With Lomography wrapping up their first Kickstarter campaign, we caught up with Tom Bates to ask him about best practices to follow when it comes to running a branded Kickstarter campaign. As Lomography’s Cross Channel Marketing Manager, he oversaw the Lomography Smartphone Scanner campaign and encourages other brand managers to embrace crowd-funding as a way to engage the community and innovate simultaneously.
In this interview, he looks into what a brand should do (beyond creating an innovative idea) to ensure the success of the marketing effort they develop through crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter. Note, for example, how the rewards Lomography built into their campaign were on-brand. By providing 35mm cameras they ensure that there will be the greatly desired spike in usage. This paves the way for a successful launch.
What was the thought/design process your team went through to develop the The Lomography Smartphone Film Scanner?
It all started because we needed a new accessory for the LomoKino: a device to easily scan, edit and share the 144 frames from the LomoKino negatives. While developing this scanner, we noticed that the quality was really good and that it could actually be used to scan all types of negatives. So, that’s how we came to the idea of making the Smartphone Film Scanner – a tool to easily scan, edit and share ANY type of 35mm film.
Tell us about your teaming up with Kickstarter for this initiative and how you developed the rewards for your supporters.
When thinking of our rewards, we mostly thought of treats which would work together with the Smartphone Scanner. A lot of rewards are 35mm cameras, so people can shoot with their new camera and then scan their snaps with the scanner. For the larger rewards, we offered exclusive trips with a Lomographic theme. For example, for one reward we gave people the opportunity to visit the Lomography HQ in Vienna and to party with the team here.
We teamed up with Kickstarter because we believe it’s a great platform for promoting fresh, creative ideas. The people in the Kickstarter community are passionate about innovation and we really wanted to show them and a wider community how analog photography is still alive and kicking in the 21st Century
What are other best practices brands should follow when employing a Kickstarter campaign?
This was our first Kickstarter campaign and while we’ve learned a lot on our journey, we can only really pass on a few things we’ve picked up along the way. First, Kickstarter strongly advises on producing a good video. We followed this advice and think it really helped the success of the campaign. While the campaign ran, we also focused on giving our own community and Kickstarter pledgers constant updates on new rewards we put online, new scans we had made, answers to their questions etc.
Check out the successful video below: