Q.bo in the Spotlight: Earning Trust with the Arrow Certification Program

Successful Indiegogo campaigns are often driven by the trust of their backers. That’s because crowdfunding backers are interested in helping fund products that successfully overcome the challenges of going from prototype to shipping a working product.

Trust was Critical for Q.bo One

Trust and credibility were particularly important for Indiegogo campaigners TheCorpora, makers of Q.bo One – an interactive, open-source robot companion that can see, hear, speak, and respond to human touch. Due to the product’s highly technical nature, the company knew it would attract extra scrutiny from potential backers.

“There are many interactive robots on the market that couldn’t deliver their product,” said See Tho Yong Yang, Business Development Manager for the Q.bo One team.

The open-source nature of Q.bo One added additional pressure. Targeted Q.bo One customers were generally more technically inclined than the average tech consumer. In addition to the Q.bo One team’s extensive experience in robotics and hardware, they wanted to demonstrate that their product had a solid foundation for success.

The Arrow Certification Program offers validation and technical support

One route for building trust with Indiegogo backers is the Arrow Certification Program, which helps entrepreneurs refine their prototype and prepare for the manufacturing process.

As part of the program, an Arrow engineer can review a campaigner’s Bill of Materials and product schematics to verify that their technology is feasible for manufacturing at scale. When a product’s technology is certified by Arrow, the campaigners get a special badge put on their campaign page. Campaigns with Arrow Certified Technology at launch raise, on average, 87% more in funding than campaigns that do not have the Arrow Certified Technology badge.

Arrow Certified Technology

“Arrow Certification gives backers a sense of confidence that what we do—at least from an electronics point of view—has been verified by Arrow, and that it’s workable,” Yong Yang said.

The Q.bo One team also fostered credibility by hunting for opportunities to delight backers during their campaign. Campaigners whose technology is Arrow Certified receive a $1,000 rebate on electronics components at Arrow.com. The Q.bo One team had the clever idea of putting this money toward costs of the Raspberry Pi inside their robot–and to pass the savings along to backers by offering subsidized versions with ‘free Raspberry Pi’s’ as a special perk.

In the end, backers felt confident in Q.bo One. The campaign raised more than $200,000–more than 300 percent of their initial campaign goal.

Preserving trust over time with ongoing communication and collaboration

A successful campaign isn’t enough to preserve backer trust over the long term. Trust needs to be nurtured continuously–particularly when entrepreneurs move into the rigors of manufacturing. Recognizing this, the Q.bo One team found ways to minimize post-campaign obstacles while keeping backers up to date.

The team knew that manufacturing delays can quickly frustrate backers. They continued working with Arrow to source better, cheaper components throughout the process. “Arrow has been very helpful in looking through our bill of materials–trying their best to reduce the cost of the product.” Yong Yang said.

When delays did emerge, the Q.bo One team preserved the trust they’d earned by communicating quickly and transparently with backers. Impressively, in the more than two years since their campaign closed, Yong Yang and his colleagues have responded to every single backer comment on their Indiegogo page within 24 hours, often turning backer complaints into positive experiences: “This comes down to the simple notion of respect and appreciation for our backers,” Yong Yang said. “If backers put their trust and faith in us, the minimum we can do is to respond to them whenever they have a query or comment.”

“Always have someone to validate your ideas”

The Q.bo One team’s commitment to collaboration and transparency has validated their backers’ trust. The company recently finished manufacturing the final batch of Q.bo Ones and will soon start working on their next product.

“The Q.bo team was extremely responsive and easy to work with, which made a difference as we walked through different recommendations for their project.” – Enric Puiggros, Arrow Account Development Representative (Spain).

And what advice would the Q.bo One team share with other entrepreneurs?

“Always have someone to validate your ideas,” Yong Yang said, “and to criticize your work, so you can make it better. Indiegogo is a great platform, and the team at Arrow is amazing.”

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