Since we launched our crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter earlier this week, a number of you have contacted us to ask, “Why Kickstarter?” Indeed, some of you have gone as far as to ask us what’s this crowdfunding lark all about anyway?
We took the decision some time ago that we would only sell the Bionic Runner direct to the consumer. We believe our vision of an injury-free running community is achievable, but it means we have to deliver a precision piece of training equipment at an affordable cost. The only way for us to do that, after working hard to ensure manufacturing costs are as low as possible, is to sell directly, cutting out the middle man.
This itself presents a mammoth marketing challenge, and one that we felt Kickstarter could help us with.
Like other crowdfunding platforms (and these days there are many – Pozible, Indiegogo and Crowdfunder to name just a few), Kickstarter presents a powerful platform for small and start-up companies to engage investors so they can make their product dreams a reality.
Unlike many companies who use crowdfunding, however, we have already developed and tested our prototypes, and finalised our manufacturing avenues. Our product is ready – not to mention raring – to go. Our decision to retail the Bionic Runner initially through Kickstarter was therefore mainly driven by the sheer number of people it would expose our message, and our product, to.
Having spent four years developing a product we’re proud of, and which we believe will genuinely help runners around the world train harder and prevent injury, it’s crucial for us to get the message out. Engaging in a campaign on Kickstarter gives us a powerful means of achieving this, and we hope, as the campaign becomes more and more successful, the proverbial snowball effect will take place, and more and more people will learn about the Bionic Runner and all it offers.
If you’re new to Kickstarter and the crowdfunding process, then you can be assured it’s now a tried and tested process, having been around for a good few years. So don’t be scared. It’s highly regulated and we’ve had to jump through hoops to set up our campaign.
"Having spent four years developing a product which we believe will genuinely help runners train harder and prevent injury, it’s crucial for us to get the message out. Engaging in a campaign on Kickstarter gives us a powerful means of achieving this"
The first thing you need to know is, if you invest in a campaign, but the project does not reach its financial goal (i.e not enough people invest) you don’t pay any money. This also means you don’t receive your goods. We’ve set our financial target at $40,000 and, with 27 days to go, we have achieved 27% of our goal. We’re confident that, with your help, we’ll meet this goal.
We’ve also taken advantage of the rewards structure that Kickstarter allows, and have allocated just 100 Bionic Runners at a massively discounted price. This is to reward those of you who support us in the early days, and who will be able to count yourselves amongst the very first runners in the world to experience a genuine training advantage.
Should a campaign meet its financial goal, you will then be asked to pay for your investment, and you can typically expect your product to reach you any time within the next year. Our delivery is estimated for March 2015 – just a few short months after the conclusion of our campaign at the end of the year. Our shorter delivery times are reflective of the fact we have already invested time and money in finalising our product as well as our manufacturing and delivery chains.
The whole team at Run4 would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who’s followed us this far, and who’s taken a look at our campaign on Kickstarter. Please, feel free to share our vision – and our campaign – with everyone in your running community, and we’ll keep you updated as to our progress.
Lizzy Fowler, Freelance Journalist