May 15, 2015
The Kickstarter campaign for BetterBack, which promises to fix your posture in 15 minutes a day, is ending today having raised over 9,000% of its goal (over $1 million). Why? A combination of an amazing product and excellent marketing. Here's what we can learn from its success:
Dramatize the problem
Creator Katherine Krug is intimately acquainted with the problem she's trying to solve – she developed sciatica pain (lower back and leg pain caused by nerve compression) in 2012. The cofounder of the Everest app, she was no stranger to long days sitting hunched over a computer.
On the Kickstarter campaign, she throws out a few scary statistics – we sit for 9 hours a day, and 9/10 Americans get back pain – and then goes in for the kill: even if you don't have any pain yet, you still might want to buy this: “Most people only begin to understand the importance of posture after their body is so damaged from slumping that sitting aches become chronic pain. I know because I am one of them,” says Krug.
BetterBack promises to fix your posture by stabilizing the pelvis, correcting the curvature of the spine, and providing lumbar support. On top of that, she says, better posture boosts our immune system and metabolism, confidence and concentration, motivation and energy, optimism and happiness. It's happiness in a bag – for $49. Over 10,000 people want it.
Make it accessible
Krug makes a point of explaining that BetterBack requires no apps or smartphones at all. It's low-tech – made of padded straps that go around your lower back and knees. One size fits most.
Mention the competition
Krug doesn't shy away from mentioning her competition, because she's tried them all – the Neo G Posture Brace, Easy Posture Lumbar Support, Nada Chair, low-frequency ultrasound, a memory foam knee pillow. None of it worked.
Make it easy to use
For people with bad posture, you can start wearing BetterBack for 15 minutes a day to get used to the feeling of good posture and gain more awareness of how you're sitting. Eventually, once you progress to an hour a day – at work, on airplanes, or even while meditating – BetterBack will apparently begin to change your default posture, so you sit and stand better when you’re not wearing it. In the end, you can wear it as often as you like, particularly when you’re sitting in a non-ergonomic chair.
But the key here is how you start – 15 minutes a day. Anyone can do that, right? BetterBack packs into a portable bag so you can bring it out to a coworking space, restaurant, or wherever you happen to be going.
Well, I'm sold, Ms. Krug. Posture was something I never thought I’d have to worry about, thanks to years of playing the violin. But my posture and neck pain have gotten worse, so guess what I’m asking for for my birthday this year? I'll be eagerly awaiting the October shipment.
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