Marketing is a promise, perhaps a dangerous one

Brands are promises that products make to their customers. Old hat. We all new it. Coke is it. Apple thinks different. Etc.

A new exciting way to make promises on the web is to tell people exactly what spirit, vibe, community, mission and functionally detailed product they are buying into.

It’s called crowdfunding e.g., Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

At first this was amazing to me (well it still is). You say some stuff, money pours in. Awesome!

Check a juggernaut on Kickstarter that then raised 10s of millions more from VC. Awesome!

Look at this next case example however: Canary the home security pod

It’s neat, fo’ sho’. And they raised $2 million!!!! Holy cow!!! From 10,000 people pledging $200 each.

For those 10,000 they pledged…A fully working device. It’s going to take a lot of the $2 million to finish designing, setting up, producing, and getting the device distributed. More than they ever expected I promise you. So keeping that promise will be very challenging indeed.

Not so different from any startup really. You buy the product at Target or you sign up to something and you hope it works.

But beware the promises you make. The burden can be great.