Regardless of the industry, startups will often get rejected by investors.
Because before investing money into a company, investors want to see a market interest in the product/idea. That was the case for Haikara, a fast-growing Finnish startup that specializes in creating 3D-based solutions for architecture and fashion.
With zero marketing budget and a product still in development, Haikara knew that reaching potential customers would require more than just an online presence. This is the story of their success obtained through crowdfunding and growth hacking.
The Hypothetical Product
Haikara had a new, innovative product. During a time where wearable tech gave importance to apps and high-tech features, it focussed on simplicity. You could make your watch match your outfit and personality due to interchangeable watch faces and straps. They reached out to The F Company, a B2B growth marketing agency, who saw it as the perfect opportunity to do something new and different with limited resources.
They had to identify a target audience, generate pre-orders equal to the target amount, build an advertising strategy, and eventually satisfy the investors- all in one month with no product, a small budget, no interested target audience in the market, no website, no data- just an idea.
To raise funds, the company opted for Indiegogo because of its global audience. Far-reaching traffic is essential as it increases the number of potential customers. It all comes down to generating interest and trust during the first 12 hours of the campaign when crowdfunding sites display featured projects on their front pages to attract as much attention as possible.
Step 1: Data Analysis
Making assumptions for the target audience as there was no prior data, Facebook and Instagram pages were set up with relevant names. The goal for these pages was simple-test the waters and see how customers receive the product. They had to look for customers who would be interested in the new groundbreaking product. It was crucial to trust the data.
Step 2: Marketing Experiments
You need to eliminate assumptions from your growth hacking efforts. For example, The F Company realized that the appropriate target audience was men in their 30s- not fashion-loving people in their 20s. You need to use tools if you want to run a successful growth hacking experiment. Using websites that provide lead generation and connecting with tools to collect marketing data is a valuable part of the growth hacking process.
Step 3: Scaling
There are many ways to do this. You can use a team to build relationships with key customers- make them the decision-makers and develop their enthusiasm for your brand (for example, with an early bird offer). Plus, various tools help you connect- by personalizing e-mails according to languages, interests, times, etc. Aim for a high email open rate.
Additionally, they accepted suggestions and made potential customers part of the design process. But, of course, you have to buy what you helped create, right?
Haikara launched the campaign on Indiegogo on May 9th and made €100,000 in the first 24 hours. With almost 1000 people paying for a product that didn’t exist yet, Haikara could now fund product development and attract investors!