Warning: Don’t Launch On Kickstarter Or Indiegogo Until You’ve Done Market Research

Market research is so important in attaining success for your crowdfunding campaign that it has its own step in the Launch Success Formula.

Why Even Do Any Market Research?

With a crowdfunding campaign, success comes from the crowd itself. 

It’s truly not what you think will work, but rather what the crowd (aka the market) wants. One of the best ways to find what the market wants is to literally track down things that have worked before in the past. 

The best way to do this? You guessed it: Market research. 

By doing the research, you’ll learn more about the market and your competitors. You’ll also find a ton of commonalities between projects within your niche. That’s the foundation for making any well-informed decisions and developing effective strategies. From the research, you will quickly understand what has worked in the past and what has clearly flopped. That way, you’ll easily be able to pinpoint winning strategies and tactics for your own project. 

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Sun Tzu

7 Key Factors For Your Crowdfunding Market Research

All this might sound really overwhelming right now, but I assure you that it really isn’t. Let’s look at some of the things you need to understand while conducting your research.

Trends

Sure this doodad might have worked for the past 10 years, but maybe the future is bleak for that product. When conducting crowdfunding market research, be sure to get comprehensive and look at what the market at large has to say. Are less people interested in this product? Is this category niche projected to dramatically contract within the next 3-5 years? There’s a lot of data readily available out there to help you determine the feasibility of your project, go out and make use of it.

One place I love starting off at is Google Trends where you can explore what the rest of the world is searching.

Positioning

How is your competitor positioning this product? If it’s a cooler, is it “the toughest cooler around” or is it “the most lightweight cooler on the market”? As you can see, those two are very different ways to talk about the product – one is tough and the other lightweight. Just by starting off the positioning in this way, every other piece of content will follow suit.

Pricing

What price range are your competitors in? If hundreds of other similar products are priced within the $50-$80 price range, you probably don’t want to price your product at $500. There’s not much you can do to convince people to fork over 10x the price, especially with hundreds of competitors around. You must price at a level that meets the expectations of your customers.

Visuals

You know how the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words. So needless to say, the types of visuals you use with your campaign will be tremendously important to its success. No one wants to back a project with blurry images and tacky design

Browse through different competitor products: What kind of images are they using? Are the images more lifestyle? Or are there a lot more product images? What do the images focus on? What angles are the images taken at? 

When it comes to videos, what kind of videos are they using throughout their website or campaign? Are there a lot of testimonials? More testimonial videos than other project categories? Are there a lot of review videos from third parties? 

Are they using any GIFs? Do GIFs help illustrate something very specific about the product or the project?

Bundling

Some products are sold one at a time, but others can be sold bundled. For example, maybe people would like not 1, but 2 jackets (one for them and one for their partner). Other products might be perfect sold in packs of 4 while others great in packs of 10. By bundling, you’ll undoubtedly increase your average order value and therefore the average value of each customer. Check what your competitors are doing and what people are actually buying. 

Reviews

It’s imperative to read through any reviews you can get your hands on. This way, you’ll see what people have said they liked or did not like about your competitors’ products. Armed with this information, you’ll know what things to change or update about your product. Even better, you might just need to tweak the way you talk about it or present it. The Comments section on a crowdfunding campaign is tremendously informative, as well as social media pages for competitor brands and even Amazon.com reviews of a similar product.

Shipping

This one is a biggie. What shipping does your competitor charge? If no one ever charges shipping, it might not be in your best interest to pull out the shipping cost as a separate line item. If no one is charging shipping, they most probably figured out how to integrate it into the base price and you should too. 

When it comes to shipping to international destinations though, it’s helpful to look at what your competitors have done before and also consult with a third-party fulfillment company. This will ensure that you have all the numbers you need to integrate into your pricing and that your ducks are in a row before launch.


As you can see, market research doesn’t have to be a difficult or daunting thing. It truly just lies in being curious about what other people have done and figuring out the best way to apply their “wins” to your own campaign. Market research can be as simple as creating a spreadsheet and filling in the appropriate information. 

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