What makes Indiegogo even comparable to Kickstarter? It personally seems that Kickstarter is a better platform and a better brand in most ways.
Kickstarter has indeed a stronger brand and the quality of its projects is generally higher. It seems Indiegogo is always the fallback plan.
However, Indiegogo has a few strong points:
* It is very strong in internationalization. It supports many more currencies, languages and countries than Kickstarter. Kickstarter seems happy to be present mostly in Anglo-saxon countries
* Indiegogo is very strong in community (non-profit causes) and also in film projects. Additionally it has many health tech projects and finance projects that Kickstarter has not. When was last time that you saw an innovative finance project on Kickstarter?
* Indiegogo is growing faster than Kickstarter. Lately, Kickstarter has announced they will switch to a non-profit status and it's been a while they haven't announced new expansion while Indiegogo has fresh investment $$ and has announced new products
* Indiegogo has a staff that can help entrepreneurs and creatives. They will give you support before you launch and can give you advice to raise more. Kickstarter has very little support - apart from its shiny interface and automated interface.
At the end of the day, what matters is selecting the best platform that is best for your project. Conduct due diligence and see where the best performing projects are in your industry.
I've been on three teams, combined we have run 7 different successful crowdfunding campaigns. 6 of those Kickstarters and 1 IndieGoGo. Added up I have participated in raising just shy of $1M by crowdfunding. Additionally I've backed well over 100 product campaigns using both Kickstarter and IndieGoGo about equally.
I prefer IndieGoGo because it is better for the world. Having met the founders I know that they are true to their mission. Kickstarter has a very different mission and they seem to be pretty true to it as well. I don't know it's founders.
As Etsy is similar to Ebay, IndieGoGo is similar to Kickstarter, and Whole Foods is similar to Kroger. Comparing any pair is easy, attempting to win the argument that they are the same, is unnecessary.
Putting aside all of my thoughts on abusing crowdfunding and holding it as true that you're capable of making your product and know how to price products so that if it works you actually have a company after you successfully crowdfund.
My recommendation is to think of these platforms the way that you'd think of professional sports stadiums. I would say Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are the same sport with very different cultures in their teams and their fans.
To sell merch to fans you can pay to sell into a team's customer base (ads on Google and Facebook to reach a targeted audience of fans of the stadium). You can stand out in front of the stadium and sell goods (fine for small trinkets and knockoffs, but never really considered legit by a savvy audience and littered with other risks). Or you can take the producer's role and get the game on network television (come at with a professional marketing team) and it hardly matters which stadium you're playing in as long as you're airing on the right network.
Once you know who your audience is, figure out where they are already shopping. It's easier today than it was 3 years ago to find people that are already on a platform. Ultimately your throughput depends on people being able to act upon the triggers you put in front of them. If it means signing up for the first time on a crowdfunding site, you're in for an uphill battle. If it means moving people to sign up for a second crowdfunding platform, you are really in for it (to them psychologically that's often abandoning one team for another). Either way, I'd recommend selling Dodger's fans LA gear in front of Dodger Stadium and Giants fans SF gear in front of AT&T park if you want to be successful. If you want to be Pebble watch, or Jolla tablet, hire Frog Design or IDEO and let them tell you which platform(s) to launch on. Bring a couple of million in VC money with you in either case. The runaway successes are not homegrown.
OpenROV is the best example of a superb homegrown campaign run by the actual guys who started the company. It's still at less than $1M and it's on the front page of Kickstarter right now. They started 3 years ago with their first campaign, one of the partners also Kickstarted a book (Zero to Maker) and they have been amazing at fullfillment, they have what it takes to succeed on either platform, but they have a base on Kickstarter. Disclaimer* I am personal friends with these guys and both myself and my company have done production runs for the company. I also helped them step into bringing laser production in house in 2012. We still share knowledge today. Sometimes even laser tubes and spare parts.
Passion Planner is another homegrown that ran a second campaign for a better amount of money, though with a much more similar product to their first campaign. I'm a backer, but not connected with the team in any way. Even at 1727% funded, it barely cracked a quarter million. This could be a product we will see on the shelves at Target someday though.
Something that has always been argued against, might be smarter today than it once was, and might never have been as bad of idea as it was made out to be. You can get approved and run on both at the same time. If you're going homegrown, this is going to be your full-time job for 30-45 days anyway. Why not give your consumers both options?
What about the world outside of these two platforms?
Do you want to use renderings only? Try ProductHunt.com Are you pretty sure your design belongs on the shelf at Target? You should be in an incubator like Lemnos, Dragon, PCH, or Seed.
Is this all too much to digest? Try a Clarity call, let's see together how powerful this platform is.