Kickstarter campaigns are amazing for compressing everything you need to do to launch your product into one short, crazy, wild ride full of lessons to learn. And boy did we learn a lot.
And we’re excited about what comes next.
Thank you for believing in us and helping make this Kickstarter campaign a worthy adventure!
Not meeting the goal was disappointing, and we’re not only moving on, we’re accelerating.
Here’s some of what we learned and what we’re going to do about them:
1. We are all about PLAY! So, we kind of knew that. But now we are making a game out of everything we do as a team. Life is too short to be so serious. And business takes a lot of time in our lives. Essentially we are about bringing play to business and remembering its ALL a game. You can count on us for that.
2. Team transition and execution – plan on the need for transition
a. Making the transition as a team from creating a product to selling and marketing one is not instantaneous – even when team members are marketing experts. Seems so obvious, right? And yet when you’re in the middle of it all, it isn’t.
b. We’re going to be more deliberate about transitions and roles – lots more definition and individual accountability.
3. Marketing approach – do whatever it takes to let people PLAY the game
a. Games are like consumer products – they’re an experience too – but bottom line, it’s consumer marketing. And that means people aren’t just going to connect with what you say, how your write, what your product looks like, or your online presence. All that can be great, and people still need to touch, play, try out, and experience the product either first hand or second hand through a trusted friend or expert. That’s why reviews are great – but they’re not everything either. And we really wanted people to have a first hand experience so we could continue to make the game great before getting some professional reviews done.
b. We’re going to launch a campaign to help people experience playing the game.
4. Our audience – you don’t know until you get out of the building
a. We thought we knew who would love the game – and we thought the audience appeal was broad. Well, it may be. However, one of the cardinal rules of marketing is to focus and build a base audience that loves you, then take advantage of that success to build a bigger base or another base. More often than not, your first base is geographically close to where you are – or you need to make that so by moving there. That’s just the way it is.
b. We’re going to focus on our neighborhoods – people we know or are just a degree or 2 away from. Get to know what they like about the game, what works, when it’s best to play, what difference it makes. Then we’ll expand from there. We’re always open to players anywhere – it’s just about a primary focus.
All said, we’re pretty excited about what we’re up to now.
We’ve got two types of prototypes we’re building:
1. Flexible laminated game surface with all the cards, die, money, and playing pieces tucked away in a mailing tube ready to be sent to players who will help us get the word out. We’re creating a ‘Traveling Game’ campaign. We’ll announce it as soon as we’re ready – how to sign up, what the stakes are, and how to play.
2. Traditional boxed folding board game with everything in a 10 ½” by 10 ½” box ready for playing at local game cafes, stores, meetups and wherever makes sense.
Ramping up these campaigns will take time – we’re building prototypes one by one, all handcrafted.
Look for more info about these soon!
We’re also using the game to host networking sessions. You know those large meetups you may attend where everyone stands around with a piece of pizza and beer (maybe) until it’s time to start the meeting? People end up mostly talking to the other people they know or came with. Kind of a waste. We have a ½ hour version (and developing a possible 15 minute version) where players sit down, play together, jump through the entire game, with a little of each stage, and get to know each other in an easy, fun way with a shared experience. Much better!
We’re also looking for research opportunities to test our hypothesis that playing a game gives someone an experience of something new and then they’re more likely to try it in real life – that means no long have something be mysterious and stopping you from moving forward.
Finally, we’re looking for opportunities to speak about all this. Let us know if you think you have one for us.
Thanks again for being on our support team – you made all the difference for us!
–The MonstR Team: Kathryn, Catherine, and John-Michael