Earlier today, ElevationLab set a new fundraising record on Kickstarter by amassing $975,254 to help fund the creation of their Elevation Dock project, finally dethroning Scott Wilson + MINIMAL after more than a year.
In both cases, we’re talking about HUGE numbers--high profile examples of how you can use crowdfunding platforms to help secure the money you need to bring a new product to life. But the benefits of crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter don’t end there—they’re also a powerful tool for building brand awareness with potential customers.
I recently blogged about cellpig.com, a company in Pittsburgh who used Kickstarter to help fund cellhelmet--a new iPhone 4/4S case they developed that comes with its very own guarantee. Beyond being able to raise enough money to start production, by listing their product on Kickstarter they were also able to get their company name and brand in front of an entirely new batch of potential customers—folks who otherwise might not have known about them.
They used their project page to showcase videos and photos of their product and included links to their website and social media profiles—connections to followers and potential customers that will likely last well beyond the duration of their fundraising campaign.
Although the majority of the focus of crowdfunding is on the funding (after all funding is part of the name), it can also offer a huge stage for small business owners and entrepreneurs to build brand awareness. And that’s definitely nothing to sneeze at.