Tag Archives: marketing

Kickstarter: Coffee Joulies and other ideas

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KICKSTARTER: Obtaining funding via social media

DO you ever get tired of being served coffee that is too piping hot to drink? Or leaving a cup of Joe to cool only to find that it’s gone Luke warm by the time you drink it? Well, soon unsatisfactory coffee drinking will be a thing of the past with the release of Coffee Joulies on the American market this week.

The idea of creating stainless steel heat-retaining coffee beans that keep your hot beverage at the right temperature for longer was brewed up by two young design engineers both named Dave. Like many budding entrepreneurs, Dave and Dave needed a way to fund the manufacturing of their product and turned to the Internet and social­ media to achieve this.

Kickstarter.comIdea light bulb is one of many websites that allows people to post ideas freely and appeal to the online public to pledge small amounts of money towards their project. Creatives are given a set amount of time to raise the funds they need and offer certain rewards to people, depending on the amounts they pledge.

The Coffee Joulies project, for example, was looking for $9 500 (roughly R66 500) to fund the manufacturing and distribution of their product. Amounts that could be pledged ranged from $40 to $500 or more. Returns on investment included being sent free samples of the product once made, getting a unique Joulies mug with “I backed Joulies on Kickstarter” printed on it, or even being sent a Coffee Shop Pack for entrepreneurs who want to sell Joulies themselves.

The Coffee Joulies example is one of many that illustrates the power of the web and social media to kick-start business ideas into existence. The two-man team managed to raise $306 944 (about R2 148 000) and has over 4 800 backers. Project creators also keep 100% ownership and control over their work.

Kickstarter homepage

Kickstarter.com is one of many websites that allows people to post business ideas freely online and appeal to the online public to pledge small amounts of money towards their project

Kickstarter.com is one of many websites that allows people to post business ideas freely online and appeal to the online public to pledge small amounts of money towards their project (image: http://www.kickstarter.com).

The only criterion for Kickstarters is that projects must reach their funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. This is done to protect all parties involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.

Other successful projects include documentary film ideas, iPhone add-ons or accessories, a magnetic vertical garden kit and video game development. Many of these have far exceeded the amounts needed and are over 100% funded. Pledging continues until their initial time frames end. I was also pleased to see a few South African projects on Kickstarter that have surpassed their funding goals.

The creative market for ideas

Websites such as Kickstarter bring to mind other online platforms that also operate within the creative market for ideas. Idea Bounty is one example whereby large corporates post a brief for something they want — such as ideas­ for an advert. Users or creatives are then invited to submit their ideas for that brief. A sizeable bounty is offered­ by the client beforehand which is bestowed upon the person who submits the best idea.

While platforms such Idea Bounty sound all good and dandy, it just goes to show the value of a good, creative idea. This particular website has been known to offer bounties as high as $10 000 (about R70 000), but it’s a no- brainer that the returns on implementing such ideas most likely far exceed what was paid for them.

This comparison makes one feel far more approving of entrepreneurial, self-starting marketing platforms such as Kickstarter. The look and feel and user-friendliness of the website also make it that much more inviting. But you don’t have to take my word for it. If you have a great idea or want to launch a book or make a film and need funding, Kickstarter would be a very good place to start.

Creative Blogging: Better content, more fun

CREATIVE BLOGGING: Better content, more fun

BLOGGING is a creative process by nature, but many bloggers tend to stick to formulas. Content that isn’t fresh and doesn’t look and feel inspired, tends to drag the audience on. This is not good for your blog as this method of blogging is the most definitive way of preventing your blog from growing and evolving. Like SEO, content creativity is critical to content quality and accessibility.

Creative BloggingThe blogging market is partly responsible for the tendency to treat a blog like a day job – going through routine processes. Creative blogging, which was the original basis of blogging, has become somewhat “industrial”, and the result has been a large number of blogs doing the same things simply because they’re the norm. The creative impetus is reduced, and that hasn’t done much for the blogs either – inflicting lower standards.

This very bad habit has done nothing for bloggers generally, and has taken a lot of the fun out of blogging. In marketing and advertising, “product identity” is critical, and the very samey content and presentation of blogs is arguably marketing suicide.

Creative blogging is really the only antidote to this situation. Good content is the core business model of successful blogging, and creativity is its main driver. It is also the major asset of blogs – the ability to develop new materials and new approaches. This is an extremely flexible medium and allows a lot of experimentation – synergistic with the creative process.

Blogs really are the most effective method of expression for a range of content that couldn’t possibly be done by mainstream media. The creative options are almost limitless and form a major part of the value of blogs as a media genre.

Creative options in blogging

The creative options are quite literally limitless. Subject, content and presentation can be developed and evolved into a unique product. These are also extremely valuable to blogs as both intellectual and commercial property. Some creative blog materials have become true classics and have formed part of the global culture.

Creative product can also fund the development of blogs and blog operators. This is one element of the creative process that can produce excellent results across a range of operations, and also pay for new media assets.

The creative options include:

  • Media content: Unique content is particularly valuable – even salable.
  • Opinions: The original basis of blogging. Opinions (particularly expert opinions) are major products and sources for media information.
  • Graphics: Graphic content on blogs are the most likely to go viral. This material translates into everything from T shirts to merchandising.
  • Journalistic content: Blogs are making major inroads into mainstream news media, and this content is becoming useful commercial property.

There is plenty of scope for creativity in blogging. This is “best practice” for blogging and is also the commercial basis of blogging. Your creativity is your greatest asset as a blogger. Develop your ideas and your blog will evolve with them.

Product ideas that could have made you a fortune

INVENTION: Light bulb moments that could have (or may) make millions

ADVERTISING is an interesting field in the evolution of human society. Adverts have the power to play on our wants and desires subtly and subconsciously, and can effectively make use buy things we really don’t need.

I love a good and clever advert. I often find myself studying their techniques rather than focusing on what they’re trying to sell. However, as clever and intuitive as advertisers may be, the truth is that no one really knows what will sell.

I’m sure we’ve all had great invention ideas that might have made us filthy rich at some stage in our lives. Mine is being able to phone your keys when you lose them. As far as I know, this could be achieved by simply installing a SIM card and speaker into your key bundle. It’s only function would be to ring whenever the assigned number is called. Wouldn’t that be bliss?

If you are the inventive type please feel free to steal my idea and make your millions. I won’t press charges. I’m fairly certain that something like this doesn’t exist on the market yet else we’d all be phoning our keys from time to time.

Otherwise here are some other product ideas that could have made you (or someone) a fortune. Most of them are quite practical and I’m sure many have actually made it to the shelves. I just wish we could find them locally. Enjoy!

Invention ideas that could have made you millions

Tape measure belt

Tape measure belt

Pillow with arm hole

Pillow with arm hole

Pizza Scissors

Pizza Scissors

Couple's umbrella

Couple's umbrella

Stair shoe drawer

Stair shoe drawer

Toilet Chair

Toilet Chair

Bottle Opener Remote

Bottle Opener Remote

Self-locking bendy bike

Self-locking bendy bike

Microphone shower sponge

Microphone shower sponge

Flower Power

Flower Power

Bachelor's drinks pourer

Bachelor's drinks pourer

Double bed measure

Double bed measure

Sauce dispensing chopsticks

Sauce dispensing chopsticks

Anti-fail waiter tray

Anti-fail waiter tray

Finger Guard 3000

Finger Guard 3000

Camera holder

Camera holder

Spring bed

Spring bed

Car swivel chair

Car swivel chair

Anti-spill keyboard tray

Anti-spill keyboard tray

g.O.d

ALTHOUGH the gaming market tends to ignore female gamers when it comes to ‘boys’ games, there are female gamers, such as those belonging to “girlz Of destruction” (g.O.d.), who are beating the boys hands-down.

This gaming group is a 7-member, international all-girls PC gaming clan hailing from seven different countries (Canada, China, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the USA), who are widely regarded as the highest level professional female QUAKE 4 players.

g.O.d. are taking the gaming world by storm, showing that there are girls who like to slaughter mutant humanoids & cap the odd nazi just as much as any guy.

Girlz of destruction:

Gaming usually brings to mind anemic looking teenage boys hiding out in their parent’s basements for extended periods of time, while ogling busty heroines traversing the barren landscapes of World of Warcraft.

While this stereotype may have been accurate at one time, it no longer holds true, as more and more women are joining the gaming fraternity. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 38% of gamers nowadays are female, and what’s more, they spend up to 7.4 hours a week playing games.

Women’s interest in gaming is obviously growing, but we must ask ourselves then, why do marketers insist on compounding the stereotypical idea that if women do enjoy gaming then they must enjoy playing games relating to cooking, family, animals and strategic games?

One common way in which marketers often exclude the female market from popular shooting and racing games, is by representing female characters as being scantily clad, with under-developed hips and over-developed breasts, and by posting those same female forms on billboards, street lights and posters.

This kind of marketing is rather short-sighted as it ostracises a potentially huge market by not appealing to, or talking to women gamers.

Concentrated marketing to the male group, on the other hand, could stem from the fact that although more women are enjoying gaming, on the technical side it is still very much a male-dominated industry.

A survey commissioned by Sony Online Entertainment revealed that more than 60% of female students that enrolled in game design programs at The Art Institutes say they believe male dominance in the industry is a deterrent to women pursuing a career in gaming.

While many companies may be displaying a certain amount of arrogance towards the female market, it’s good to know that certain conglomerates, such as (believe it or not) Microsoft, are doing their best to encourage female gamers.

One initiative taken in this direction is evidenced by the ATI/AMD Cyber X Games: Windows XP Championships in Las Vegas, where Microsoft Windows XP are a title sponsor, and whose sponsorship has led to the creation of new categories for female gamers, such as the Windows XP Female Pro Gaming Quake 3 Competition, and the Windows XP Female Counter-Strike Team Event.

With incredible prize money as a little incentive, Microsoft is at least encouraging women in an area where they have previously been ignored.

rAge is South Africa’s largest interactive gaming and technology expo and is the ideal place to see female cyber athletes in action. To find out more about the South African gaming industry and trends, check out the gaming event of the year taking place in Johannesburg from the 3rd to the 5th of October at the Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate.

For more info visit: www.rageexpo.co.za

Sweden seems to be taking this whole thing rather seriously:
Girlz of Destruction get 24/7 training house in Sweden

Related posts: • All the rAge right now • Gaming…an Olympic sport?