Only 3 more days until the COOLEST Cooler goes live on Kickstarter this Tuesday the 8th!
If you want to see the Coolest get made here are the #1 and #2 things
you can do to help this Kickstarter campaign be successful:
#1. Visit the site on the the first day and back the project at any level
that works for you
#2. Share the campaign page on social media
See, I’ve learned that a Kickstarter launch is kind of like rolling a
snowball down a hill… the bigger you can start, the faster and bigger a
campaign will usually finish.
If we can get lots of visitors to the page Kickstarter will show it more
prominently on their site. We’ll get more backers, more media attention
and lock in the campaign success that much easier.
Plus, if I fund early I can move forward with some of the production
tasks ASAP and get your COOLEST to you even quicker.
I hope you had an amazing 4th of July yesterday, but just imagine how
much more fun next years will be when YOU HAVE YOUR COOLEST!
Here’s how I used my COOLEST on the 4th:
1. Blended probably 8-10 batches of Vodkaritas on the 4th (not just for
me!) Blender battery still going strong
2. Topped off my dying phone with the USB charger
3. Found one last can of Limeade using the lid light
4. Had a great time outside with friends and family
5. Carried FIVE beach chairs home with the tie-down bungee
Hope to see you this Tuesday on the launch and thanks again for all your support!!
Woohooo! The Coolest is finally put together and after spending the last week or so putting this baby through the paces and shooting video and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
It blends better. It rolls better. The music is louder and wow does it turn heads!
As soon as I started working with the industrial design team earlier this year I took every opportunity to pack even more cool features into the Coolest. I’ll share more of them with you over the next 14 days before the Kickstarter campaign re-launches, but here’s one I’m pretty excited about.
Built In Storage:
Certain gear is key for any outing and among the most essential are plates and a sharp knife. The Coolest lid is designed to store multiple full size reusable plates that can also be used as a cutting board. And right beside that is handy rustproof ceramic knife to tackle those sliced limes or any of a hundred other picnic uses.
Let me know what you think of the new COOLEST and the brand new storage feature on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheCoolestCooler. Help us build our momentum as we count down to launch!
It’s taken some long days to help all these uniques components come together into the most fun cooler the world has ever seen, but that time is finally upon us.
The Coolest prototype is sooooo close to being finished and ready for the big unveiling! Last week the inner and outer shells arrived from our overseas fabrication center and man did they look amazing!
In fact, here’s a picture from last Saturday of all the parts that make up the Coolest just before assembly started:
While this may not look like it’s ready to take to the beach or out camping, don’t worry. I’m still on track to re-launch the Coolest Kickstarter before the month is out.
The Coolest prototype will be finished by tomorrow and ready for a video shoot BBQ party at the park over the weekend. I can’t wait for that first blended drink! Any suggestions?
Memorial Day weekend is always a time to kick-off summer plans – the sun is (hopefully!) shining, the weather is (hopefully!) warming up, the kids (and teachers!) are starting to get summer fever… Over here at Coolest headquarters, we’re ramping up for summer also – and the launch of our next Kickstarter campaign! We’ve been working so hard to redesign the Coolest and make it – without a doubt – the coolest cooler around. Now we just have to spread the word and let you know when our Kickstarter campaign begins!
The campaign will launch next month, just in time for the dog days of summer when you’re really dreaming about a blended margarita on the beach. We want to make sure everyone possible is signed up for our Coolest news and gets to grab their very own Coolest as soon as we’re on Kickstarter! So…. Here we go! Our first Coolest giveaway! And so easy as well… just put your email address down to get our launch updates and we’ll enter you to win your very own Coolest! Even if you decide later to unsubscribe, you’re still entered to win now. There’s no easier way to get your very own Coolest, period. Click here to go to the home page and sign up: http://coolestkickstarter.com/ And don’t forget to show us what you’re up to this weekend! #liveyourcoolest #memorialday
THE COOLEST GIVEAWAY DEETS:
- Giveaway valid for new newsletter registrants from May 23-30, 2014
- Award dependent upon successful fundraising campaign and production of the Coolest
- Winner will be selected at random and announced on May 31
- Only one entry per person
- Limited to US residents aged 18 & over – sorry overseas friends (but you can still join the newsletter and back us on Kickstarter next month
- Retail value $299
- No purchase necessary
- Void where prohibited by law
This week is National Boat Safety Week – a great chance to remind us all to be safe on the water. But avoiding alcohol on the high seas doesn’t mean your Solo cup needs to stand empty!
The Coolest team has put together some great drink recipes for your day on the water without the hard stuff. And after you’re docked for the night, you can always add a little something else to the mix and really make them pop!
2¼ cups frozen watermelon cubes
½ cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 large lemon, squeezed (lime juice also works, but double the amount)
1 fresh banana
Garnish: a few slices of frozen watermelon (rind on)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in your onboard blender. Add some water for a thinner consistency, or add as little liquid as possible to keep your frosty thick and “frosty!” Garnish with frozen watermelon/rind slices.
Fruit Fantasy recipe
3 oz orange juice
2 oz pineapple juice
1 fresh kiwi
4 fresh strawberries
2 tbsp melons
Directions: Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Add half a glassful of crushed ice and briefly blend it again. Pour into a glass and garnish with fruit of your choice.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Supreme
12 oz. water
4 ice cubes
1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
Directions: Combine all ingredients in the your blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Oh, Wait…. You don’t have a blender on board?! Lucky for you, the Coolest Kickstarter campaign launches soon! Be sure to sign up below and get special pricing as when our Coolest Cooler launches in June.
When the snow melts away, most of us automatically start thinking about kickstarting our healthy eating habits. Having a blender on your kitchen counter makes it easy to serve up delicious, healthy smoothies to the entire family.
But which blender to pick? There are a ton of options in the marketplace, and you can spend anywhere from $20-$600 depending on your needs. But if it’s smoothies you’re after and you’ve got a gaggle of hungry customers in your kitchen, then you might need some help limiting your options.
Take a look at these helpful reviews below to get some first-hand impressions of the best blenders for smoothies on the market today:
- FROM SMOOTHIES TO PESTO: SEVEN BLENDERS REVIEWED by Ry Crist (@rycrist)
- 10 BEST BLENDERS FOR SMOOTHIES TO SUIT ANY BUDGETby Katherine Kyle (@greenthickies)
- FAVORITE TOOLS: BLENDERSby Robyn Openshaw (@GreenSmoothieG)
- THE GREAT BLENDER REVIEWby Jess Ainscough (@jessainscough)
Here at the ‘Coolest’ headquarters, we’ll be taking our blender out on the road. Despite the fancy features of the blenders listed above, they all still need an electrical outlet to function!
Take a look at how we’ve upgraded our built-in Coolest blender to make it even easier to take your smoothie-action on the road.
While we’re working hard to get the Coolest Cooler ready for you, it’s time to get yourself ready for the great outdoors. With spring knocking at our heels what’s more fun than a weekend of fresh air and camping with friends and family?
So with the change in seasons, it’s time to put your camping gear list together, pack your camping stuff and get out there!
Camping is a great way to spend time outside with your family and last year over 40 million Americans went camping. Whether roughing it in your own tent or glamping it up in destination yurt, you’ll have a lot more fun if you don’t forget the can opener or a way to light your campfire.
This year minimize the hassle of getting gear, food and straggling family members out of the house, and keep this comprehensive camping supplies list adapted from The Camp Gal on hand. Better yet, print out this handy-dandy PDF version and split up the work!
…Or, challenge yourself and pick 10 items plus a roll of duct tape and see if you can make it back home by Monday morning!
Before you leave:
- charge air pump
- charge rechargeable batteries
- charge camera battery
- charge led lantern
- freeze blocks of ice
- get cash
- grocery shop
Buy near campsite:
- more ice
- COLD BEER OR OTHER BEVERAGES
Nearby in the car:
- reservation info
- clothes line
- clothes pins
- canopy poles
- canopy stakes
Chilling food & beverages:
- beverage cooler
- food cooler
- WATER JUG
- matches or lighter
- tent tarp
- tent poles
- tent stakes
- sleeping bags
- pillow cases
- sleeping pads/cots/air mattress
- air pump
- ENTRY RUG
- propane adapter
- cooking grate
- Dutch oven
- Dutch oven lid lifter
- pot with lid
- cast iron pan
- potholders/oven mitts
- cooking spray
- salt & pepper
- garbage bags
- aluminum foil
- paper towels
- cutting board
- chopping knife
- can opener
- measuring cup
- measuring spoons
- serving spoon/ladle
- dish pan
- dish soap
- dish sponge
- dish towel
- STORAGE CONTAINERS
- coffee/instant coffee
- hot chocolate powder
- bottle opener
- rain jacket
- hiking boots
- backpack/waist pack
- first aid kit
- water bottles
- bug spray
- cell phone
- cell phone charger
- camera charger
- pocket knife
- hair brush
- face wash
- body wash
- shampoo/conditioner (+solar shower)
- shaving cream
- chap stick
- toilet paper
- nail clippers
- contact case
- contact solution
Ok, ok… The Coolest Kickstarter campaign has wrapped up and (spoiler alert) we didn’t reach our funding goal. I’m proud we hit the elusive six-figure mark coming in at $102,188 during our 30 day campaign, but we just couldn’t quite get to the more elusive $125k goal I set.
My next post will talk more about the reasons I believe we missed the mark, but right now I want to tell you more about what we did during the campaign to bring in the eyeballs and try to drive more sales. The fixed window of crowdfunding campaigns is both a blessing and a curse, but it does force you to examine your assumptions and strategy almost daily if you aren’t getting the results you need.
Our plan for driving traffic was to initially cast a wide net to see what was effective, then focus our efforts on what was working. Here’s what we tried:
- Email friends and family
- Launch party
- Facebook (personal, professional)
- Twitter (professional)
- Facebook ads
- Twitter celebrity paid posts
- Email blast
- Blogger outreach
- Media outreach
- Press Release (multiple written by team)
- Paid professional media Press Release
- Event marketing (taking the Coolest prototype to football tailgates)
- Instructables.com project
- Kickstarter project updates
I tried sooo many different ways to bring in traffic in the hopes that you wouldn’t have to. I thought I might be able to figure out a formula that would be effective across many different campaigns, but that just didn’t happen. At the bottom of this article you can see how many sales came from each avenue, as shown by the Kickstarter dashboard.
A big challenge is that it’s very hard to track what’s working because of the limited analytics that Kickstarter shares with you. You can find out how many sales came from a particular site or destination, but you just don’t know how many visitors stopped by. Sharing that data would be at the top of my wish list for a Kickstarter platform upgrade. Without that data you’re forced to rely on 3rd party solutions like Bit.ly link shortening to find out if anyone clicked on your link from that particular outreach.
Some of the techniques we used to get lots of eyeballs (FB ads) brought in plenty of curious people, but they just weren’t interested in supporting the project. Another concept that on paper showed potential ended up not getting a single supporter (Twitter paid post). I’m glad we tried them, but you won’t be seeing them in the Coolest re-launch this spring.
In the end our most effective way to get traffic that actually ended up supporting the project to our Kickstarter page came from two sources. The first was directly reaching out to people I knew and asking them to reach out to their network for me. If you know people who love your idea, chances are they have some like-minded friends. You’ll be surprised which of your friends and family help out and which ones don’t. Hedge your bets and start connecting to new friends, communities, and blogs at least a couple of months before you launch. You can bet that over the next four months or so I’ll be very activelyreaching out and connecting with all sorts of people who are fans of tailgating, camping, smoothies and any other demographic that ties in with my product.
The other (somewhat) effective strategy was getting press releases out to our target blogs and sites. I say somewhat because we just didn’t get enough sites to cover us during the launch to really build the buzz we needed. An earlier reach-out plan would have helped, but it turns out that even the Coolest cooler is still not that newsworthy in the middle of winter. Our self launched, self written press releases had next to no impact on driving traffic. Publishing a press releases is one step in getting media exposure, but if you can find a marketing team with contacts in your industry they can follow up with, I would highly suggest adding them to your team.
The other item worth mentioning is taking your product out and showing it off. We brought the Coolest to football tailgates and if I could have sold them on the spot we would have crushed our goal. Unfortunately it’s just not feasible to have people create account on Kickstarter on the spot, especially after explaining what the heck crowdfunding is anyway. If you make up cards or flyers that’s fine, but FIRST get their email! We had many more sales through email follow-up than people who actually typed in the URL from the cards the next day with a tailgating hangover.
My takeaway on crowdfunding traffic is that it’s fine to secretly hope your project will be a featured pick, or your video will go viral. Just remember that you move from “lottery-ticket odds” to double-digit chances for success if you first have a solid foundation of people who are likely to back your campaign, connect you with other supporters, and help spread the word in place.
If you want to to get updates on the progress of the Coolest re-launch, you can sign up at CoolestKickstarter.com. We just had an awesome meeting with our designers and should have a some sketches of the production design in the next couple of weeks.
Here’s the sales/traffic breakdown from the Kickstarter dashboard. Let me know if you have other ideas for attracting supporters before a launch in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
|Direct traffic (no referrer information)||External||187||81.89
|Product Design (Discover)||Kickstarter||17||2.84
|48-hour reminder email||Kickstarter||1||0.18
|Recently Launched (Discover)||Kickstarter||1||0.18
|Kickstarter user profiles||Kickstarter||1||0.18
I’m so excited! The COOLEST is live and up on Kickstarter here:
We’ve had an amazingly successful first day so far and we’re just getting started.
Heres are a few of my take-aways on launch day:
1. You won’t know what traffic will be effective so start diverse. We’ve put time and effort into getting exposure from lots of avenues, but our traffics patterns and conversions were a surprise. Now we can take this data and refine our strategy along the way.
2. Manage your messaging. Your family and friend are most likely to back you right off the bat. Allow them time to support you before you blast out to a larger, lesser known group. Casual visitors are more likely to fund a campaign that already has some contributions in place.
3. Do MORE beforehand. We had an aggressive launch window we were shooting for, and I feel good that we hit it. That said I would feel better if I had slept more hours in the last few days than I have fingers.
4. You can’t know what kind of interest people will have for any reward level until you get started. For example, our highest tier reward level disappeared in less than 3 hours!
5. Show your appreciation. It’s likely that when you launch a crowdfunding campaign you’ll have help from others. Maybe this is technical help, or even just a wonderful spouse carrying a bigger load to give you time to prepare your campaign. Make sure to take a few moments- especially at the peak of hecticness- and show your gratitude.
What do you want to know about the first day launching a crowdfunding campaign?
Inventor, educator & dedicated husband and father, Ryan Grepper, is excited to announce the unveiling of his latest invention, The Coolest.
Bored with coolers that haven’t seen a lick of major innovation for decades, Ryan set out to design the coolest cooler he could think of.
Coolest cooler features include:
- Built-in battery-powered blender
- Removable Bluetooth speaker
- State-of-the-art design and insulation
- Adjustable locking bungees
- Embedded lid light
- Attached bottle opener
- Side accessory cubby
- Decorative decals in numerous popular colors
Ryan has been receiving rave reviews everywhere he takes the Coolest cooler — including an Oregon Ducks tailgating party that resulted in dozens and dozens of partying college football plans standing in line for their turn with the Coolest-blended margaritas.
Ryan is a seasoned inventor who runs an inventor education site called InventorsBlueprint.com. He plans to take the education he receives from the Kickstarter.com crowdfunding model and deliver it to other inventors who have notions to take a great idea and get it out there in the market.
The Coolest launches on Kickstarter.com on November 19th, 2013.