Oomph 2.0 and the Covid-19 Pandemic
Dear Backers, Customers and Oomph Supporters.
We have had a number of enquiries requesting if the current Pandemic has affected our timelines and wanted to update you all.
Still On Track
What I would like to remind everyone (appreciate it seems an eternity ago) is that the campaign was launched whilst the lockdown was in place in China and in the weeks leading up to our campaign we extended our timeline BEFORE OUR LAUNCH by 3 months to allow for the effects of COVID – 19 as well as we could at that time. So we are in a much better place than if we had launched before it. Effectively we have mitigation built into our campaign already which a lot of projects launched before February understandably will not have.
Doing the above no doubt reduced the number of backers that we received in our campaign as people did not like long lead times, however we value the trust of our backers and customers more than we do a marketing advantage. Like any relationship trust is foundational.
We are also not going to sit here and say it’s business as usual, it isn’t. We have seen our buffers get eaten away as the pandemic has worsened, but they are not yet at a point where we believe we can’t meet our delivery date. The secret hope was that we would deliver before the delivery date, that is now going to be difficult, but delivering by our date as it stands is still possible.
So, I suppose with the main query as a backer of this project now answered I am going to do what I have not seen yet in other campaigns. I am going to let you know how we have been affected. Here go’s…
How Did This Affect Our Kickstarter Campaign?
Prior to lockdown in the UK our campaign was trending toward £257,000 and we had a return on ad spend (ROAS) of around 1 in 6.4 on average (pretty good in most markets). As the UK and then US entered lockdown towards the end of the campaign we had plummeted to £111,000 getting an ROAS sometimes in the negative on some days effectively going backwards! Amazingly towards the end of the campaign the trend is that ROAS etc improves. Even our marketing partner that has helped fund the most successful campaigns on Kickstarter couldn’t believe what they were seeing! We contacted people to see if we could answer any fears they had. Unfortunately the reply in the main was the same; “I have lost my employment and I really want to back you, I just can’t afford to at the moment.” This wasn’t just hard to hear, it was soul-destroying! We were having to gain backers just to stand still and reduce the losses (via cancellations) we were experiencing.
Normally, in this case, you would just stop spending money but the ROAS reduction was due to huge numbers of people cancelling their pledges as they became worried about their own security and long term futures. Our sales were effectively patching this daily drop. It is unlikely we will ever see anything like this again in our lifetimes or I seriously hope that we will not. It makes us all the more grateful that all of you have stuck with us. We are all feeling the pinch at the moment and myself and the team are really grateful to all of you.
We’ve still smashed our target which means we are going to throw even more time into testing and refining the product!
Stretch Goals Continue On Indiegogo
Our stretch goal was centered around hitting 2000 Kickstarter backers to allow us to add another colour to the Oomph 2.0 range during crowdfunding – what we assumed would be a box-ticking exercise by mid-campaign! So, a lot of people still want to know what we intend to do about the colours. We don’t just pick stretch goals out of thin air to get more pledges they are actually linked to our manufacturing costs. A colour change to the materials has a cost as it requires setup on the manufacturing side to the new colour (clean and flush the machine. Install and run new colour). There needs to be enough units to justify this change and extra cost. Our idea is this:
We are going to launch on Indiegogo for pre-orders to try to still hit our stretch goals target and our Kickstarter backers will automatically qualify for all benefits going forward. As soon as we hit the figure of 2000 overall backers (Kickstarter + Indiegogo) we will unlock that feature for you all. All you need to do is keep an eye out for email updates: THE BACKER SURVEY FOR KICKSTARTER WILL BE SENT ONCE WE ARE LIVE ON INDIEGOGO AND WE HIT 2000 OVERALL BACKERS. As with all stretch goals there will be no extra cost to you just simply continue the ride with us.
Given the current climate as we have mentioned above we are not going to launch until our core support countries are out of lockdown and have started their recovery. This will give the many who missed out on our Kickstarter campaign due to finances the chance to still bag an Oomph 2.0 with a considerable discount.
At The End Of The Storm There’s A Golden Sky
Not wanting this to turn this update into a mainstream news channel, full of doom and gloom, I would like to finish with a positive. Life chisels you from its adversities and my greatest period of business success was in 2008 when the last global recession hit. Our original business which helped fund the start of Oomph, sells and services commercial coffee machines (beanmachines.co.uk). We were able to improve our business model during this time and came out flying on the other side. In short, we used to sell coffee machines by helping our customers to access finance from the banks. The banks stopped lending, so we took out the loans ourselves and rented the machines directly to customers! We did superb in the first year (as we had little or no competition for a product that was in huge need) and that revenue stream really allowed our business to flourish in the coming years eventually giving me the financial freedom to bring Oomph to market.
It is my intention to find similar changes with Oomph. There will be new ways of working, possible product improvements etc that will help us to get through this time and bring out the best in us. In the main, our suppliers are now back at work there is just one that remains in lockdown (our filter provider). I believe that the pandemic will in the long run help to make an even better product for all of you, especially with the huge level of funding you helped us to achieve.
Lastly, we hope that you, our backers and customers, are all staying safe and that our lives can sooner, rather than later, get back on track.
A big thanks to all of you again for supporting us.
Matthew & Team Oomph