Brookstone, the brick-and-mortar retailer of mass-market novelty gadgets, and Indiegogo, the second-string crowdfunding platform with very few guidelines, are teaming up to try to bring the ideas of inexperienced inventors to your junk drawer.
The new partnership was announced yesterday and is aimed at putting the "best and brightest ideas from Indiegogo on the fast track to success." In other words, Brookstone is offering to lend its decades of experience developing and marketing ancillary gadgetry to Indiegogo inventors who have no experience at all. Crowdfunding is a booming business, and a niche industry of specialised service providers have sprung up to help coach aspiring entrepreneurs through successful campaigns.
This new Indiegogo partnership is an extension of the Brookstone Launch service, which guides would-be inventors through some of the more challenging aspects of getting a product to market. The company will consult you on:
- End-to-end design and engineering
- Cost-effective manufacturing
- Product packaging
- Compliance testing
- Product placement, signage and expert sales associates
- Customer service and returns
- Marketing, advertising, PR and social media
- Wholesale and retail distribution
If you've been following along, these are many of the details that cause crowdfunded projects to go to hell. It's not enough to simply have a clever idea for a consumer product. If you don't know what you're doing you will fail.
And in that way, this is not the most horrible thing that has ever happened — even if the last thing I need is another crap gadget under the Christmas tree. If Brookstone can keep some of the wide-eyed optimists on Indiegogo from failing, that's a good thing for all the generous people who naively hand their money to strangers with no strings attached.