When working on a campaign, usually the entire focus is on the design. Working on something for months on end, however, makes it very hard to see what could be done differently, or flat out better. This is the reason why Kickstarter feedback is in my opinion the most important and overlook item in a campaign prelaunch.
Kickstarter feedback: why so important?
It is a fairly well known principle in business: companies, of any size, are subject to inertia. It is very hard to see another way of doing things, and often very hard to receive enough feedback in order to know for a fact that it could be done better. This happens at all sizes. Think of playing cards: you have been thinking about the design for months on end, know everything. It has been a long project to get there, why should you listen to somebody else that just takes a look at it?
Simply put, a pair of fresh eyes can catch flaws that you would not see in a million years. In our Colores de Colombia campaign, for example, many backers suggested that we changed printer, which we managed to put to a vote and do during the campaign. Probably, being more open about the printer from the very beginning would have increased the funding – but as they say, better late than never!
Why Kickstarter is the best place for getting feedback
As a crowdfunding creator, however, you are lucky enough to have very few and passionate buyers. In the world of playing cards, a successful project will have on average 300-500 backers. If even just 5 bring up the same criticism, you can safely assume that many other share it.
Big companies out there spend millions of dollars to organize focus groups, interviews, mystery shopping sessions just to have a look into their customers’ preferences – we can do it for free! And on top of that, Kickstarter backer tend to be much more knowledgeable about their passion than the average client, and therefore will be able to point you in the right direction.
Kickstarter Feedback: who to ask?
The answer is: to as many people as possible. Some of the absolute best advice I received was from people that don’t know squat about playing cards. And be very open when you ask: some people will naturally point out design issues, some other will bring up market segmentation and targets, others print quality.
Feedback on your social media
Obviously, your social media will be the prime channel where people will let you know what you think. Personally, I am always very open in asking for criticism, and who follows us knows that they can speak up without hurting feelings. Share the progression of your project, make sure that everyone is up to speed and take in as much as you can.
Feedback on forums, reddit, groups
This is the trickiest – people can be extremely harsh. Sometimes someone will open a topic about your project without you knowing – it is very important to know about that topic, so to intervene if needed. Name of the game: don’t take any of the remarks personally. Don’t be offended. It is a great opportunity.
Feedback from friends
Again – even people who know very little will share useful ideas. We all have those friends who get very excited about business ventures. Involve them, ask what they think. Filter to leave out what cannot be done, but be receptive. Maybe they suggest something impossible because they saw an actual issue, which can be fixed some other way.
Post-failure Kickstarter feedback
Nobody wants to fail, but it is possible that your campaign does. Our second campaign, Guns, Jazz and Whiskey, did.
Failure is a great opportunity to learn what you can do better. If you never failed, you’d never really challenge yourself, and possibly you’d never see that breakout idea that is right there behind the corner.
Ask why people think the project failed, and take in all sorts of comments: pricing, tiers, design, timing. Anything. Share continuously with your backers the improvements you plan on making, and keep asking for feedback. This means to work in a transparent way. And including the advice that someone gave, however small, will definitely make them feel involved.
Interested in knowing how we failed our Kickstarter? Here is the article where we talk about it!