Can you imagine the complexities and challenges of rebranding a failed crowdfunding campaign? What does it look like to bring forth success from the ashes of failure? My guest today is entrepreneur and business leader, John Lauten. John has been tasked, along with a stellar leadership team, to revive and rebrand the failed crowdfunding campaign of Skully Inc. Now they are known as Skully Technologies, and they are moving forward with a mission to fulfill the orders of the defunct Skully Inc. This is not an easy task – John and his team have had their fair share of challenges along the way, as you can imagine. Hear all about the Skully story and how they are working hard at reviving this campaign for augmented reality motorcycle helmets on this exciting episode!
The “Make It Right” Campaign
How would you go about rebranding a failed crowdfunding campaign? Where would you start? Would you start giving out refunds to people who had given their money in good faith or is there a better option? This was the question that John Lauten and his team had to wrestle with as they took on the challenge of reviving the Skully Inc. brand. In our conversation, John and I discussed how they made a massive public relations push with their “Make It Right” campaign to honor the pre-orders made by the Indiegogo backers of the original Skully Inc. Even though they are not required to do so, the newly-rebranded Skully Technologies is committed to building up what they call “Skully Nation,” the community of Skully helmet enthusiasts. What can you learn from the “Make It Right” campaign? Learn more on this episode!
Earning goodwill and changing the narrative.
You can tell a lot about a person or organization when they are faced with making a decision that will benefit themselves or others. While many businesses wouldn’t have given a second thought about fulfilling orders they weren’t required to, Skully Technologies took a different route. On this episode, you’ll hear from John Lauten as he goes over why he and his team made the choice to honor pre-orders made during an Indiegogo campaign by the defunct Skully Inc. brand, and how this decision was received by the media and their tech industry peers. Rebranding and reviving a tarnished name isn’t the easiest road to travel, but for John and his team, it seems the payoff has been worth the challenge.
If the product is truly innovative and great, people will show up.
Business leaders across the globe are constantly looking for ways to build a loyal following. What is the secret sauce that keeps people loyal to a brand like Apple? At the end of the day, it all comes down to the quality of the product. On this episode, John Lauten describes why Skully followers are so excited about the Skully helmets and why that enthusiasm follows their brand even after a failed crowdfunding campaign. As John looks back at his efforts at rebranding the Skully image, he highlights the fact that if the product is innovative and great, people will continue to follow the brand. Discover additional insights and lessons from John’s experience with rebranding Skully on this engaging episode!
Investors and leaders who understand the technology can make all the difference.
One of the biggest takeaways from the story of Skully Technologies is that the brand was rescued by leaders and investors who understand technology. While that may seem like a small point, the truth is, too often businesses and brands are beholden to investors or leaders who are only concerned with the end results. On this episode, John Lauten opens up and shares how Ivan Contreras and Rafael Contreras caught the vision that Skully Inc. had ignited, and why they moved quickly to continue its groundbreaking momentum. Hear all about Skully Technologies and how it fits into Ivan and Rafael’s larger goal of investing in technology and innovation on this episode!
- [1:10] John Lauten shares his background and the story behind Skully Inc.
- [4:30] Rebranding the Skully name.
- [6:30] Dealing with fulfilling pre-orders and moving forward with new orders.
- [8:00] The benefits and drawbacks of using crowdfunding.
- [9:30] Surprises faced with the “Make It Right” campaign.
- [11:00] Great products can be rescued from negative press.
- [12:30] John enters the Launch Round.
Connect With Skully Technologies
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Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by BackerKit. BackerKit makes software that crowdfunding project creators use to survey backers, organize data, raise additional funds with add-ons and manage orders for fulfillment, saving creators hundreds of hours. To learn more and get started, click here.