Mix With the Crowd? Craft-Based Campaigns and the Value of Distinctiveness in Campaign Success

Marcus Wolfe, Daniel Blaseg, Pankaj Patel, Richard Chan

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


Research Summary: Distinctiveness is an essential element of crafts. Building on optimal distinctiveness theory, we examine the relationship between craft-based ventures, distinctiveness, and crowdfunding performance. Using a sample of 10,915 craft campaigns and 429,290 non-craft campaigns, we find that craft-based campaigns have higher distinctiveness but realize lower success through distinctiveness. Additionally, craft-based campaigns with a higher risk index have lower distinctiveness, those with higher strategy breadth have higher distinctiveness, and those with lower cognitive complexity have higher distinctiveness. The findings have implications for crafts-based entrepreneurs in leveraging distinctiveness and the value of lowering perceptions of distinctiveness through elements of strategic entrepreneurship—strategy breadth and cognitive complexity. Managerial Summary: Our study aids craft-based entrepreneurs in presenting their ventures in crowdfunding contexts. We find that increasing the distinctiveness of craft-based ventures results in lower crowdfunding campaign performance. Additionally, our results indicate that craft-based campaigns that have higher risk have lower levels of distinctiveness. Conversely, we find that craft-based campaigns with higher levels of strategic breadth and lower levels of cognitive complexity exhibit higher levels of distinctiveness. These findings have important implications regarding best practices related to how craft-based entrepreneurs can best present their ventures within crowdfunding contexts. Specifically, our results indicate that craft-based ventures can realize better crowdfunding performance via lower levels of distinctiveness within their campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages41
JournalStrategic Entrepreneurship Journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024


  • craft ventures
  • crowdfunding
  • distinctiveness
  • new venture performance


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