Customers Prefer to Crowdfund Products They Can Improve


Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have not only broadened access to funding to companies that might struggle in the capital markets but have also transformed the way companies connect with consumers during product development, replacing focus groups with real customers who have a stake in the final product.  Despite crowdfunding’s many benefits, numerous campaigns still fail.  To understand why, the authorse embarked on an empirical analysis of 18,173 campaigns for physical products in the technology and design categories on Kickstarter. They found that many companies often present initial products that are so fully developed that customers don’t feel that their input will materially change the product and are reluctant to contribute as a result.

Crowdfunding mobilizes $1.3 billion for innovation funding annually and that amount is projected to more than double in the next five years. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have not only broadened access to funding for companies that might struggle in the capital markets, but have also transformed the way companies connect with consumers during product development, replacing focus groups with real customers who have a stake in the final product.




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