Explosive success!

How a card game contradicted all pessimistic statistics and raised 8,7 million of dollars on Kickstarter

It is probably not very motivating to create a crowdfunding campaign knowing the odds are against you. Numbers from last April, analysed by Statista, shows the success chances of a project funded on Kickstarter is as low as 37% and, by consequence, the probability of failing as high as 63%.

Those numbers, however, don’t mean as much to the cartoonist Matthew Inman, the creative director Shane Small and the ex-chief design officer at Xbox, Elan Lee. They are the creators of a game called “Exploding Kittens”, a major success phenomenon in crowdfunding.

The card game involves strategy and funny characters, giving special powers to each player. The aim is to use whatever resource is available to avoid getting the “exploding kitten card”, which is hidden somewhere in the deck of cards. If a player draws from the pile a card with an explosive cat on it, “they die” and have to leave the game.

In 2015 the game idea was proposed on Kickstarter, aiming to collect 10’000 dollars. After 20 minutes the value was already achieved. But the support, and money given for the project, continued to grow. In two hours, they received 1’000% the initial goal, after seven hours 10’000% and in only two days the value collected was already 20’000% the initial request. The campaign finally finished after one month, when Exploding Kittens had received 8,782 millions of dollars, coming from almost 220 thousand investors –also called « backers ».

In a interview given to CNBC, Elan Lee, explained the idea came from seen his nephews “just staring at the TV, not talking and not laughing”. The aim of the card game was to provide an “old-fashioned experience” gathering people and allowing them to have fun together, rather than alone staring at “pixels on the screen.”

“Every card in the game is designed to make someone you’re playing with entertaining, they’re just mechanisms to unlock the entertainment value in the people you’re sitting down with”, said Lee.

In spite of been loved by its investors, the game was also criticized by cat lovers. In the same interview, the co-creator Matthew Inman says the game is actually “pro-cat”, since the kittens are “accidentally blowing themselves up”, and, therefore, the object of the game isn’t to get them to blow up but to save them. In any case, the company started contributing to animal causes and to sell cat collars that alert people if a cat has escaped.

How not to fail

Despite Exploding Kittens huge success, the elevated rate of failing projects in crowdfunding are still scary for the project developers that haven’t launched their idea yet. Mark Pecota, the CEO of Lauchboom and author of the book “Hacking Kickstarter 2.0” lists the top 3 reasons why a crowdfunding campaigns may be unsuccessful:

  1. Not building a community before you launch: according to the author, the marketing process of a campaign should start before its launch, since Kickstarter’s traffic is not enough to push the projects.
  2. Missing the messaging: when the product developer can’t explain his message or communicate the value of the product/idea.
  3. Not getting through the “valley of death”: meaning the launch of the idea works, but the rhythm of investments starts to slow down quite rapidly and may result with the interruption of investments. What makes it very important to have a good strategy around digital advertising and PR to keep the interest.

While there is a list of ‘basic rules’ to avoid main mistakes when asking for crowdfunding, there seems to exist as well a ‘basic recipe for success’ that is just as much possible to replicate. Following the same steps as their first time, the creators of Exploding Kittens came up with following crowdfunding hits: “Throw Throw Burrito”, that had $2,5 million given by backers and “Bears vs Babies”, with $3,2 million coming from crowdfunding campaigns. 

Sources:
https://www.businessinsider.com/exploding-kittens-kickstarter-card-game?r=US&IR=T
https://www.statista.com/statistics/235405/kickstarter-project-funding-success-rate/
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/28/how-exploding-kittens-blew-up-into-a-fortune.html
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_Kittens
https://learn.launchboom.com/why-63-5-of-all-kickstarter-campaigns-fail-c4c740886d96

Author: Julia Cunha B. S.

Influencers, personal brand equity et KPIs.

Depuis l’arrivée du web 2.0, la question de comment mesurer « l’influence » d’un influencer est devenu de plus en plus pertinente. Dans peu de temps les montants versés aux vedettes sur Instagram et compagnie ont explosé et les dépenses globales sont estimé à environ trois milliards d’Euros (seulement sur Instagram) en 2017. Mais avec l’apparition des faux profils, des clicks payés et des bots, l’utilisation d’autres indicateurs que les KPI (key performance indicators) pour évaluer le potentiel d’un influencer, semble devenir de plus en plus incontournable pour assurer la survie de ce modèle d’affaires.

Qu’est-ce un influencer?

Un influencer c’est donc une personne qui arrive à donner aux auditeurs l’impression d’être com compétent dans un certain domaine. Il est confiant en soi et il arrive à se distinguer de sa concurrence en choisissant une niche ou un champs d’expertise dans lequel ses opinions vont influencer les décisions d’achat de son audience. Une réputation positive, une grande popularité, un grand réseau de contacts et l’influence sur les opinions de ses auditeurs dans so champs d’expertise sont ses caractéristiques clés.

Le succès des influencers en marketing

Puisque l’efficacité du eWOM (e- word of mouth) a été prouvé dans de nombreuses études de marché, la progression rapide des influencers n’était pas vraiment surprenante. Le fait que pendant longtemps, le product placement sur les réseaux sociaux n’était que peu ou pas du tout réglementé, représentait un grand avantage pour les jeunes stars des plateformes numériques vis-à-vis à d’autres marques personnelles, comme des athlètes par exemple. Ces circonstances étaient pendant longtemps accompagnés d’une grande confiance, surtout chez un public cible jeune, dans les recommandations des influencers sur les réseaux sociaux. Une étude en 2017 a montré qu’environ un tiers des personnes au-dessus de 14 ans considéraient les recommandations d’un influencer plus fiables qu’une annonce dans un journal ou une publicité dans la télévision.

Scepticisme et dangers liés à l’utilisation des influencers

buy instagram followers image
Il existent de nombreux sites d’internets sur lesquels on peut acheter des followers sur les différents réseaux sociaux

Avec l’apparition de faux profils, de profils clonés, de clicks achetés et des chatbots russes, les insécurités liées à l’utilisation des influencer sont devenus de plus en plus importants et certains disent même qu’après le boom énorme sur les derniers 5 ans, le marché des influencers est aujourd’hui en déclin depuis l’été passé. Trouver des méthodes qualitatives pour déterminer la valeur de marque d’un influencer et les associations qui sont liés à son activité en ligne, semble donc être la seule manière pour réduire les insécurités liées aux partenariats avec les marques personnelles des influencers sur les réseaux sociaux.

Les KPI et autres indicateurs courants pour évaluer un influencer

La major partie des réseaux sociaux donnent aux utilisateurs la possibilité d’avoir des informations clés sur la performance de leur profil. Les indicateurs les plus pertinents et les plus utilisés sont :

  • engagement des followers (commentaires, mentions j’aime, rediffusion, etc.);
  • portée (nombre d’amis, followers ou subscribers);
  • croissance organique de followers (pour lutter contre les faux profils).

Autres indicateurs courants:

  • portfolio des activités en ligne;
  • démographie de l’audience;
  • qualité du contenu
  • fréquence de communication
  • coût et durée du contrat
  • conversions
  • prix des autres produits/services mentionnés sur le profil
  • bénéfice réciproque pour l’influencer
  • utilisation de messages persuasifs
  • similarités avec la marque
  • authenticité

On remarque rapidement que la plupart de ces indicateurs sont des indicateurs quantitatifs plutôt que qualitatifs. Ces indicateurs sont donc très limités dans leur capacité d’évaluer des valeurs associées à u profil en ligne, comme par exemple la crédibilité ou l’honnêteté.

L’influencer en tant que marque personnelle

Puisque on peut considérer que les influencers sont des marques personnelles – c’est d’ailleurs le cas pour toute sorte de personne présent sur les réseaux sociaux –, on peut déterminer la valeur de marque de ces marques personnelles avec les mêmes modèles que l’on utilise pour déterminer la valeur de marque d’une marque traditionnelle. Il y a de nombreux modèles en marketing pour mesurer une valeur de marque y compris les convictions et emotions qui y sont associés. Les modèles le plus répandus sont probablement celles de Aaker, en particulier les « brand equity ten » qui englobent une liste exhaustive de dimensions qui sont fréquemment utilisés pour déterminer les valeurs associées à une marque. L’utilisation de cette approche pour mesurer la valeur de marque d’un influencer afin de déterminer son potentiel de persuasion d’une manière plus qualitative, permettrait peut-être de réduire les insécurités liées à l’évaluation des investissements dans les partenariats avec des influencers.

Sources:

Aaker, D. A. (1991) Managing brand equity : capitalizing on the value of a brand name / David A. Aaker, Managing brand equity : capitalizing on the value of a brand name. New York [etc.] : The Free Press.

Bendle, Neil T; Farris, Paul W; Pfeifer, Phillip E; Reibstein, D. J. (2016) Marketing metrics : the manager’s guide to measuring marketing performance / Neil T. Bendle… [et al.]. 3rd. ed.., Marketing metrics : the manager’s guide to measuring marketing performance. 3rd. ed.. Edited by A. Neidlinger. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Pearson.

Dholakiya, P. (2017) 10 Ways to Strategically Evaluate the Potential of an Influencer for Your Brand How to Pick the Right Influencers for Your Brand, Small Business Trends. Available at: https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/04/pick-the-right-influencers.html (Accessed: 5 December 2018).

Gontek, F. and Nguyen, T. (2018) Warum der Influencer-Hype bald vorbei sein könnte, Spiegel Online. Available at: http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/influencer-experten-sehen-ende-des-hypes-a-1240430.html (Accessed: 5 December 2018).

Siegert, G. et al. (2015) ‘Handbook of media branding’, Handbook of Media Branding, pp. 1–401. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-18236-0.

Stone, S. (2018) 5 Metrics for Evaluating Influencers and Predicting ROI That Most Brands Aren’t Using, Social Media Today. Available at: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/5-metrics-for-evaluating-influencers-and-predicting-roi-that-most-brands-ar/526387/ (Accessed: 5 December 2018).

(Source de l’image: http://fanowers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/buy-instagram-followers.jpg)

Auteur: Matteo Di Biase.

The billionaire market of smart homes

By bringing solutions to innovate in the control and command of home devices, tech companies are surfing in a new, profitable and fast growing market.

A battle between tech giants to get inside your house

Making homes smarter is a growing trend. Being able to turn on the TV with a hand gesture, the lights off by a voice command or getting images and messages from your doorbell are just some of the several possibilities of home solutions already available in the market.

Amazon invested $1 bi to buy ‘Ring’ a smart doorbell

« We’re still in the early days. It’s going to be even more convenient, even more simple, even more magical than what you see today », said Dave Limp, head of Amazon’s devices and services.

Last April, Amazon invested 1 billion dollars to buy ‘Ring’, a company that produces special doorbells. The equipment offers security cameras connected to the owners smartphones and sends alerts anytime there is a movement close to the house. Using a special app, it is possible to speak through the doorbell and even start an alarm to scare possible robbers.

Massive investments in the smart home area are justified by a visible user interest in those solutions. Only in 2017, this market reached 35,7 billions of dollars and it is expected to grow up to 150 billions by 2023.

And because it is such a lucrative market, the competition between developers has also intensified. According to a report published by the Boston Consulting Group, the most aggressive investors in smart-home technologies nowadays are Amazon, Samsung, and Google. On top of the users wishes are: security and safety systems, followed by audiovisual, smart energy and lighting.

When it comes to smart speakers, for example, Amazon is the leader, with 70% of this market share. Google comes second with 24% and Apple in third place, with 6%. Specialists evaluate that those companies have one thing in common: the fact they recognized smart speakers and digital assistants as a control point for the smart-home ecosystem. Those equipment tend to connect all the other gadgets in a house, working as a central command for other functionalities. It means that once a user decides for a system, he will invest in different gadgets accessed by this technology.

But of course, new technologies are susceptible to errors and hackers may always come up with a joke to show the flaws in the system. Last march, the home assistant from Amazon, called Alexa, scared many customers by starting to laugh without any command.

Technological problems and risks

It seems very clear that the development of the smart home industry is focused on making life as easy and practical as possible. Also, that there is an intense competition between big tech companies and high investments in this field. It should be everyday more common having robots to vacuum the house in a specific date and time, smart assistants to ring an alarm in the morning and read the daily activities from the online personal calendar. It is possible though, that users still have to face similar problems and concerns about their privacy and data collection as experienced during the use of those big technological platforms. Non mentioning the risks of further hackers invasions in the system, that may have worse effects than the scary laugh given by Alexa.

Sources:
https://www.compelo.com/smart-device-trends-2019/
https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018/mapping-smart-home-market.aspx
https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-key-and-ring-may-become-your-new-smart-home-bffs/
https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/3/7/17092334/amazon-alexa-devices-strange-laughter
https://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-a-smart-home-806483/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIEIGDsbKqY

Author: Julia Cunha B. S.