For this week’s episode of Art of the Kickstart, we spoke with Savannah Turk of Purple. Learn more about how they’re revolutionizing the sleep industry after raising more than $2 million on Kickstarter!

Purple: The Latest Technology in Comfort and Sleep

Purple® Pillow: The World’s First No-Pressure Pillow

Key Crowdfunding Takeaways

  • Why a good Kickstarter video is key to a successful campaign
  • Why the size of your email list is important
  • How Facebook ads can give your campaign a boost
  • How to connect with people and engage with your audience on Kickstarter and beyond
  • How to improve and already-great Kickstarter campaign

Links

Connect with Purple

Sponsors

FIN 2000X2000Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by The Gadget Flow, a product discovery platform that helps you discover, save, and buy awesome products. The Gadget Flow is the ultimate buyer’s guide for cool luxury gadgets and creative gifts. Click here to learn more and list your product – use coupon code ATOKK16 for 25% off!

backerkitArt 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.

Transcript

View this episode's transcript

Roy Morejon:

This episode of Art of the Kickstart is sponsored by BackerKit. BackerKit makes software that crowdfunding project creators use to survey backers, organize data, and manage orders for fulfillment by automating your operations and helping you print and ship faster. Plus, if you want to create and send surveys, offer add-ons and pledge upgrades or begin accepting pre-orders, BackerKit makes it simple. Over 2,000 projects and 4 million backers have used BackerKit, including many of the projects featured on Art of the Kickstart. Ready to try BackerKit? Visit BackerKit.com and sign up today.

Welcome to Art of the Kickstart, your source for crowdfunding campaign success. I’m your host, Roy Morejon, President of Command Partners, the top full-service crowdfunding marketing agency in the world. We have helped raise over $70 million for our clients since 2010. Each week I’ll interview a crowdfunding success story, an inspirational entrepreneur, or a business expert in order to help take your startup to the next level with crowdfunding. Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by The Gadget Flow, a product discovery platform that helps you discover, save, and buy awesome products. The Gadget Flow is the ultimate buyer’s guide for cool luxury gadgets and creative gifts. To learn more, visit TheGadgetFlow.com. Let’s get on with the show.

Welcome to another edition of Art of the Kickstart. Today, I am joined by Savannah Turk. Savannah, thank you so much for joining us.

Savannah Turk:

Thanks for having me.

Roy Morejon:

All right, Savannah. You guys have crushed two separate campaigns for The Purple Mattress and The Purple Pillow. Please tell our audience where all of this purpleness starts.

Savannah Turk:

It starts in Alpine, Utah in a small manufacturing facility that’s been here for over three decades. We invented the Purple product, we put it on top of a bunch of foam, and we made the mattress. That’s where it started.

Roy Morejon:

What’s the idea behind purple? What’s the color … What was the reason for the purple color? How about that?

Savannah Turk:

We can make the Hyper-Elastic Polymer any color. We went with purple because purple is the color of royalty, and we really think that everyone deserves to be treated like royalty, especially when they’re sleeping, so purple was the color we settled on.

Roy Morejon:

Interesting. I thought you guys might have gone with the Seth Godin approach of the Purple Cow.

Savannah Turk:

We do follow the Purple Cow. Godin is a genius, but that was not the inspiration for this product.

Roy Morejon:

Fair enough. You guys launched your first campaign for the mattress back in 2015. You fully funded it in five days, had a few hundred backers, raised about 170K for it. What did you guys do to prepare for that first campaign?

Savannah Turk:

We knew that video was a huge part of Kickstarter, so we reached out to a local company called Slant that has made several successful Kickstarter videos, namely Scott Dastrup, who’s the director of our original Kickstarter. We had him help us put together a winning video, and it worked. We had him come back again and work with us on this Kickstarter video for The Purple Pillow.

Roy Morejon:

After you guys had a successful campaign, you decided to go ahead and launch The Purple Pillow, which absolutely crushed it, doing over 2-1/2 million with 17,000 backers. How did that second campaign compare to the first campaign in terms of what you guys did differently?

Savannah Turk:

We had exactly a year in between them. Over that year, we really built up our email list. We’ve been selling Purple Mattresses and so we had access to now Purple fans who had bought the mattress as well as the fans on Kickstarter originally. We used that email list, and we also got a little bit better at Facebook advertising, so we were able to target different groups that we thought might be interested in the pillow and reach out to them and show them this cool product that we have. Those were two tools that we used.

Roy Morejon:

I was in Times Square, New York maybe two months ago, three months ago, and I see a banner advertisement on top of some Times Square building for The Purple Pillow. What was the thought process behind that?

Savannah Turk:

We really just wanted to get eyes on this product. We don’t quite know yet who our audience is because it’s so different from anything else out there, so our strategy was just to show everyone what we developed and see who was interested in it. Turns out a lot of people are not satisfied with their pillows.

Roy Morejon:

This seems the case as there’s obviously a frustration out there. It seems the whole bedding industry has been reversed where it’s ship mattresses to your home and if you don’t like it, send it back or they take it back. It’s really been interesting. Obviously you guys have been living in it and obviously taking your customer feedback and working off of that to innovate new product. It’s great to see, and obviously it worked given your second campaign. What were some of the keys to success outside of the video and being better online marketers that you guys could relate that back to for our audience?

Savannah Turk:

The video was really big for us. We were lucky enough to get some local attention. We reached out to local news agencies, newspapers and TV news, and told them about what we were doing and got some attention that way which helped snowball it a little bit, the success. Then really we reached out to Kickstarter. Kickstarter has such a cool audience of people who are innovators and early adopters. We worked with a couple of agencies like BackerKit to try to organize and reach that Kickstarter audience a little bit better and show them what we had going for them.

Roy Morejon:

Awesome. We are big fans of BackerKit. They are a sponsor of our show, so absolutely awesome team over there at the BackerKit community. In terms of the campaigns now that you guys have run two, what would you say are the two biggest surprises that you’ve encountered on both campaigns?

Savannah Turk:

The biggest surprise was raising $2 million for a pillow. I think both have been a surprise to us because you said it earlier, the bedding industry, the mattress industry has not been known for being super cool and hip, and the response that we’ve gotten on these products that are kind of different, and they look different, they’re not the norm, they’re not what you’re used to. Our voice is really funny. It’s not stuffy like most things. We didn’t know how people were going to receive it, and it’s been overwhelmingly positive. Clearly, there’s something going on in the bedding industry that consumers are aware of. I think companies that create products for the bedding industry are just starting to figure out what people really want.

Roy Morejon:

Absolutely. It looks like you guys had a ton of fun with your second campaign. Is that true, Savannah?

Savannah Turk:

So much fun, yeah.

Roy Morejon:

Obviously throughout all of your branding, your messaging, your outreach efforts as well as the Kickstarter campaign page, it looks like you guys just really had a good time with it and engaged your audience, which leads to great and successful campaigns.

Savannah Turk:

It does. We believe in making an emotional connection with people, and for us that emotion is humor. We want to make them laugh. We want to demonstrate how our product is different from every other product. Those are the two pillars of what we use to make our videos and make our brand, and it seems to be working. People seem to like us.

Roy Morejon:

Indeed, people love The Purple. Now that you guys have done it twice, are you guys going to do a third campaign?

Savannah Turk:

When we talked about doing a second Kickstarter, people told us that we were crazy. We got a lot of nos. We got a lot of people saying that it was a terrible idea. We proved them wrong, so who knows. We’ll see what ends up being right for our brand. We think that Kickstarter is a great way to introduce people to new different products. If there’s ever something that we feel like the Kickstarter community is really going to stand behind, then we might.

Roy Morejon:

If you were to do a third campaign, what would you do differently?

Savannah Turk:

I think that we would probably do more demonstration, more visual graphics to really show people, especially with a product that’s so different, show them what the experience is like. Yeah, that would be the biggest one for me. Then maybe work on our rewards a little bit and see how we could be more creative or how we could get people their products faster. People were really excited about the guaranteed by Christmas reward. If we could expand that a little bit more and get people more of what they will want when they want, then that’s something I’d like to do.

Roy Morejon:

As should all companies trying to deliver product. Give the customer what they want when they want it, right?

Savannah Turk:

Yep, it is the never ending battle.

Roy Morejon:

What advice would you give to someone else looking to Kickstart a different sleep product?

Savannah Turk:

I would say find out what is unique about your product and then demonstrate that in your video as clearly as possible and in as engaging way as possible.

Roy Morejon:

Well said. Showcase that UVP, right? That’s the key to all of these campaigns out there.

Savannah Turk:

Yeah.

Roy Morejon:

What’s next for Purple? Where are you guys headed next?

Savannah Turk:

We are launching a bunch of new products. We’ve already come out with our platform base and we just launched our mattress protector on Monday. We are really filling out the bedroom space, and then we’ll be moving in to sitting and standing, and hopefully creating products that will help people live better, healthier lives, more comfortable lives.

Roy Morejon:

That is the hope considering we spend a third of our lives on a mattress.

Savannah Turk:

A third of your lives sleeping. It’s crazy.

Roy Morejon:

I think there aren’t too many entrepreneurs that have that opportunity, but for those other people that are out there, certainly The Purple Mattress looks awesome.

Savannah Turk:

Thank you. It’s pretty comfortable. I’ve been sleeping on mine for about six months, and it is hard to get out of bed to this day.

Roy Morejon:

I can only imagine. Savannah, this gets us into our launch round where I rapid fire a few questions at you. Are you good to go or are you too sleepy?

Savannah Turk:

Let’s go.

Roy Morejon:

Right on. What inspired you to be an entrepreneur?

Savannah Turk:

I think that technology is really the biggest motivator. We have so much opportunity and access to tools that allow us to create anything we want that you can’t help but dream.

Roy Morejon:

If you could meet with any entrepreneur throughout history, who would it be?

Savannah Turk:

Throughout history, I really would want to meet with Steve Jobs. I think he’s a genius when it comes to design and marketing, and I would love to sit with him.

Roy Morejon:

If you had Steve sitting next to you, maybe lying on The Purple Mattress, what would be your first question?

Savannah Turk:

My first question would be, what was the biggest lesson you learned during your 10-year hiatus?

Roy Morejon:

Fair enough. Maybe he was sleeping. What business books or life books are on your nightstand right now?

Savannah Turk:

I did just finish reading Insanely Simple, which is about Apple. I’m also reading Made to Stick, which is a fantastic book about helping make your ideas more engaging and sticky for people.

Roy Morejon:

Absolutely, awesome book, definitely recommend it for our listeners. What does the future of crowdfunding look like?

Savannah Turk:

Fantastic. There’s new legislation that just got passed that’s letting people become investors basically in products so you can get some return on it if it ends up being a good product or a good idea. I think that’s great, more power to the people.

Roy Morejon:

Absolutely. We are stoked about equity crowdfunding for all of our listeners and have done a few campaigns. It’s definitely an exciting time to be an investor or just a participant in the crowdfunding space. Last question, Savannah, where do you see yourself in five years?

Savannah Turk:

I see myself continuing to do what I do and that’s make a great brand and show that brand to people around the world.

Roy Morejon:

Awesome. Savannah, you have been awesome. Please give our audience your pitch. Tell us what you’re all about, where people should go, and why they should go buy Purple product.

Savannah Turk:

If you or anyone you know sleeps, then you need to be sleeping on a Purple. You can find us at OnPurple.com, and check out our videos. They’re funny. Find us on YouTube, find us on Facebook.

Roy Morejon:

I will agree to that. Savannah, thank you so much for being here. Audience, thank you again for tuning in. Make sure to visit ArtoftheKickstart.com for all of the show notes, a full transcript, links to Purple and everything we talked about today, plus links to BackerKit and the Gadget Flow who are sponsors of Art of the Kickstart. Savannah, thank you so much for joining us today.

Savannah Turk:

Thank you so much, Roy. Happy to be here.

Roy Morejon:

Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Art of the Kickstart, the show about building a better business, world and life with crowdfunding. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to visit ArtfotheKickstart.com and tell us about it. There you’ll find additional information about past episodes and our Kickstarter Guide to Crushing It. If you loved this episode, leave us a review at ArtoftheKickstart.com/itunes. It helps more inventors and entrepreneurs find the show and helps us get better guests on here to help build your business. If you need a more hands on crowdfunding strategy, please feel free to request a quote on CommandPartners.com. Thanks again for tuning in. We’ll see you soon.