It is a card game, consisting of 54 cards, plus an optional deck of “special” cards, that are being offered for $35 per deck on Kickstarter.
The campaign has been live now for less than 24 hours. Nearly 40,000 people have backed the project, and it has raised an impressive $1.5 million – $35 at a time from over 40,000 donors.
We have been schooled by exploding kittens. What are the lessons this conflagration of felines can teach us?
Here are my top picks:
1. Integrity wins
Whether the comics discuss the mating habits of the red velvet mite or an ode to Sriracha, each is uniquely written from Mr. Inman’s point of view. His audience may or may not agree with him, but there is no doubt that his viewpoint is his own. Because he says what he thinks, he forms a bond of trust with his audience – even when he posts viewpoints that may be unpopular.
The “Exploding Kittens” description includes descriptions of early iterations of the product, including failures and ugly pictures of kittens strapped to rockets. This is an integrity point – there is no claim of instant perfection or god-like ability.
Nothing replaces integrity, and it can’t be faked.
2. Two-way interaction is unavoidable
The Oatmeal will sometimes draw pictures of his fans. He has hosted running events to promote long distance running. He responds to comments, good or bad, with the same integrity as he writes his comics.
Social media is a two-way communication entity. Once upon a time, advertising was a one-way flow. If we saw a stupid ad, we’d yell at the screen or if we were really angry, we’d turn off the television. Now, when a company operates without integrity or attempts to use social media as a traditional advertising outlet, we have the opportunity to tell them what we think.
McDonald’s is fighting a social media street battle on Facebook. Nearly every new post garners a slew of negative comments, and many are being responded to, one at a time. But – what is the common theme of the complaints? Lack of transparency and integrity.
3. Integrity + two-way communication = Tribe
Because The Oatmeal has applied consistent integrity and has stayed in communication with his fan base, he has developed a tribe of people who would contribute to any project he focused his attention on, whether that project was building a new museum for Nikola Tesla or making a card game about exploding kittens.
Seth Godin has written extensively about building a tribe. I won’t pretend to be Seth. Read his book.
Using the exploding kittens lessons
How do we as small business marketers take the exploding kittens lessons and apply them to our lives, right now?
Answer these questions:
- Could we be more transparent about our processes? Do our customers want or need to know more about how we operate? If so, what is the best way to get them this information?
- How can we improve our voice on social media? If our company were an individual with nothing to sell, what would it be passionate about? What groups or individuals would it follow and share? How can we add that human element now?
- Who is our tribe? What do they want from us? Is there an unanswered demand for information or for a product? Can we provide it? How?
Once these are answered, write a simple plan that nudges the company’s existing scene closer to the ideal, then repeat.
Worry Free Marketing offers a free social media analysis to help small business owners through this process. I would enjoy hearing from you.