This is a continuation of our Crowdfunding your Meadery series, examining the funding tiers of successful mead Kickstarter projects to identify commonality between funding levels and determine what items are most likely to be purchased by a project’s backers. For a list of articles in this series, see the first article here. In this article, we will examine Vanaheim Gold’s Kickstarter projects, which can be found here: successful project and unsuccessful project.
Torvald Adolphson, owner and vintner at Wide-in-Wisdom Winery in Bastrop, Texas, didn’t take no for an answer when his first Kickstarter project failed in early 2012. The Wide-in-Wisdom Winery creates its meads under the brand name Vanaheim Gold (website, facebook). According to Adolphson, the Vanaheim Gold name pays homage to the realm of the World Tree where the gods of farming and fertility lived.
Adolphson’s first project funding goal was $10,000, and consisted of six funding tiers, from $25 to $5,000 (project link). During the 30 days of this project, Vanaheim Gold secured $1,121 from 17 backers. A further explanation of the funding tiers used for this unsuccessful project, the number of backers per tier, and a comparison pie chart of how much money was received per tier are shown in the figures below.
Following his unsuccessful project’s conclusion, Adolphson was undeterred. Just 48 days after the first project, Adolphson sought funding for Vanaheim Gold again, but this time with updated goals, funding tiers, and project duration (project link). The funding goal of the new project was $3,950, and 40 days were allowed for collecting the necessary funds. Adolphson simplified the funding tiers to four levels, starting at $25 and going to $100. By the end of the project, the Kickstarter project had collected $4,502 from 47 backers, beating his funding goal by 14%. Additional details concerning the funding tiers, number of backers who supported the funding tiers, and total amount of funding per funding tier are shown in the figures below.
Comparing the two projects, some interesting trends appear. For the unsuccessful project, there were many high ticket items that did not receive any backers. These expensive options included a framed poster of the Vanaheim Gold logo, additional t-shirts to those provided at the lower funding levels, a set of six etched wine glasses, and a personal tasting for the backer and friends. When creating the second project, Adolphson removed these options from his project and simplified the set of items that could be purchased.
The successful project included four funding tiers, of which the first, a $10 option for a certificate of thanks bearing the official Vanaheim Gold logo, did not receive any backers. However, each of the remaining three funding tiers received backers: twenty-two backers for tier 2 at $25 each, seven for tier 3 at $50, and eleven for tier 3 at $100. These funding levels included a 4″ sticker of the Vanaheim Gold logo, grey t-shirts bearing the Vanaheim Gold and Wide-in-Wisdom Winery logos, and according to the Kickstarter project updates (but not in the table above), an undisclosed number of bottles from the first mead production run if the $100 or more was given. Kickstarter regulations forbid the giving of alcohol as one of the funding tiers, and thus it was left of the tier definitions for the project (and subsequently not included in the table data above).
A quick and dirty analysis of the data would suggest that certificates of thanks, meadery logo posters, and large funding levels for private tastings are not as popular as branded t-shirts, stickers, and (dare we say it) bottles of mead. But this is only analysis for Vanaheim Gold and its backers. A single data point is anecdotal.
Check back with us later in the week as we examine the other successfully funded meadery projects on Kickstarter. Up next, Bee Well Meadery from Northern Michigan. Their Kickstarter project can be found here.