There are two areas of crowdfunding, I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Firstly an area that holds a campaign together, particular when creating content across multiple platforms – that of branding. Secondly an area where I’ve probably learnt the biggest lesson from our own Kickstarter campaign – that of reward delivery. Both of these areas are often over looked or pushed to the bottom of the priority list when projects are developed. I think if project owners want to develop a committed long-term audience, this is something that needs a paradigm shift. So when I found a campaign that executed both these areas effectively, I thought it worth finding out how they did it.
Worn by heroes is a movie buff t-shirt store inspired by everyone’s favourite films and TV shows. On their website they say, “We believe your favourite T-shirts should be all kinds of awesome” – and they certainly live up to it. I backed Worn by heroes on Kickstarter at the end of last year after being so impressed by their products on offer. Check out there video to see what I mean...
My T-Shirt arrived a few weeks ago, just over a month after I backed the project. Not only was the delivery impressively quick for something that had to go into production, the quality of the product was outstanding and every element of the packaging had been thought through.
Given my own experiences of delivering crowd funding rewards, I was so impressed I had to catch up with the Team behind Worn by Heroes to find out what inspired them and how they went about their branding and reward delivery.
So why Kickstarter?
Both Mandy and Steve had backed projects on kickstarter over the years and have friends who have used kickstarter to successfully fund music and film projects. So when they decided to open up their own movie buff t-shirt store they did the sums and realised that without a financial boost they wouldn’t be able to print the initial run of t-shirts to sell online. Here's what Mandy and Steve had to say....
"Kickstarter was the perfect solution, it was very much on the radar of our target audience, with so many creative ideas, films and music projects being successfully funded everyday on kickstarter and we had a wonderful response."
How aware of brand were you when putting together your Kickstarter campaign?
"We were very aware of what we wanted our brand to say about us, we also had a tag line “Indulge your inner geek” which we used in all of our social media. The Worn By Heroes logo is very different now to what it looked like in the beginning sketches but we settled on the final logo about 3 months before the campaign began. It is really important to get a second opinion on things like your logo, we rehashed it a few times until we were satisfied."
"In terms of the packaging and materials we used for our kickstarter rewards we had a good idea of the vintage look and the natural feel, using as little plastic as possible. We knew that we were going to use old luggage labels for the swing tags and had found a company which would print our designs on to stamps so that we could do all of our own packaging by hand."
How essential is branding to your company?
Branding is hugely important it tells your customers who you are and what you believe in. Which is why they buy from you instead of the next guy.
We have always had quite a strong idea of why we wanted to open our store, what is important to us and what is important to our customers. Branding is a massive part of this, the impression you get from the logo and the name is very important. Equally if not more important is inspiring customers to trust in our brand to provide the very best quality and create these t-shirts responsibly.
What inspired your branded packaging?
"Our brand came naturally from what we believe in and why we set up in the first place. We believe that your favourite t-shirts should be all kinds of awesome, from the design to the quality. It represents a part of who you are because it’s showing the world something that you’re passionate about! "
"This meant that we had to make everything as perfect as we could, to justify our claims. We went for the best kind of t-shirt, the cut, the material even the method of printing. Making sure that each t-shirt is made super comfy and with a lot of attention to detail.
The designs are uncommon, only the true fans will recognise the film. We print using non plastic inks which bleach and die the material so that the design becomes a part of your t-shirt, not just resting on the top of it. Making sure that he quality lasts even after you have worn and washed it lots of times!
Being green is pretty important to us at Worn By Heroes so we found a packaging option with minimal plastic and using recycled materials. This gives a nice vintage natural look to the packaging and works really well with our stamp design. We hand print all of our packaging, it was something we wanted to have complete control over. This way we got it exactly how we had imagined, we’ve had some awesome feedback and even had a compliment from a post man about our packaging! "
"Steve’s favourite bit of the packaging process is the Worn By Heroes Seal of approval which is a red stamp created just so that we can double check each parcel. By stamping it we make sure that we’re 100% happy with the quality."
What are the top branding tips, for those creating a Kickstarter campaign and a start-up company?
"Question why are you starting this campaign? Show us what you believe in, show that you are passionate about your project and the reasons behind it. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
What makes your campaign different? Are you the first to do it? Are you the best at it? you must be one of these things to make a real impact. Tell people why.
Use Social media to get your brand out into the public domain. We had an amazing response from followers on twitter and now have over 600 likes on Facebook! Get tweeting your tag line with a link to your campaign.
Ask others. You may think you have an amazing concept for your logo or packaging. Do a prototype and ask others what they think. Find out what they think, and why they think that. Try a 2nd draft and ask again. It can only strengthen your brand to get feedback and redesign."
I'll certainly be taking their advice on board when it comes to delivering future rewards and brand planning. To check out the Worn by Heroes T-Shirts, go to their website at www.wornbyheroes.com and keep up to date with them on social media on Facebook & Twitter.