In today’s world, crowdfunding has become a viable way to not only launch, but also maintain a successful business. Enter LIV Watches – a microbrand selling Swiss watches that has proven crowdfunding success was and still is achievable.
Thanks to now popular websites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and GoFundMe, many individuals are able to work up a business plan and get funded by complete strangers. While the concept of crowdfunding has been around for hundreds of years, it was not until the last decade or so that the trend became mainstream. In the year 2000, it would have seemed bizarre for most to think that a no-name company could generate $100,000, nevertheless $1 Million for a product that had yet to exist. To best understand the framework that garnered LIV Watches’ success, we took a few points from their founder Chaz.
Some benefits of crowdfunding that worked in favor of LIV Watches include:
- Making their business plan open to the public, Chaz and his team were able to receive a tremendous amount of feedback from potential and interested consumers they would otherwise not as easily be able to receive.
- Feedback from their campaign could then be analyzed and implemented to improve their product line or future offerings.
- The crowdfunding launch acted as a free marketing tool for exposure.
- By setting a crowdfunding goal they made it clear what the minimum investment would be to bring the idea to life, with little investment required on their end to begin with.
- Pre-orders completely funded their production run.
- Built a community of people that were early adopters in their company, with many to this date still supporting their new endeavors.
LIV Watches Strategy & Success
While crowdfunding does embody many positive aspects, it does not guarantee success. It took very strategic thinking and planning to create the company LIV Watches from scratch, which just a few years ago did not exist. After over 20 years in the watch industry, LIV Watches’ founder Chaz realized a void in the marketplace. He set out to create a Swiss timepiece that was a blend of sport and luxury at an affordable price-point to consumers. By engaging in a direct-to-consumer model, their timepieces could be priced for the masses rather than marked up for wholesale distribution like many traditional models. Limited Edition product runs made the models more desirable and unique, which spurred a tremendous interest for investors and customers.
LIV’s first Kickstarter campaign in late 2014 for their initial model – the GX1 – was fully funded within the first 11 hours. A little over a year later the GX1-A was brought to life with over $1.1 Million in funding. Then, in March 2017, the “Rebel” received over $1.7 Million in funding, making it the most crowdfunded Swiss watch to date. Throughout the years LIV Watches has also been able to stock and make other production runs of styles that are available through their website.
Now onto their fourth Kickstarter campaign in under four years, LIV Watches shows no sign of stopping. Titled “The Breakthrough” LIV’s most recent campaign which launched May 30th was fully funded within the first 10 minutes and raised over $400,000 in the first 24 hours.
Four new Limited Edition models have been introduced which are all under $1200 when purchased through the Kickstarter campaign. The GX P51 Swiss Auto Chronograph is inspired by the P51 Mustang WW2 Plane and constructed of a titanium case (limited to 500 units, priced at $1170-1190), and a non-titanium version (limited to 1000 units, priced at $970-990). This model features a 25 jewel Swiss automatic movement, the Sellita SW 500. The second timepiece from the Breakthrough campaign is the GX Swiss Auto Chronograph, which is inspired by the original Kickstarter watch that launched the brand but with an Automatic movement. This style is limited to 1000 units, and priced at $770-790. The third model GX Divers Swiss Automatic is “not for the faint of heart” as LIV puts it. Withstanding up to 300 meter water-resistance, this timepiece is ready to take on any adventures life throws your way. Limited to 1000 pieces, this model is moderately priced at $470-490 through the Kickstarter campaign. Last but certainly not least is the GX Alarm which conveniently has an alarm feature built into the watch. Also limited to 1000 pieces, the GX Alarm is priced at $270-290.
You can learn more about The Breakthrough Kickstarter campaign including further details on each timepiece and exclusive offers available by visiting this link: LivWatch.com/LuxuryLifestyle