Would you every buy something without first knowing what it was?
A Toronto entrepreneur has decided to use this idea as a business pitch to sell his mystery product. Jordan Bishop, a 22-year-old graduate from Wilfred Laurier Business School, has created a blind crowd funding campaign on Crowdtilt, a fundraising website.
He provides potential buyers with clues about his product and some background information regarding what it may be.
Bishop claims that he has been working on the item for several months and has collaborated with design specialists to get the components of the item just right. He also hints that it is something that you can give to others, whether it is a co-worker or a significant other.
The item usually sells for $4.50, but Bishop is giving buyers a special deal, offering a $9 price for three items. Buyers also get to choose amongst 24 skews, giving them some variety in what they will be investing in. The product will be shipped to Canada to the U.S. for free, and if the customer is not satisfied, Bishop will give them a full refund.
So far, the unique sales strategy has fared well for the young entrepreneur. The suspense surrounding the product has definitely raised curiosity in many, as there have already been 456 units sold.
We caught up with Bishop to find out more about him and his mystery product.
VCB: So what gave you the idea to market your product in such a creative, mysterious way?
JB: Well to be honest, the whole reasoning behind my idea was that I just wanted to get a couple of my friends to put their faith in me and my product. If they trusted me, then I wanted them to show it by taking a little leap of faith in what I was doing. As soon as I put my pitch up on Facebook, people started to respond. It was super interesting to see that within a couple of hours I had about 100 people within my own social network willing to support my product.
VCB: You have already had 456 units of your product sold. Are you surprised by the support you’re getting?
JB: I definitely did not expect to get the attention it has garnered so far. It was surprising to me when I was beginning to get strangers pledging their support. I was getting emails from all over the place from people wanting to buy. I think what we are actually witnessing with my project and this campaign is how the internet has shifted the way people connect. With an online [presence] I have to provide the promise I am guaranteeing to customers, otherwise the [online] social ridicule will be immense.
VCB: Why do you think people are going for this product?
JB: Well, there are a couple of reasons. My friends and the people within my network know what I am capable of and that is the reason they are buying. But that only makes up 20% of the support I have been receiving. Then number of buyers [on Crowdtilt] is at about 450 and these are a lot of people who do not know me. The mystery is a huge aspect [as buyers] only have to put a small amount forward to get something in return. It is such a small investment to make because you only have to spend $9 for 3 items and free shipping with the choice of 24 skews. Given all those things, its a good investment.
VCB: Have you had any feed back from customers once they have bought the product?
JB: No one has received the product yet. The official website launching Wednesday. On Thursday, I will be asking everyone to go on my website and choose the items they want and they wont receive them until July 30.
VBC: Can you give us a hint here at Vancity Buzz about what the product might be?
JB: Nope. The only details I can give are on the Crowdtilt website.
Evidently, Bishop is a man of mystery as he is keeping his product well concealed until its official launch this Wednesday. He has already gained quite a bit of recognition for his sales pitch, being featured on Reddit and having the story picked up by Business Insider. Be sure to check out his creative marketing campaign on Crowdtilt, as there is only one day left to buy the item in full suspense before it is officially revealed to the public.
Feature Image: Crowdtilt