Project Reports

Vol 9: What Returns are Appealing to Foreign Audiences?

On many crowdfunding platforms, many projects offer special returns to backers that fund the project, instead of just giving thanks. This might equate to special limited edition items or products or services limited to those backers.

On the other hand though, there are some that offer thanks messages and class the support levels as donations.

We want to introduce you to the different types of returns that project creators give.

The idea behind returns

By not offering returns that are appealing to backers, it can have a massive effect on your project! Many project creators create special early backer returns, in order to appeal to potential backers and offer extra discounts and so on!

A sense of reliability and security

Set returns as something you definitely can send out>

After the project finishes and is successful in the case of All or Nothing project, you must send out returns that people back. By not doing so there can be dire ramifications from backers as crowdfunding platforms are just that platforms and aren’t responsible for project creators actions.

Easy to Imagine>

The best way to appeal is to show prototypes or images of the returns that will be given after the project finishes!

Empathetic responses

Make it relevant>

Project supports are two fold, one looks at the project creator and just wants them to succeed, the other looks at the available returns. By giving returns that are both relevant, as well as special, it becomes much easier to back!

A sense of Premium

Making limited returns>

By making returns that backers can only get via crowdfunding, it means that they have a feeling that they need to back the project.

Balance of the returns vs the project

Preparation is vital>

It is key to think about the types of people that will be looking at the project and how they will react to the returns. Without doing this, you have the potential of putting out returns that don’t appeal to the backers.

Too Many Returns>

With too many returns, the potential backers have a large chance to become confused and eventually not back the project. Try to keep the amount of returns to a minimum and appropriate to the project.


Be mindful of the costs>

A problem that some project creators face is a balance of the cost for the returns vs the actual creation of the goal of the project. You need to keep all this in mind when choosing returns.

Return cost vs the group of backers>

You need to create a set of returns that are not only appealing but also cost effective for the group you wish to appeal to. It’s no use creating expensive returns if your focus group are students. Know your backers!

Backers from overseas

When thinking about backers from overseas, you need to think of the following:

・Those that are planning to come to Japan and wish to take part in a tour or use the product you make

・Those that aren’t coming but are sympathetic to the cause.

・Those that like Japanese made goods and wish to use them in their own country.

If you look at Vol.4 we talked about Shirakawago and the projects that face it via overtourism. For the most part the backers were those that wished to use the product at the area.

By appealing to the right set of people, it can be really easy to get backers from overseas.

Don’t just go for those that are just coming to visit though! There are many foreigners that live in Japan that would like to back as well as the numerous foreigners that won’t be coming but love the idea of anything Japanese!


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