Fully funded in 3 days.
366% funded total.
This Kickstarter project was an intensive school project requiring us to design, launch, and fund our product in just 13 weeks. We were 366% funded, and worked with a manufacturer in Shenzhen to make XUBE a reality, and ship it worldwide.
Project Goals & Challenges
Identify a market gap and design a product that is feasible and desirable - aesthetically, ergonomically, and economically.
Prototype and test the product, considering usability, marketability and manufacturability.
Create a convincing Kickstarter campaign to validate our proposal in a real marketplace.
As a small team working on such a large project, we had to work closely and flexibly at every stage: from design to production to marketing.
User profiling and personas
Positioning & USP
Photography & editing
Videography & editing
Infographics & illustration
Writing & brand persona
Campaign updates & emails
Prototyping and testing
Detailing & refinement
Colour, material, finish
Final CAD for manufacture
Liaising with factory
How can the experience of showering outside the home be improved?
As Kickstarter’s audience tends to be between 20 - 40 years old, we identified millennials as our target demographic.
The rise of budget airlines and Airbnb has made travel more accessible to young adults than ever (pre-pandemic, 2016). Millennials value experiences and enjoy travelling, but may not have the budget to afford fancy hotels. Many of those we interviewed said they weren’t keen on the free ‘mystery’ soaps offered at budget locations - especially those who were more savvy with their skincare routines.
We also discovered a secondary target user that was equally relevant to our demographic. Many millennials exercise regularly, and use the public showers at gyms, swimming pools, and yoga studios. These are locations where free soap is not offered, and very little space is given for placing down their own bottles.
There are, of course, wider applications such as those living in student dormitories. However, these scenarios were less universally relatable, so we decided not to market specifically towards these users.
Overall, our research also indicated that Millennials are willing to pay a premium for products that increased their quality of life, are unique, resonate with their aesthetic tastes, and/or are environmentally friendly.
From these insights, we constructed two user personas to represent our target groups. If we designed an elegant solution for showering in hostels and gyms, with enough universal appeal, we could angle our campaign at both groups despite their differing personalities and priorities.
Identifying common pain points
From our user interviews, many found the experience of showering outside the home to be unpleasant, largely due to the fuss created by having many small bottles, and nowhere to put them. Some Singaporeans revealed that they dealt with this by throwing their bottles into a plastic bag, and hanging the bag on a hook inside the door. One dorm student even used a plastic bucket.
We identified relatable scenarios to be used in our storyboard and marketing communications.
XUBE: Streamline your shower experience on the go
From testing and interviews, we knew that users primarily wanted to minimise fuss. The less fiddly the experience, the better. Our concept was a portable, refillable soap dispenser that could be wall-mounted with microsuction pads. It would always present the user with their shower products in their usual order of usage, and roll up neatly into a stackable, packable cuboid.
The Kickstarter campaign
Product design wasn’t the only challenge in this project. Campaign planning, pricing strategy, storyboarding, copywriting, and creating assets took up half of our time.
Kickstarter users tend to feel more comfortable backing campaigns that are already 50-100% funded. Hence, the first few days of our launch would be the most crucial in determining how much support we could gather within our allotted campaign window.
To create anticipation, we created XUBE’s social media accounts ahead of time, where we announced our countdown to launch, and released short teaser clips.
These clips were later added to the front of the final video.
Manufacturing in Shenzhen
We made trips to the factory to discuss materials and design, and carry out quality checks.
For the pouch, we wanted a synthetic water-repellent material that wouldn’t stick to the microsuction pads. It would protect the sticky pads from dust, while providing an extra guard against leaks.
At the time, this was our biggest project yet. It forced us all to push ourselves in ways we never thought possible. Working flexibly, being willing to take on multiple roles and responsibilities, and communicating closely were crucial to ensuring our success.
We encountered many problems we didn’t predict: having to manage backer expectations when our timeline was delayed by the factory, or parcels getting lost in transit, what a nightmare it is to chemically bond silicone to a different material, having to take over the manual assembly and quality checks when the factory couldn’t make our deadline, and the importance of maintaining regular communication with backers to keep them informed.
It was tough, but we hit the ground running and learned through falling. In the end, we managed to deliver the orders and give people all over the world a great shower experience. Multiple distributors reached out to us, but we have no plans to run XUBE as a permanent business.
Although we were just students, we managed to develop, manufacture, and deliver a real product with real demand. I could not be prouder of my team, and will always remember the crazy all-nighters and lessons we learnt.