Purple Pillow Obliterates Kickstarter Goal, Has Currently Raised Over $1.7M

It starts with a great product that solves a problem. But we’ve also done a lot of heavy lifting in promoting the Kickstarter. No Kickstarter program is successful without a marketing strategy behind it.

Is there anything better than a good night’s sleep? Is there anything worse than a bad night’s sleep? We live our lives in pursuit of that ever elusive solid sleep routine, going to all kinds of lengths to get it. For some of us that means a dependence on melatonin (What? No, YOU’RE an addict, Stephen), and for others that means spending thousands of dollars on a “quality mattress” which is just the worst because there are so many more fun things you can buy with $5,000. Like a lot of melatonin.

The sleep and mattress industry is ripe for disruption and like many successful startups that have come before, Purple has recognized the potential to change the mattress industry and offer consumers the best sleep of their lives at an affordable price.

Purple co-founders Tony and Terry Pearce hold 34 advanced cushioning patents, sixteen of which have been used in creating Purple products so far. The Purple Mattress Kickstarter launched one year ago, raising $171,000 with the help of this viral video:

Since then, the company has grown from 30 to 340 employees and moved into a 574,000 square-foot manufacturing building.

The Kickstarter campaign for the Purple Pillow went live at 7:30 am on September 22, exactly one year after the Purple Mattress Kickstarter launched, and was fully funded by 10:30 am. As I write this, the campaign has raised $1,758,505 from 12,571 backers. And the campaign still has four days left.

Of their enormous Kickstarter success, Director of Communications Dan Bischoff says, “It starts with a great product that solves a problem. But we’ve also done a lot of heavy lifting in promoting the Kickstarter. No Kickstarter program is successful without a marketing strategy behind it.” Much of that strategy focuses on making viewers and potential customer laugh.

“We make it a priority to be funny, honest, and personable,” Senior Marketing Specialist Savannah Turk says. “It’s important to us that everyone with a Purple product feels like they’re part of the family. And we just love making people laugh so we’re excited when we can do that through our marketing.” That emphasis on humor is evident in the clever Purple Pillow video that follows in the footsteps of the Purple Mattress video that has millions of views.

“Our fans have made a huge impact on the success of this Kickstarter,” says Turk. “We are lucky to have customers who are excited enough about Purple to give us a chance when we introduce a different, new technology, and then to share that with their friends and families. They are our biggest advocates and defenders.”

On September 29, the Purple team announced the appointment of Sam Bernards, former Walmart director, as their new CEO. “I joined Purple because I wanted to be a part of a company that has the ability to solve the very real pain of uncomfortable sleep for millions — and soon billions — of people,” says Bernards. “At a time when the bed industry is just beginning to experience a renaissance, I am thrilled to be a part of Purple’s role in transforming the quality and comfort of people’s lives.” With Bernards leading the company, co-founders Terry and Tony Pearce will be able to focus on research and development. Tony Pearce says, “Sam has deep experience in the retail and supply chain sector and will move the company forward with the speed required to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.”

The Purple team plans to launch four new products by the end of this year. “You spend one third of your life sleeping, but it’s something that until recently has been largely ignored by innovators,” Turk says. “We hope to address that with these upcoming products.”

Everything Is Becoming Heated And It’s Because Of Ravean

We are an urban fashion brand specializing in heated apparel.

There are people in this world who willingly forego the warm comfort of their beds to spend nights sleeping outside. In nature. Where there are bugs. And rocks. And it’s cold. I know. It’s hard to believe. What’s even harder to believe, is that when you meet one of these people, they are not insane like you would expect. Instead they seem to have an innate coolness. The men pull off beards, the women successfully wear beanies without looking like infants, and they all have this enviable presence about them like they understand nature and in turn nature respects them. This aura is only enhanced by the gear they all have on hand at any given time and for many avid campers, that gear includes Ravean products.

“We are an urban fashion brand specializing in heated apparel,” explains Ravean founder Bryce Fisher. Fisher and his cofounders Jonathan Bybee, Henry Deutsch, and Ezra Kwong launched Ravean about eight months ago. The Kickstarter campaign for Ravean’s first product, The World’s First Heated Down Jacket, raised $1,330,293. Their goal was $100,000. That success led the founders to start their sub company Seven Figure Funding, which helps other entrepreneurs launch Kickstart campaigns. “We know how to market and drive people to buy Kickstarter products,” Fisher says, which is evidenced in their latest campaign for the Heated Sleeping Bag Liner that has raised $164,262 for a goal of $20,000.

The liner allows campers, those mysterious creatures that they are, to use the Ravean heat technology in their current sleeping bags and keep from freezing their buns off during those overnight adventures outside. The liner is available in the simple version or the wearable version, which has sleeves and a hood. Both options provide temperature control, are water resistant, watchable, portable, adjustable, and allow you to charge your devices.

“We’d like to grow a very big fashion apparel brand,” Fisher says, and it seems he and his company are well on their way to doing just that. This fall they will release the second version of their jacket and are launching their private label program to allow other companies to access Ravean technology.

So the next time you come across one of those beings who smells faintly of campfire and confidence, you’ll probably notice a Ravean label somewhere on their person and you’ll wonder if you can ever be as cool as they.

Published 7/18/2016

The Modern Day Briefcase

The hardest thing for me was getting the design finalized. There are so many final touches that you don’t think about.

Mark Cuban once said, “Every entrepreneur’s job is to invent the future. I also call it ‘kicking your own [butt].’ Someone is out there who thinks they have a better idea than you have. A better solution than you have. A better or more efficient product than you have….it’s part of your job as the owner of the company to stay ahead of them.” When Joseph May, founder of The Breton Company, heard this, he decided to take his idea and turn it into a product. “It stirred something inside of me,” May says, explaining that he realized he didn’t want to be the guy on the sidelines saying, “I thought of that first. I was just too busy.”

So May woke at 4:00 every morning to work on his design before going into work. At the time he travelled often for his job and usually took a backpack with him. While the convenience of the backpack couldn’t be beat, May felt it was too casual for many settings in which he found himself. When attending the largest leather conference in the world (it’s a thing) in Italy, he looked around at the beautiful leather satchels others had and fantasized about a backpack that would meet those satchels in appearance and exceed them in convenience. It was in that moment that the idea for The Modern Day Briefcase was born.

A while later, May left his position as Director of Operations at Freshly Picked to devote all his time to getting the briefcase off the ground (and onto backs). “The hardest thing for me was getting the design finalized,” May says. “There are so many final touches that you don’t think about.” Initially, May intended to launch his Kickstarter campaign in August 2015, but instead waited until the product was perfect and launched just a few weeks ago. The response has been worth the wait. So far 585 users have backed May’s project and pledged over $100,000 of his $40,000 goal. May plans to use the pledged funds to fulfill orders, purchase enough inventory throughout the year, offer several products, and launch a similar Kickstarter next March.

The success of the campaign so far is especially impressive considering May’s history. “I’ve never been part of designing something,” he says. May is actually an attorney by trade, a profession he practiced for three years before deciding the office life was not for him. “It just wasn’t what I wanted to be,” May says. So he accepted the position at Freshly Picked and developed a passion for design, a passion that he put to good use designing The Modern Day Briefcase.

While May is still trying to determine how to best stand out in the wide world of fashion, he and his product have had success getting the attention of some prominent Utah personalities and brands including Freshly Picked and Chatbooks, who promoted his product on their social medias. “I think Utah is a really unique place for influencers and just really nice people,” he says. “Most people are really eager to help out.” In expressing his gratitude for these influencers, May says, “Every post helps.”

Published 3/25/2016