Though some people may make the mistake in thinking that being seen wearing a pair Axent Wear headphones in public might be social suicide, first off they’re wrong. They’re amazing. But if you want cold hard proof, then look towards Axent Wear’s IndieGoGo campaign.
If you haven’t heard about the inspiring success of the team at Axent Wear, allow me to enlighten you. The company started out as a team of passionate individuals who came up with a really awesome design – cat ear headphones. Without funding for their project, the group turned to IndieGoGo, a creative crowdfunding site, to raise the money themselves.
Now this is where things start to get interesting. Axent Wear had set their goal for a rather modest $250,000 when the campaign launched in October 2014 but guess what? They surpassed this within two days. Yup, they even ended up having to set a stretch goal of $1.5million. In fact, these headphones were so high in demand that they ended up raising over $3.4million in total. To get into the specifics, they were 1,172% funded. Incredible.
Other than offering a really cool product (well, I think they are), what did Axent Wear do so right during their campaign period?
Pre-promoting their campaign
In the run-up to their IndieGoGo campaign, Axent Wear promoted their very attractive concept artwork on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter months in advance. Their first Tumblr post – which was a sneak peek at their brand new website – successfully earned 30,836 notes, and the Facebook equivalent earned 3,722 likes and 2,476 shares, boosting their campaign’s profile before they even started. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:
See? Everyone loves cat ear headphones.
Offering discounted perks for a limited time
Everybody loves a good discount. Axent Wear decided to offer their first batch of backers a generous $20 off their main perk – the headphones in red, green, blue or purple. Though some might think this is a very silly thing to do for a crowdfunding campaign that needs all the money it can get, it actually made a real difference. The product was more accessible for fans who couldn’t afford the normal retail price and the urgency of the time limit spurred backers to pledge impulsively.
Sweet branded prototype imagery
You might think I’m just being really superficial and that the only reason I’m saying this is because their imagery is really aesthetically pleasing – but no. You’re wrong. It’s because their branded prototype imagery (and video) sells their product. Having physical proof of these headphones reassures backers that they’re not spending their hard-earned cash on a scam. These images promote an honest brand, which I’ll get on to later.
Rewarding their backers
Yes, you can set perks that an individual can get by selecting from a choice of pledge amounts, but what about planning something to reward all backers for their generosity? That’s exactly what Axent Wear did when they passed their stretch goal of $1.5million. To thank everyone who had preordered a pair of their headphones, they promised to add a detachable gaming microphone to their design.
Listening to their audience
Leading on nicely from above, the addition of gaming mics were suggested not by Axent Wear, but by many enthusiastic backers. The team also listened to what their audience had to say about the narrow discount timeframe and extended it twice to keep the headphone pledge at the low price of $115. Though sometimes you might not want to pay attention to your audience, your brand image will definitely benefit from a positive viewpoint.
Giveaways and sweepstakes
To boost the profile of their ongoing campaign, Axent Wear held several competitions to give away pairs of headphones. Yes, one was a share competition which is a big no-no in Facebook’s… well, book, but they also held simple ‘retweet to win’ competitions and modelling competitions which were all massively popular. Just think how many people your campaign could reach with results like this:
Being brutally honest
Perhaps most importantly, Axent Wear have always been honest. They were honest right from the start that the crowdfunding was bigger than they had expected and that they were originally just a team of four hoping to turn a design into a reality. Later on, when they discovered that the manufacturing factory did not meet the team’s high standards, they were quick to inform backers about a delay in production. One of the founders was also admirably honest about why updates hadn’t been forthcoming in the months between December 2014 and April 2015.
Continuing to update backers long after their campaign
At the moment, the headphones are in prototype stages of development. The IndieGoGo ended last November. With delays such as these, it’s got to be hard to keep the community under control without your backers throwing around rumours that your product is just a scam. By utilising Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the IndieGoGo updates feature, Axent Wear have continued to keep backers in the loop. Granted, there are periods of silence, but the team always seem to bounce back after periods of progress. Here’s their most recent update: