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87,000% Beyond Their Kickstarter Goal- See How They Did It

87,000% Beyond Their Kickstarter Goal- See How They Did It

March 06, 2016
Do you like kittens, explosions, laser beams, and sometimes goat? Then read on.
No? Confused?


Well, do you like making money from campaigns and products that are backed by raving fans? Then read on.


Check this out:


Exploding Kittens holds the record for the highest backed Kickstarter campaign in history. It had over 219,000 backers who raised $8,782,571. Not only that, but 20 minutes after the campaign was released it reached its fundraising goal of $10,000. In 1 hour it was 1000% funded*.


That's a wow.


So what exactly is Exploding Kittens and why does it matter for your business?


Exploding Kittens is a card game. Really, that's all. But it's made for people who "are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goat."


In short, it's a kitty version of Russian Roulette. It contains cards such as catnip sandwiches, thousand-year-back-hair, rub the belly of a pig-a-corn, hairy potato cat,  overweight bikini cat, and magical unicorn enchilada cards which help you avoid an exploding kitten card. Check out the rules of the game HERE.

So what's the secret of how this quirky card game made it big? So big that this card game start-up is now a full-out business.


It's the same reason why Ben & Jerry's can get away with selling overpriced ice cream and why some companies have devout customers while others struggle for every sale.


It has a personality.


Exploding Kittens is unique, spunky, funny, and slightly edgy. It's not just a card game, it's an expression of the millennial culture and sense of humor.


Let me give you some more background.


Exploding Kittens didn't start out this way. It was first created by Elan Lee and Shane Small, two successful game designers who worked for Xbox. The two of them drew simple sketches on poker cards, added a joker (later to become the exploding kitten) and dubbed the game Bomb Squad.


As they put it, "it wasn't any fun at all."


But they didn't give up. They tweaked the rules and were joined by a famous cartoonist, Matthew Inman, the creator of The Oatmeal. Then the game transformed. It was renamed Exploding Kittens and brought to life along with its zany personality and feisty cartoon images*.


Here's where you come into the picture:

In a world where there's so much noise, having a personality is absolutely essential to being heard. It takes your company from being just "another boring retailer" to a engaging brand. You become dramatically different and set apart from your competition. You're saying something other than just, "buy my product," so people listen.


*Having trouble coming up with the perfect personality for your brand? Not quite sure what to do next? We're here to help. CLICK HERE to set up a complimentary 15 minute Brand Personality Session*


Here are 4 Steps to Develop a Killer Personality:


1. Who's it for anyway?

Did you find Exploding Kittens ridiculous, and totally unappealing? Do you know why?


It's because they're NOT trying to sell the game to you!


If you don't like it, I'll bet that you're over 30 (although you may feel younger at heart) which means that Exploding Kittens isn't targeted towards you. It's targeted towards millennials, so they created a personality that resonates and appeals to the younger crowd. Not necessarily to middle aged landscapers, debt buyers and the like.


You have to be willing to turn some people off with your brand's personality. It's the only way you'll turn others on. It's scary to think of losing customers, but it's a misplaced fear. We want to be everything to everybody. But in reality, if we're everything to everybody, we're nothing to nobody. There's death in the middle, so pick a unique side and be willing to do it all the way, even if that means losing some customers.


To build your brand's personality, first focus on your target market. Create a "buyers persona" and flesh out who your ideal customer is and what makes him tick.


No one wants an accountant called Crazy Tiger Accounting. Your brand's personality must be appropriate for your company and audience. But, having a personality can be accomplished in every field. Take The Motley Fool as an example- they created a personality and Big Zig in stock and financial analysis!


You can have a personality that is respectable and trustworthy without being offensive and cutesy.


2. Either be it or dump it

Choose a personality that you can embrace. If it's fake it won't work.


You have to be able to embody and enjoy your brand's personality.  

Matthew Inman was already a cartoonist who wrote quirky, edgy cartoons. It fit. The team could embrace the personality of Exploding Kittens and run with it.


*CLICK HERE to find out why Ben & Jerry's can charge double the price for a pint of ice cream.*


3. Go all the way

Here's where most brands fall short, they're inconsistent. Their personality doesn't permeate everything they do.


They may do a specific campaign that's funny, sharp, or warm and fuzzy, but that doesn't create a personality. Carry your personality into your tone, style, website and physical appearance, and even your company values.


I recently was told by a videographer that I should start wearing blue t-shirts because they show up better in videos. I simply can't; I wear button-down dress shirts. That's who I am. If I would shoot a video in a blue t-shirt it would inconsistent with me and Brand Launcher's personality.


4. Test and adapt

What worked yesterday may not work today.


Exploding Kittens tried their game out and it flopped, so they re-invented it and tried again.


When you're creating your brand's personality, be willing to test it out first and then constantly tweak it to suit your audience's needs. Don't just test it out with your team. Test it with the people whose opinion really matters, your prospects and customers.


When I first created Lumpy Mail, I tested out dozens of names until I found one that really clicked with my audiences.


*Having trouble coming up with the perfect personality for your brand? Not quite sure what to do next? We're here to help. CLICK HERE to set up a complimentary 15 minute Brand Personality Session.*


*Please note: no kittens were harmed in the making of this blog or in the Exploding Kittens card game.

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,

Jon Goldman