Pebble is a leading American smartwatch company that connects to Android and iOS phones, displaying notifications, creating reminders and even controlling music as part of its many features. Their line of watches is also compatible with apps tailored for them, with many sports companies creating apps designed to correlate with the Pebble watch.
In 2012, the company launched a fundraiser on the world’s largest funding platform, Kickstarter, in a bid to get the Pebble Steel smartwatch shipped to the world. Its project goal was to raise $100,000 but the company actually launched one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever known, raising a staggering $10 million!
Then in 2015, Pebble launched another fundraiser for its Time watch, raising $1 million in just 30 minutes! It then exceeded all expectations by passing the $16 million funding mark, with more than 64,000 backers for its e-paper colour smartwatch.
Although Pebble faces immense competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung, Motorola and more, they are still managing to achieve immense success. Many people claim that the Pebble Steel is the best smartwatch on the market while the company is also renowned for making some incredibly smart marketing decisions.
So what lessons can this major start-up company teach us about successful marketing? Read on to find out…
Find the ultimate sales platform
Pebble reached out to Kickstarter as a way to raise funds for two of its campaigns, but this was also an incredibly powerful sales tactic that beat Pebble’s direct competitor – Apple, to the punch, despite the fact that the Apple Watch was expected to ship sooner. By finding the perfect platform, the company was able to significantly raise awareness of its brand way before launching, thus creating a much-anticipated and largely-hyped product.
Make conscious marketing decisions
Launching their initial product with the help of Kickstarter was a very strategic move but the brand wasn’t afraid to play the Kickstarter card twice – and this move certainly paid off. By launching their brand and marketing their product with Kickstarter they were essentially borrowing a community that was not their own. So by launching their next product via Kickstarter, they were able to play a community they knew and understood, gain social proof and prove their relevance in a heavily fought for market.
Cut out the middle man
Finally, Pebble does not need to rely on traditional retailers to promote and sell their products as all of this has been possible with Kickstarter. The Kickstarter platform has enabled Pebble to launch their new products and drive millions of dollars of revenue within hours, thus shaking up traditional retail and brand marketing and presenting new branding and marketing models.
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