Ashton Kutcher recently launched a monthly subscription box full of interesting items via Fancy. Though Fancy is said to be opening up their program for others to create subscription boxes, a monthly release is probably a bit over the top for most musicians. Instead, you could create a one-off box of goodies inspired by crowdfunding rewards to feed your superfans.
Fancy is an interesting company with what is now described as a Pinterest-style grid design with the ability to pin desired objects gathered from the web. Fancy works with brands to make those objects available for purchase and is mapping out a smart route towards a profitable company.
Fancy also offers a monthly subscription box of cool things and now they've introduced the Ashton Kutcher Fancy Box Subscription curated by Fancy investor Ashton Kutcher. It costs $45 a month and is said to be filled with $90 worth of the "dopest stuff on Fancy" likely to include some items that symbolize Ashton Kutcher's contributions to contemporary culture.
Fancy May Be Launching Create Your Own Subscription Boxes
According to Sarah Mitroff, writing for Wired, this has become a program that allows you to create your own subscription box:
"Starting now, anyone – yes, you – can sign up to make their own Fancy subscription box. You can sign up by e-mailing email@example.com and once they set you up, you get to pick from a list of popular products on The Fancy, or add anything else you like from the internet, so long as isn’t deemed inappropriate by the startup’s staff (think offensive t-shirts, weapons, or drugs). The Fancy says it is looking for all kinds of people to make boxes, says a company spokesperson..."
"The Fancy will take care of the rest, including packing and shipping the box, and handling the transaction. You’re expected to share your box on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social networks you use to get the word out...You keep half the profits from your box sales."
Unfortunately I haven't been able to get any more details. Since they haven't responded to my emailed requests for information and their customer service reps had no idea what I was talking about and kept sending me increasingly detailed messages explaining how to get Ashton Kutcher's subscription box, that's all I can tell you.
So if you think people care enough about your taste to subscribe to a monthly box filled with random stuff that's mostly useless but looks cool, you should email them and maybe one day you'll hear back.
Go Beyond Old School Merch With Your Own Box of Goodies
But finding out about this service gave me the idea that, for some bands, a one-time offering of special goodies that go beyond a typical merch bundle might be a really cool thing to do to feed your superfans and garner some extra publicity.
For example, let's say you're going on your first tour of The American South, a foreign land to many. Unless you've got a big ass tour bus, you're probably not going to be able to gather stuff for very many boxes. But you could document your tour with items that represent each stop and create a few boxes that would go out at the end of the tour to contest winners or fans that have gone out of their way to help you.
Or let's say you're spending some time at the beach writing songs and you're a crafty sort of person. You could take a tip from The Bowerbirds who gathered items on the beach to use in creating some of the items they offered as crowdfunding rewards for their highly successful Kickstarter campaign.
In fact, if you scroll down the main page of The Bowerbirds' Kickstarter campaign, you'll see a chart of all the items they're offering fans as rewards. It's not hard to imagine a box filled with a variety of these selections that combines some traditional band merch with unique creative items directly related to your band's identity.
Such a box could in and of itself be a great crowdfunding reward but what I'm suggesting is taking inspiration from what you're learning from campaigns that go overboard with interesting reward items and see how that approach can be taken outside of a crowdfunding campaign. In that sense, it's a variation on Levi James' use of a Kickstarter-style pitch video for a preorder campaign that drew on crowdfunding lessons yet was not an example of crowdfunding.
I suppose a pun about outside of the box thinking would be appropriate but, at the end of the day, what you put inside of a box always comes from the outside.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) also blogs at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM) and All World Dance: Videos. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.