Both start-ups and established companies have recently used crowdfunding as a means of raising capital for new products. In recent years there have been campaigns aimed at launching everything from smart glasses to malleable monitor displays.
However, success is not guaranteed and sometimes these products never see the light of day – leaving backers out of pocket and frustrated. The latest campaign to catch my eye was that of a new gaming console, the Atari VCS.
A nod to Atari’s rich history of pioneering interactive entertainment and hardware innovation, the VCS is pitched as a retro-inspired, modern games console – meaning it comes with features such as voice control, live streaming and web connectivity, as well as a back catalogue of classic games. Having raised more than more than $2m (£1.5m) to date, the retro gaming community is certainly backing it.
The Atari is not the only Indiegogo success of late – in fact, one our own clients has had tremendous success by tapping into the demand for nostalgic hardware with a modern twist. Having been a part of the Planet Computers journey for the last six or so months, I have witnessed first-hand the challenges in bringing a new product to market – and the overwhelmingly positive impact PR has had in supporting that (often challenging) process.
From raising awareness of the Gemini PDA in many of the world’s most prominent media publications, securing first-look reviews and promoting the inspiring design story behind the “rebirth of the Psion” – it has been a hectic few months. Throw in media support and briefings at technology exhibitions such as CES and MWC and the impact has been dramatic – investment in the company is currently at more than $3 million and the Gemini PDA story has been heard across the globe.
An enormous amount of credit must go to the team at Planet Computers and the community which they formed – it just goes to show how, when done right and with genuine passion and commitment, PR can have a positive effect, on both brand awareness and the bottom line.
Working with clients like this, who have poured their hearts into manufacturing a truly innovative product, is what I got into this business for. Fingers crossed the team behind the Atari have the same success!