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Case Study: How Q.bo One Earned and Preserved Backers’ Trust

We’ve teamed up with Arrow Electronics to help entrepreneurs develop and manufacture hardware products. Learn about the Arrow Certification Program here

The most successful Indiegogo campaigns are typically those who have earned the most confidence and trust. Crowdfunding backers are interested in watching products develop and adapt over time–but they still want to be confident that their investment will be borne out.

How can campaigners generate that confidence, and preserve it in the long run?

Q.bo One Had To Clear A High Bar, Trust-Wise

Trust and confidence were particularly important for Indiegogo campaigners TheCorpora, makers of Q.bo One–an interactive, open-source robot companion that can see, hear, speak, and respond to human touch. Q.bo One was a highly technical product and would attract extra scrutiny from potential backers.

“There are many interactive robots on the market that, after they raised funds, couldn’t deliver their product,” said See Tho Yong Yang, Business Development Manager for the Q.bo One team. “People were beginning to have doubts about whether such products work at all.”

The open-source nature of their product added additional pressure. Ideal Q.bo One customers tended to be more technically inclined than the average tech customer. Despite the Q.bo One team’s extensive experience in robotics and hardware, they needed to prove that their campaign had a solid foundation for success.

The Arrow Certification Program Offers Validation and Technical Support

One route for building confidence with Indiegogo backers is the Arrow Certification Program, an initiative run in collaboration with Arrow Electronics that helps entrepreneurs refine their prototype and prepare for the manufacturing process.

As part of the program, an Arrow engineer can review a campaigner’s Bill of Materials and product schematics to verify that their technology is feasible for manufacturing at scale. When it is, campaigners receive a special badge on their campaign page. On average, campaigns with Arrow Certified Technology at launch raise 87 percent more in funding than campaigns that do not have Certification.

The Q.bo One team took advantage of Certification during their campaign.

“Arrow Certification gives backers a sense of confidence that what we do, at least from an electronics point of view, has already been verified by Arrow, that it’s actually workable,” Yong Yang said. “The Arrow Certification process gives us a leg up.”

The Q.bo One team also fostered confidence by hunting for opportunities to delight backers during their campaign. Campaigners whose technology is Arrow Certified receive a $1000 rebate on electronics components at Arrow.com. The Q.bo One team had the clever idea of putting this money toward costs of the Raspberry Pi inside their robot–and to pass the savings along to backers by offering subsidized versions with ‘free Raspberry Pi’s’ as a special perk.

In the end, backers clearly felt confident in Q.bo One. The campaign raised more than $200,000–three hundred percent of their initial campaign goal.

Ongoing Communication and Collaboration Preserve Trust Over Time

Successful crowdfunding isn’t enough to preserve backer trust in the long term. Trust needs to be nurtured continuously–particularly when entrepreneurs move into the rigors of manufacturing.

Recognizing this, the Q.bo One team found ways to minimize potential post-campaign obstacles and keep backers up to date.

The team knew that manufacturing delays and added costs can quickly frustrate backers. So they continued working with Arrow to hunt down better, more cost-effective components throughout the manufacturing process. “Arrow has been very helpful in looking through our bill of materials–trying our best to reduce the cost of the product, so it translates to better value for our end-users.” Yong Yang said.

When delays did emerge, the Q.bo One team preserved the trust they’d earned by communicating continuously and transparently with their backers. Impressively, in the 2+ years since their campaign closed, Yong Yang and his colleagues have responded to every single backer comment on their Indiegogo page within 24 hours, often turning complaints into positive experiences:

“This comes down to the simple notion of respect and appreciation for our backers,” Yong Yang said. “If backers put their trust and faith in us, the minimum we can do is to respond to them whenever they have a query or comment.”

“Do Not Work In the Dark”

The Q.bo One team’s commitment to collaboration and transparency has validated their backers’ trust. They recently finished manufacturing the final batch of Q.bo Ones, and will soon begin work on their next product.

“The Qbo team was extremely responsive and easy to work with, which made a difference as we walked through different recommendations for their project,” said Enric Puiggros of Arrow Electronics

And what advice would the Q.bo One team share with other entrepreneurs?

“Do not work in the dark,” Yong Yang said. “Always have someone to go back to to validate your ideas, to criticize your work, so you can make it better…You have a great platform with Indiegogo, and the people at Arrow are amazing. Work with them, and have a vision of making a product that works–and that you can deliver to the customer.”

Together, Arrow & Indiegogo support tech startups from ideation through production via the Arrow Certification Program. Whether it’s engineering design tools, discounts on parts or funding, Arrow and Indiegogo will match you with the resources and experts you need. Learn more and join the Arrow Certification Program here.

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