Case Study: Light For Cause Turns An Average Campaign Into A Charitable Quest To Meet Richard Branson

from the many-paths-to-success dept

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As part of our sponsorship program with Insightly, we're exploring some innovative businesses that have used the CRM tool. In this sponsored case study, we're looking at Groovy Lights and the Light for Cause initiative.

As crowdfunding gets more popular, the mere act itself no longer brings publicity, so it becomes more important for creators to find a way to stand out on crowdfunding platforms. A product like Groovy Lights seeking $40,000 could easily get lost in the shuffle, so creator Joe Player found a way to wrap it up with a sponsorship program and a charitable initiative doubling as a marketing plan, in a nice little example of synergy.

Indiegogo, which has somewhat more relaxed rules than Kickstarter, is the place where the more experimental crowdfunding campaigns often happen. Instead of just pre-selling enough lights to launch the product, the Indiegogo campaign sets a more interesting goal, dubbed the Light for Cause initiative: selling the lights to raise money for the Virgin Unite Foundation, in turn gaining an opportunity for Player to discuss the initiative and the product with Richard Branson and get his endorsement. We've noted studies before that show how crowdfunding projects do better when they have a charitable component, and the chance to tie that in with some celebrity marketing was a smart thing to take advantage of.

Looking at the campaign page, it actually all feels a bit chaotic, with the reward tiers including other unrelated products, Mexico vacations and corporate sponsorships (this is the occasional downside of Indiegogo's less structured system). But that doesn't seem to have hampered it, since the campaign hit the $40,000 goal almost exactly, and is now headlined with a photo illustrating its success:

The tiers were successful too: all three vacations with Player were sold (and that's an ambitious offering — most crowdfunders limit tiers like that to a weekend in their home town), and one company snapped up a "gold corporate partnership" which includes a bunch of marketing opportunities. That latter aspect is particularly interesting: while many crowdfunders focus solely on finding customers, and that's clearly goal number one with any campaign, there's also a huge opportunity at the crowdfunding stage to start finding sponsors, advertisers and other corporate partners. I wouldn't be surprised to see a new crowdfunding platform that focuses more on such networking in the future.

Overall, a successful experiment. The Groovy Light looks cool, but it's hardly alone as a "funky home decor" item in the crowdfunding world, and there's no way to guarantee it would stand out — but there's also lots of market room for such products, and a little ingenuity in how it was funded got it the attention it needed. The biggest thing that campaigns like this remind us is how much of an open field crowdfunding is — those who are concerned it "won't work for everyone" are portraying it as a single strategy when, in fact, it can support a multitude of approaches (and we haven't yet seen them all).


This post is sponsored by Insightly. Check out Insightly's case study of the Groovy Lights campaign and how it used the CRM tool to manage backers and customers. Sign up for a free account today »

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Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jun 21st, 2013 @ 7:36am

    That latter aspect is particularly interesting: while many crowdfunders focus solely on finding customers, and that's clearly goal number one with any campaign, there's also a huge opportunity at the crowdfunding stage to start finding sponsors, advertisers and other corporate partners.

    Could this lead the company that bought the sponsorship to consider they have some sort of contract? As far as I'm concerned the projects may change overtime to adapt and there's no way to get the money back.

    However the lesson learned from virtually all the stories Techdirt covered so far (and many others I've seen) is precisely what the article says in the very last paragraph:

    The biggest thing that campaigns like this remind us is how much of an open field crowdfunding is those who are concerned it "won't work for everyone" are portraying it as a single strategy when, in fact, it can support a multitude of approaches (and we haven't yet seen them all).

     

    link to this | view in thread ]


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