May 10, 2017
Creating a Kickstarter campaign can be a tricky business. Since its inception, almost 50,000 campaigns have never received any funding, and many more have received some funding but never hit their goal. Meanwhile, Jakub Svec, CEO of PERK, was focused on designing something that would make the best cup of coffee, but he ended up creating the perfect set-up for a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Launching a successful Kickstarter campaign isn’t a perfect science. However, Svec understood that a calculated process could make all the difference. First, he talked to a lot of people (over 2,000) about the product to get their ideas and feedback, and most importantly their email addresses.
Then, he started building the perfect product, kept the email address list in the loop, get some social media going (Instagram in this case). He paid attention to who’s really interested in buying and make sure to focus on that target market, building the campaign and keep your email address list updated. Finally, he kept making connections throughout the campaign so it keeps building.
Once Svec decided there had to be a better way to make a perfect cup of coffee, he took a road trip through the coffee meccas of the US and hit up every coffee shop and coffee connoisseur to collect the details and the science of coffee. Along the way, he collected all of those emails, and they were happy to listen in on his quest for the perfect cup of coffee.
And what makes for the perfect cup of coffee?
“At the very least, a cup that doesn’t need cream or sugar,” said Svec. “That’s mostly about good brewing technique. But beyond that, a light roast coffee with great acidity, sweetness and interesting flavor notes that is well balanced is heaven.”
Since absorbing the details and all the knowledge of coffee making, Svec began building and testing his product. What he came up with is an automated way to do a pour over, a technique that is meant to extract all of the coffee flavor. The system saturates the coffee grounds from the bottom up, creating a tumbling effect that evenly saturates the coffee grounds, the system also creates the right temperature as well as other details that help brew the perfect cup of coffee. While working on the product he kept his email list updated, as well as his huge fan base on Instagram.
In the process of reaching out and talking with experts, Svec began to notice a trend. Although he had assumed this would sell mainly to households, he realized that there was an interest from coffee shops as a replacement for their barista’s taking the time to do a pour over. A pour over is done by hand and requires several steps to complete the coffee brewing process, whereas PERK will run the same steps in minutes. So, a new target audience was
Once the campaign was ready, Svec released it and reminded all of his followers. He also reached out to as many press organizations as possible, but he says that’s been hard.
“Press are changing, they are wary of Kickstarter. Enough campaigns have failed that it makes it difficult. Even if it’s a good kickstarter it’s become a challenge for writers to get past their editors,” he said.
Even so, he’s had some coverage in Outside Magazine, Silicon 66, and several others. And once the campaign started, he’s continued to test, build, reach out and work on PERK. However, there is a downside to taste-testing coffee.
“There is a limit to how much coffee you can test,” said Svec. “It’s a appetite suppressant and you get palate fatigue from the oils coating your tongue so eventually it starts to taste like nothing.”
And what about offering stretch goals in crowdfunding campaigns?
“You have to be careful with those. If you’re offering your product in another color as an extended goal and you make it, suddenly your creating another SKU and you’ve got another production to worry about. It can be a logistical nightmare if you’re just trying to get your first product manufactured.”
Now beyond the goal of $100,000, PERK and Svec are on their way to success and hopefully, that perfect cup of coffee.
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