SA Crowdfunding Blog

Thursday, 03 January 2013 20:47

Using a Completed Product as Crowdfunding Reward

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The use of rewards to attract business funding or contributions to your crowdfunding campaign has long been a key part of the deal, were you ask for a contribution with the agreement that something else will be given in return. In recent months however we have seen an increase in the use of the actual product and variations of that to entice the contributor to make the kind of contribution that will support the entrepreneur to bring product to market.

In other words entrepreneurs are using crowdfunding as a launch pad to introduce the product to the market. This is a great idea of course as the entrepreneur is getting a readymade shop window where the product is introduced. Not only is the product introduced but a type of market research is taking place where the entrepreneur quickly finds out if the product is going to be successful based on the popularity of the product on the crowdfunding platform.

In a recently published book The Crowdfunding Bible by Scott Steinberg, CEO of consulting firm TechSavvy illustrates this well where he discusses some of the options available when creating your crowdfunding incentives.

Scott sugests the follwoing options as crowdfunding rewards:

  • The product itself. A copy of the item in question—and, potentially, one sold for a limited time at a steep discount. Be sure to calculate any associated costs and figure them into your pricing structure and funding goals.

  • Advanced or early access to the product or service. This may include advance entry for backers to prototype testing programs.

  • Enhanced versions of the product. For instance, autographed, deluxe, director’s cut and collector’s editions.

  • Merchandise and souvenirs. Besides “making of” books and autographed materials, you might offer posters, stickers, t-shirts, caps and other items that commemorate the project.

  • Behind-the-scenes photos, videos, and booklets. Items that show the people, concept work and other elements featured within the project—especially if there is a large visual component to it.

  • Opportunities to affect the project’s eventual outcome. Some film, book, music, TV, theater and video game projects allow backers to suggest how stories develop, the contents included in the finished package, and featured subjects or locations.

  • Making your backers part of the product. Several creative projects allow backers to be a character within the narrative, soundtrack or action itself.

  • Giving contributors credit. It’s always a good idea to thank your backers, but sometimes there are ways to do so publicly: within the product itself (e.g. liner notes, book, or game credits) or at surrounding events. Be generous with donors.

  • Combined rewards. These rewards combine several other rewards into one or bundle several pricing tiers worth of incentives together. Many successful campaigns use an “all of the above” strategy, offering simple rewards at lower tiers and then add extras on top of them.

  • Exclusive access. Chances to meet people who are part of the creative team behind various projects or related notables (e.g. actors, directors, musicians, artists, online celebrities, etc.).

  • Private parties, events, and occasions. Some projects offer special events as a reward to donors—usually at the highest pricing tiers. These may include invitations to exclusive launch parties, private events held in backers’ honor or private concerts.

    The electronic version of The Crowdfunding Bible is available now for free download at
  • Read 3406 times Last modified on Monday, 14 January 2013 11:00

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