to marketing guru for the team, Eva used every weapon in her arsenal to turn their unassuming €20,000 target into a six-figure success story.
“Crowdfunding is hard work.” She emphasizes more than once, “It starts with preparation. You have to choose the right platform and get the funding video, images, gifs, FAQs and everything else produced. There are so many campaigns out there, so you have to attract people with the video in the first minute. We put three days of work into the film, shooting with a top film crew. We put even more time into the design and presentation of our campaign, making sure it was easy and informative.”
Eva is keen to highlight how important preparation is, citing that and a great video as the cornerstone of their success. “We also put a lot of hours into social media, PR, and blogger relations,” She adds. “All of these activities are essential for generating media coverage; you have to publish news via social media channels to get your campaign known. One of the biggest drivers of our success was our partnership with the online advertising agency Jellop and a couple of PR agencies, who were able to get our story covered by high-profile publications.”
The PR and marketing process is one many startups don’t invest in before product production and is arguably the main benefits of choosing crowdfunding over traditional financing methods. “Crowdfunding is a good option for startups. When you are at the early stages of launch, conventional banks won’t extend credit because it’s high risk. When you choose Venture Capitals (VCs), there is always pressure to grow, since VC investors need to generate a high investment income. They also take part in financial business decisions.”
“With crowdfunding, you have complete control – and lots of other benefits, too. The crowd supports you because people are impressed and excited by the idea. They want to help develop the product by providing feedback on what they like, as well as what they dislike. The crowd is your future target group and customer base, so if you’re communicating with them regularly, you get to know what they want.”
And let’s not forget the biggest benefit of a successful crowdfunding campaign; the chance to realize your dreams. “Absolutely.” Eva agrees, “Our vision is to create smart solutions for outdoor gear. Thanks to crowdfunding, we now have the resources to get started and stay true to our vision.”
We’re not sure about you, but here at The Crowdfunding Formula, we’re very excited to see what the future holds for this pioneering team and their top-notch ideas.