A new crowdfunding adventure lures!

by Morten Bengtsen June 23, 2015

Chestnut smartwatch dock

As the most die-hard enveo fans probably figured out by now, we are planning to of launch our beloved Chestnut smartwatch dock on Kickstarter here in the near future. We are talking about the next two months (!)

We would like to use this opportunity and this little blog to share some of the considerations we made in this process based upon our previous crowdfunding attempt with the Acorn docking station. 

If you don’t know the Chestnut smartwatch dock, here is a little recap concerning the rationale behind the product.

We have designed Chestnut with the desire to give our smartwatches a safe and reliable home to charge while we recharge ourselves. The Chestnut is the first docking station in the world that is compatible with both the Apple Watch and the Pebble Time smartwatch, a feature we are quite proud of.

Like with our Acorn dock, our belief is that great design is something contemporary that you could have standing in your living room, something which grasps true multi-functionality prolonging a products life span and something which is sustainable both in design and in materials. We hope you see our core values shining through the Chestnut dock, because we sure do.

But back to the crowdfunding aspect. We learned extremely much from the Acorn crowdfunding campaign from the basics of creating a campaign, how to maintain it, how to promote it and in general what to do AND what not to do.

As we have discussed in a previous blog post we learned five things from the failed Acorn Kickstarter campaign.

  1. Get more out of your network
  2. Marketing, marketing, marketing
  3. Share your product
  4. Consider your reward composition
  5. Prepare your Kickstarter page well ahead

We would like to elaborate a bit further concerning “Marketing, marketing, marketing” and discuss what we are doing differently from the past attempt. We have been preparing for this crowdfunding campaign for some time now and we have changed a lot of things since the Acorn campaign. Some of our changes are based on the "Don’t launch for the crickets" mantra.

The mantra concerns the aspect of not launching the campaign without some “guaranteed” backers and marketing in place beforehand. It is this darn traction and momentum that is so important to create to ensure a successful campaign. More specifically, we have worked with especially two elements of our pre-launch marketing plan.

  1. Thunderclap
  2. Twitter

1. Thunderclap

Thunderclap is a crowdspeaking platform that assists people and businesses to be heard by accumulating and timing social postings on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The idea is that by posting on the same time, the message has a greater chance to break through the wall and standout from other "noise" on the social networks.

It is quite easy to setup and develop a page on Thunderclap. You have to create a description, set a date for when the message will shared and how many people should at least sign up before the message would be shared. It kind of reminds a bit of the early Group-On deals with the social aspect in having a certain amount of people to participate or else the deal fails.

If you are interested in seeing how we have created our Thunderclap campaign you can check it out right here. Currently we have gathered about 50 people to share the news to about 57,000 people at the same time.

Thunderclap looks really promising and provides many interesting opportunities both before and during a crowdfunding campaign. For starters, we use Thunderclap to "kick start (pun intended) our launch.

2. Twitter

During the previous Kickstarter campaign we e-mailed many blogs and other media sources without receiving a very encouraging reply amount. It's a little disheartening to write approx. 300 emails and receive 20 responses. We therefore shifted focus and applied Twitter much more to engage with different stakeholders. It turned out to be easier to establish a dialogue with blogs, media and Average Joes through Twitter, even in a relatively informal way.

We have focused much on Twitter in the last months, where I specifically worked on attracting more followers to our enveo account so our reach will be greater. That mission has worked quite well and we have grown by over 100%! We have gone from having 170 followers to 380 followers. We know that the amount of followers isn’t mind-blowing but doubling the amount in about two months is quite okay :) 

A tool that is quite useful in the Twitter-sphere is followerwonk.com to search Twitter biographies. By searching in Twitter users biographies you can locate relevant followers, which may be interested in your product or crowdfunding campaign.

Chestnut is a docking station for smartwatches, specifically for the Apple Watch and the Pebble Time, so we used the following keywords: Apple Watch, Pebble Time, smartwatch, Apple evangelist and Pebbler.

It's worth researching your target groups "lingo" and see whether there are any slang in within the particular field. For example is "Pebbler" an inveterate Pebble user. After we located Twitter users who may be interested in the Chestnut dock, we interacted with them, either by favoring some of their tweets or following them. The magic is that they usually follow back. 

These two focus areas should result in an effective launch ensuring initial momentum and having backers right from the beginning of the campaign and making sure we get a little traction from day one.

Morten Bengtsen
Morten Bengtsen


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