HUONE, or simply “room” in English, is a company with momentum. Regularly popping up as Finnish business award recipients, HUONE is a great example of how a focused, innovative offering can leverage crowdfunding PR to become a successful brand.By becoming a business hotel without bedrooms, HUONE has now expanded its premises and - uniquely for a Finnish service industry company - will be opening its first overseas offices in Singapore later this spring. You might even be one of their investors. Huone recently raised over 500 000 € on Invesdor, the Nordic’s top equity crowdfunding platform.
However, a great brand and a cool offering isn’t enough when it comes to crowdfunding. Too often have seemingly fantastic businesses or products become high profile casualties when dipping their toes into the crowdfunding shark tank. How did HUONE avoid failure and meet their targets? The answer - a super effective crowdfunding PR strategy that focused on 3 key areas.
1: The story
HUONE already had a well-documented backstory in place that highlighted the company founders and their history. Hard work, a new perspective, a blend of cultures and good old Finnish sisu are all key messages that were already well formed before the start of the campaign.
For the crowdfunding campaign to succeed, San Francisco and HUONE focused on the big picture: to expand to Singapore, then onwards into the 10 biggest meeting cities in the world. By exporting this Finnish success story, HUONE is aiming to place Finnish business back on the global stage. Being part of this journey was a key selling point for potential backers.
In the age of startups and new ways of doing business, HUONE understood that the changes to the workplace pioneered by Silicon Valley had created a need for more tailored, personalized meeting facilities. The one size fits all approach offered by traditional hotel venues suddenly seemed inefficient, impersonal, boring in comparison.
HUONE’s disruptive positioning flipped the script. Instead of being an identikit chain venue that catered to both businesses and the public, HUONE positioned itself as a conference venue perfectly tailored to intimate business meetings that facilitate teamwork and creativity. This message is consistently conveyed across all of their external communications and PR, from their pitch video to their crowdfunding profile, website, media stories and social media content.
3: Media coverage
Finally, and most importantly, HUONE understood that a great story and clever positioning was only half the battle. To raise over half a million euros, your campaign has to create a buzz and be seen by the right people.
Over the course of their crowdfunding campaign on Invesdor, San Francisco constantly pitched the HUONE story to targeted media and journalists. The result - HUONE became the focus of several pieces of coverage in key media outlets, including (but not limited to) Helsingin Sanomat - Finland’s largest newspaper, Kauppalehti and Markkinointi & Mainonta.
By the end of the campaign, San Francisco helped HUONE achieve a high level of coverage by having a clear idea of which media to target, and by remaining in constant contact with journalists and media representatives throughout the campaign. The end result was brand visibility in publications read by potential investors, and a fulfilled crowdfunding target. What’s not to like.
There’s a reason why people know about HUONE. From the leadership downwards, HUONE has built a strong brand image and told a consistent story from the beginning. When it came to the crowdfunding campaign, they stepped their game up and pushed their way into the national media through smart targeting and focused PR work. Companies looking to launch crowdfunding campaigns in the future should aim to follow in their steps.