One month before 1487 Brewery’s Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign was to begin, excitement spread amongst the team while researching other campaigns that super exceeded their original goals.Two months later, founder Ben King would realize that would not be the result for him.The team held conference calls on the beanies, beer classes and items that could be named for sale and the story and video that would capture the essence of the Bavarian-beer making company.
On November 17th, the Kickstarter campaign launched with a $20,000 goal which team members shared to friends, colleagues and family through email and social media.King saw the slow start which prompted his co-founder Thomas Garbe, beer master and marketing team to regroup. They discovered the mass email delivery service they used sent all their messages about the campaign to spam.
They then decided to step it up for a hyper local campaign, placing fliers about the Kickstarter campaign on Alexandria residents mailboxes and placing signs around the town and in the very supportive community businesses promoting the campaign. The 1487 team went to every special event they could to get the word and their beer out. By the time the campaign closed on December 15th, 1487 Brewery had only reached 22% of its goal by raising $4,425.
King was surprised by a portion of his 23 backers who donated amounts of $50 and $100 without buying any items in return. The items that did sell included the naming of pilot system fermenters for $600, naming the brew house for $2,000, beer classes and ball caps. In retrospect, he said that would have changed the team’s strategy by decreasing their original goal amount. Since 1487 Brewery did not make its goal, those sales have been voided but the team is considering reselling these same opportunities on its website.
In all, King said this was not a failed attempt at crowd-funding since the effort helped create buzz for his business and got the attention of several potential investors both in central Ohio and other parts of the country.Also, they have learned how much time is really needed to invest in a crowdfunding campaign. You really need months to plan the actual campaign and before that researching what has been successful in the funding of similar products. But what it really comes down to is the backing by friends, family and the community.