Does any of this apply to Hugh & Crye? Do they need free money from the community? No, they’re clearly cash-flow positive and could get a bank loan. Do they need help figuring out manufacturing? No, clearly not. Was there any doubt that their loyal customers would fail to buy t-shirts, where the all-or-nothing nature of a Kickstarter would provide them with better understanding of the market? Heck no – they’ve been doing market research on this for years. Will the amount of money they get actually help their operations move faster? They made $53,151 – probably not.
So why are they doing it? To drum up buzz – that’s it. It’s advertising for a done-deal. Kickstarter is not a platform for advertising. The campaign is inauthentic and annoying.
(But I still supported it, because I wanted to try one of their t-shirts.)
Highly related issue: food trucks from big companies. Chick-fil-A, the chicken sandwich chain, has food trucks that have drawn lots of controversy. Some of that is because of the company’s politics. But if you read comments on Facebook and Twitter, a fair amount of the criticism is because they’re inauthentic – that they’re cheapening the authentic experience of trying someone’s labor of love. That they’re insulting your hope that your favorite food truck will be successful enough to open a sit-down restaurant.
It’s inauthentic and annoying.
Do you have other examples that get your goat? Please leave a comment!
To close, for a great take on authenticity, you should definitely watch this great video from my new favorite YouTube Channel, the boringly-named but completely awesome PBS Idea Channel: