Design Within Crowdfunding Reach Requires Marketing

Tip of the Week

Last fall I moderated a really exciting panel at the Digital Professional Institute that featured five successful Chicago-based project creators. It was a lively and delightful hour that went by way too quickly. (I learn so much from each crowdfunder, whether they fail or succeed, and these panelists all fell into the latter category.) Every campaign was unique, and I could write a post featuring and lauding each one. And perhaps soon I will, maybe in the form of a sit-down video. But that’s for another time and day.

For now I want to focus on a guy by the name of Craighton Bermanphoto

He’s a product designer and a Kickstarter star player with so many rousingly successful campaigns under his belt, one of which has little functional application but more than make up for it through its sheer love fest of form. (I will provide links below.)

I’ve been trying, in vain, to nab Berman for a sit-down with me, knowing full well this guy’s plate is fuller than a Las Vegas gambler taking a break from the slot machines to graze at the buffet table.

But he’s busier than ever and now I know what he’s up to. He’s just committed to teaching a yearlong professional development course at University of Illinois at Chicago.

This is so needed. The problem that many of us who consult come across with project creators is that these people, while brilliant at what they do, lack basic marketing skills. Which is a campaign killer.

Berman’s class Tumblr has the perfect title: Always Be Hustling. It features some really innovative student works. This is actually Berman’s second stint at UIC, with last year’s theme being on the “Making” of the product. This year’s focus: “Scaling.” (Unlike some artists who are less verbal than visual, Berman is equally skilled at both.) How many times does the marketing question come up by project creators? A lot. So this class should really rock. I can tell you from listening to Berman speak, that not only is his enthusiasm infectious but how can you argue with all his crowdfunding success? He clearly knows what works and you aspiring designers WILL want to crawl into the workings of his brain!

For those of you who live outside Chicago, first be happy you’re not dealing with 18” of snow! But also take comfort in the fact that Berman’s really on to something here. So might an online class will be next? We can only hope!

His campaigns:

Pinch (A gourmet salt cellar and pepper shaker set that brings the experience of adding ‘a pinch of salt’ to the dining table.)

The Campaign for Accurate measurement of Creativity (A Sharpener Jar To Quantify Your Creative Output)

The Manual Coffeemaker (A Pour-Over Coffee Maker Designed to Elevate the Ritual of Making Coffee by Hand) *This is the most recent and it raised $100K in 30 days.


His websites:

Craighton Berman Studio


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