Kickstarter Fashion: Lessons in What Consumers Are Craving

In the short four years it has been in existence, Kickstarter has gained a reputation for launching new tech crazes, empowering fans’ influence in the movie industry and online entertainment, and proving that consumers are looking for innovation in video gaming, games, and publishing. The crowdfunding site may have its share of flaws, but it is an amazing gauge from which to measure what young, empowered, and passionate consumers are looking to spend their money on. But fashion is often left out of the spotlight when it comes to discussions of Kickstarter success stories. It deserves our attention: in 2012 alone, over $6 million was pledged to 1,659 fashion projects, and the top-funded fashion start-ups on Kickstarter showcase untapped markets, consumer needs, and design innovations that could be huge successes. Here are some of the most recent successful Kickstarter fashion stories, and what each tells us about what fashion today might be missing:

 

Light Wing Trainers

$141,620 pledged; Passed goal by 944% with 2,116 backers (still 7 days to go!)

The Unbelievable Testing Laboratory lives up to its name, having taken 200,000 steps, 200+ comfort fit tests, 17 rounds of anti-slip, flexibility, and harmful substance tests, and 57 sole strengths tests following three international standards to make the Light Wing Trainers, shoes made from a paper material called Tyvek. The material was invented in the ‘60s, is virtually indestructible and used today for home insulation. Because of Tyvek, the shoes are “impossibly light.” Weighing less than half a pound, they sell the prospect of walking on air while being completely waterproof and durable, a wow factor for the Millennials who are constantly after the latest tech and styles in kicks. The UT Lab plays up the science angle of their…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Adventure Time is the show that best represents my generation because we like the nostalgic aspect of watching cartoons but we also like off-the-wall plots.” –Male, 21, MI 

Snapchat is ready to take over another space: teens’ faces. The app is introducing Spectacles, a new wearable that combines sunglasses and a camera, allowing wearers to capture video of their point of view and share it immediately to their Snapchat Memories. Though comparisons to Google Glass are inevitable, these specs come in bright colors and cool designs, making them more aesthetically appealing—a vital element for wearables’ success. While some might be skeptical of Spectacles, if they are as popular as Snapchat’s other efforts, “the youth will have made wearables cool in the blink of an eye.” (The Next Web)

Campaigns encouraging young consumers to vote are a hallmark of election season—but in 2012, 62% of young Americans reportedly didn’t cast a vote. So this year Rock the Vote has partnered with Doritos to spread the voting message in a unique way. The brand created a limited edition pack of “no-choice” chips with no flavor, no crunch, and boring packaging to show that not voting allows someone else to choose for you, and you might not get what you want. For a spot promoting voting registration, Doritos created a vending machine that dispensed the flavorless chips to any not registered to vote. (Creativity Online)

According to Alton Brown, Millennials have forever changed food entertainment. Ten years ago, cooking shows were all about simple instruction, but the generation’s “preference for bolder, edgier programs” and cooking savvy has changed the content and expanded the “food media landscape” beyond the TV screen. Those Millennial foodies, who might have watched Brown’s “kid-friendly” Good Eats growing up or on Netflix, are the audience for his new web series, designed specifically for mobile. For these viewers, all content will be under five minutes, and “f it doesn’t work on a phone, [he’s] not going to do it.” (Business InsiderFast Company)

Cheetos is bringing their museum back for Halloween. The brand’s summer contest asking consumers to submit their uniquely shaped Cheetos for cash prizes was reportedly one of their most “successful digital engagement programs of all time,” generating over 100,000 stories and photos. Thanks to that success, the brand is rebooting the effort, asking fans to build a Cheetos Monster with the snacks for a chance to win $50K. Turning brands or products into an experience a major marketing trend to attract young consumers. (MediaPost)

Millennials might use more apps than older generations, but they’re also spending more time on their top ranked apps than anyone else. According to comScore data, there are 20 apps that 25% of 18-34-year-olds are using monthly, compared to just 15 among those over 35-years-old. But the top 10 apps among the group are receiving 50% of Millennials’ mobile time, indicating that while younger mobile users have a more diverse range of apps they’re using, their few favorites are still getting the majority of their attention. (comScore)

Quote of the Day: “Bojack Horseman was my favorite show last year because it was funny and real. Maybe too real, just beautiful.”–Male, 23, AZ

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