At T/F/D we really enjoy getting involved with crowdfunding. The startup businesses, product innovation and the determination to achieve success make for a unique and exciting experience for all involved. We undertook a campaign with US startup PupPod – brand new pet tech designed to train and engage dogs, even allowing remote interaction with pet owners. We caught up with Erick Eidus, CEO & Co-Founder to discuss his thoughts on the crowdfunding project.
Congratulations on PupPod’s Kickstarter success! How did you find the overall experience?
We had a few ups and downs throughout – it was definitely a challenge! Kickstarter was a great platform to drum up interest and engage with potential customers. We also got to test a number of marketing and sales questions with real people – feedback was rapid and enabled us to implement changes to PupPod as well as testing the impact of these changes.
What was the biggest challenge during the campaign?
There were some bad marketing decisions made at the start of the campaign regarding content, messaging and reward strategy. At this point we decided to bring in T/F/D and found that their input fixed the problems we were experiencing, which in turn steered PupPod to success!
In what way did social media contribute to the campaign, and was it an effective tool?
Social media was great at generating noise and conversation around the campaign – we even doubled our Twitter follower base! We’re not sure exactly how many pledges were driven by social media, but we think it had a positive impact overall.
During the last couple of days, the number of pledges shot up – what do you attribute to causing this?
Towards the end we were so close to hitting our Kickstarter target. We remained determined, and along with T/F/D boosted our marketing efforts, as well as reaching out to those who’d shown lots of interest but hadn’t yet made a pledge. All efforts paid off and we hit our target!
What would be your top piece of advice for new crowdfunding startups?
It’s hard to narrow down to one. First of all, hire a project manager – ideally someone who’s been deeply involved with at least 2-3 Kickstarter campaigns. We brought in T/F/D for this purpose – they’re a great company for this role. Secondly, planning – so important! Break the campaign up into different sections and map each of these out, including key milestones. And research to plan your reward strategy for each stage. Finally, aligning with influencers is really useful. They can reach a ton of people that you probably won’t be able to without their support.
What’s next for PupPod?
We are kicking off about a half dozen pilots with doggie daycare and boarding companies. We are trying to build a service business model in the doggie daycare/boarding segment. No one has ever done this, so it’s a challenge, but also a great opportunity.
Following T/F/D’s involvement in the Kickstarter campaign, PupPod has since received coverage in the Wall Street Journal. To find out more on PupPod visit their website. Follow T/F/D on Twitter (@TFDThinkFeelDo)