Life After Kickstarter: LifeKit Lifestyle Co.

With their slim pockets and big dreams, LifeKit Lifestyle Co. has created a motivating story. The brand has captivated their audience with their ideals of love, energy, knowledge and time to a create a story that many can find inspirational. This past spring, LifeKit launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 and successfully earned a total of $20,948 in pledges on May 5, 2013. From launching a Kickstarter campaign to meeting the set goal, there are many components involved.  Austin Henley, LifeKit founder offers advice and tips to brands planning or considering a Kickstarter campaign.

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How has your brand evolved since your Kickstarter campaign ended?
Since the conclusion of our Kickstarter, we’ve moved into our new office in Durham, North Carolina. We also launched a new line and website.  Additionally, we have made strides in developing other aspects of our company, namely our distribution strategy.

What did you learn from your Kickstarter campaign? 
A take away from the campaign is that it is crucial to have a plan for order fulfillment and distribution. It was definitely something we underestimated and would have done differently.

What advice would you give to a brand starting or considering a Kickstarter campaign?

  1. Plan. Plan. Plan.
  2. Get your current customers and supporters involved in your campaign promotion.
  3. Develop a strategy that allows everyone who participates, to take ownership of the success of the campaign.
  4. Watch out for hidden costs in order fulfillment and delivery.
  5. Prep your backers.  Let them know how the campaign is progressing and educate them on how the campaign works.
  6. Go into the campaign knowing that you have no choice but to be successful.
  7. Do whatever it takes.  At the end of the day you have to reach your goal.

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How did you create the buzz for your campaign? 
The most important thing was getting our current customers involved and leveraging our networks and community relationships. We had events throughout the campaign to encourage participation and this helped a lot. We did a couple of promotions, such as initially awarding a “Secret Package” to the first 50 backers.  These promotions encouraged backers to pledge earlier in the campaign.

What resources or techniques did you employ to promote the campaign?
Through social media and e-mail blasts we kept the campaign relevant.  We reached out to local, fashion, and lifestyle blogs to let them know the campaign started.  We also did a 10-day countdown to the campaign conclusion on social media.  The countdown was important because you receive most of your funding within the last 10 days of the campaign.

Did the campaign allow you to accomplish all of your planned goals?  What have you gained from those accomplishments?
From the campaign success, we were able to gain more brand exposure through industry trade shows attendance. We were also able to manufacture and produce our 2013 collection and purchase promotional items.  Along with those accomplishments came new challenges that gave us a better understanding of our business.

Are there any plans for future Kickstarter campaigns?
We may potentially create another campaign, if we do, it would definitely be something exclusive.

What do you have planned for your upcoming collection?
The new collection will bring back some classic thoughtful designs with improved quality and materials.

What inspires your new designs?
Our experiences. Our desires. The things that scare the hell out of us.

How have you maintained and increased your target market since your brand was created?
In any business it is very important to stay true to who you are as a brand and to be honest and transparent. Your supporters want your story to remain true, as they have made your story their story. We are fortunate to have great loyal supporters and have maintained an open communication with them about our brand.

What advice do you have for new brands?
You only fail if you quit.

Beehine-The-27Learn more about Lifekit Lifestyle Co. and shop their newest collection here.