Promotional Bundles


Promotional Bundle Design and Team Organizational Tips, By Keef

If you are just looking to bundle your products to sell yourself in the catalog you’ll instead want to read Bundled Products Info


What is a Promotional Bundle?


A Promotional Bundle is a selection of products fitting some theme that IMVU promotes and sells for cash. There are normally three to four of these Promotional Bundle offers a week. You will see them advertised by IMVU on the blue bars at the top of the website, on various banners seen when browsing the site, as well as in the notices when you log into the client. You can also browse past Promotional Bundles by visiting the Bundle Vault where they can continue to be purchased at a slightly higher cost well after the initial promotional period.


Official Promotional Bundle Info


While most Promotional Bundles are room setups they can also be clothing collections, accessory collections, or anything else you can imagine, the key is marketability and appealing to a large enough audience to make it worth it for IMVU to promote.

While IMVU staff promotes them and may on a rare occasion make one themselves, the vast majority of these bundles are conceived of and made by User Content Creators like yourself.


Any registered Content Creator may submit a collection of products for consideration for use by IMVU in a Promotional Bundle.

While you can make a Promotional Bundle up of older products you have already made, IMVU prefers that you create them with new all new content.


All products that are sold in a bundle will forever be locked into that bundle, while after the initial sale they can be later sold individually they cannot be altered in any way, including profit changes, product page changes, or icon changes. So if you choose to have items in one, know that that product and its info will forever be locked.


The Project


First and foremost you NEED a marketable idea.


Have a clear outline of the project before actual works begins so everyone working on the project knows what their goals are.

Have several resource descriptions, sketches, images, links to YouTube clips, etc that the team can reference to for design and stylistic guidelines.


Set an obtainable timeline so everyone knows when things are expected to be done, allow a few days after the deadline for PR and submission issues to receive items.


The project itself needs to have a unifying theme and feel.


The Project is a room/furniture one it should not be just made of decorative items, it needs to have at least a few activity items that let avatars do things with each other. These can be as common as dancing, sitting, lounging around as a group, or they can be more specialized to fit the theme.


Professional Dev TIP: Don’t feel the need to make a bazillion items. Remember a Promotional Bundle is about PROMOTION, you want to give the consumer a taste of you stuff, and if they love it to want to seek out more. If they get everything they could possibly need in the bundle they won’t need to shop from your catalog for more bits!


What IMVU Wants!!!


New Stuff The core of the products should be brand new never released before items. Brand new meshes while not mandatory are favored over re-envisioned existing content.


Marketability The project needs to be able to have a clear theme or story that IMVUs marketing team can get excited about and sink their teeth into.


Activity Folks need to be able to DO things.


Socializing Folks need to be able to hang with there friends in groupings.


Aesthetics It needs to look good!




The Team


A lot of Content Creators like to work on Promotional Bundles together as a team, pulling those with varying skills together to make a stronger end product. I’ll get more into the types of teams in a bit.


Some tips on team building…


Keep the team small and of like minded individuals. The more people involved the more chances there are for communication meltdowns. My ideal size team is 2-5 individuals. (2 or 3 is my personal optimal)


Have realistic expectations as to what your team can produce. Do not expect a Ferrari from a coup dev. Know what your team is capable of making and give them tasks within their current skill levels.


If you want top quality key items then you really need to have strong devs to produce them but generally speaking those types of devs are either a) very busy, or b) have such a strong design aesthetic that they will not bend much on their ideas so be prepared to bend to them.


The Team Roles

These roles can be all be done by one person or split between members


Project Leader/Chief Designer Have ONE clear team leader who is in charge of assigning projects, deciding the stylistic goals, and keeping all product on track with the theme. One who has strong and clear communication skills and is not afraid to be the bad guy is good for this role.


Room Decorator and Product Tester Have one person in charge of putting the room together, this is the room setup that will be copied by IMVU for the bundle. All the products made for the bundle must be sent to this person so they can test them. All trigger actions need to be tested. All room and furniture seats need to be tested and tested for cooperative actions.


Proffesional Dev TIP: cooperative action testing either needs a buddy or a second computer and an alt. How to test: Receive a hug in each seat and make sure the hug lines up properly and is not happening in the item or other odd place… in the ground, in the air etc.


Project Organizer Have ONE person in charge of organizing the paperwork and doing all communications with IMVU. One with prior bundle experience is a good one for this role.


Marketing Designer Have ONE person producing the final marketing image materials for the bundle so they all have a unified look and feel to them. This person does not have to be a member of the bundle team as it’s a specialty skill.


Video Designer Optional but strongly suggested, have someone do a promotional video of the project. This person does not have to be a member of the bundle team as it’s a specialty skill.


Team Dynamics


There are three basic types of bundle teams, Collectives, Contracting and Solo. You can be one of these or a hybrid between them. Here’s a bit more info on each type of system, the benefits and problems with them.


Collective: A team Effort, the group decides as a group what to make.

Contracting: An individual handpicks the other individuals to make the products to be included.

Solo: It’s all me baby!


Bundle Team Method One, The Collective


The Collective method works somewhat as a democracy, all team players having some say in what is made for the bundle and how the bundle should look.

This type of team is common with the hobbyist developers or professionals who want to have a fun creative back and forth design experience with their fellow devs. These groups will be more interested in the pure enjoyment of the process, profits and productivity less important. Yes, making a great (and profitable) bundle should always be the goal but not at the sacrifice of enjoying the creative journey with your peers.


This type of team is also more likely to take MUCH longer in the development phase of the project as everyone will have an opinion and should be heard out. Unfortunately this also means a lot of the time these collectives never get past the idea phase.


Even though everyone should have a say in the project it is IMPERATIVE that at some point all agree and appoint a realistically minded Project Leader who all respect and who will have the ultimate deciding power to chose the final theme and approved projects for the bundle. If this isn’t done you will either forever stay in the brainstorming phase and never get anything done, or everyone will just go off randomly making things and you will end up with key missing components come finalizing time.


A Collative must have clear and regular Communication Communication Communication! Make a private IMVU group or a similar offsite service for the collective to communicate in. As this is a team effort all should be made clearly aware of what everyone else is making and everyone should give regular progress updates. This not only keeps everything in the open but also serves as inspiration and motivation to the other team members to keep inspired.


If it is a room/furniture project as soon as you can set up an unlisted public room and start setting up the final prices in it so everyone can jump in and see the progress and offer suggestions. (Note: Just use this for testing and sharing. IMVU cannot copy a Public Room so the actual room setup will have to be in a inventory room.)


Drama! Okay there is an ugly side of the collective, it is a drama magnate. With everyone having a say that also means that everyone may think their way is the ONLY way, that their stuff amazing when its not, that their stuff is worth more that some else’s, etc etc etc. It can get very ugly, you may even loose friends over it. The collective only works when all the parts work toward the goal of the whole. (Star Trek geek alert) The Borg did not have individual goals or individual egos, that is how they can work together. Start tossing selfish individual goals into a collective and the whole system breaks down.


‘But they have 5 things and I have only one.’

‘But they are making more profit than me’

‘But my stuff is better than so and so’s.’


These ego driven statements assume much and only serve to make drama. I you have a real issue PLEASE DO take it up with the Project Leader privately, but if they do not agree with you what they say goes, its not personal, its business, get over yourself and do your part, no matter how small.


Try and take an honest look at the project from the outside, maybe someone else is bringing more to the plate that you, or maybe not, but making a stink is not going to help anyone.


Yes there will indeed be people of varying talents in your collective, some will and should be making more profits. In the case of bundles it not that you are just as strong as your weakest link, the exact opposite is true, you are going to be as strong as your strongest dev. Give them the leeway and the just payment to lift your bundle out of average and into wow and enjoy the sales!

If it does turn out that the group you were part of was truly being a selfish clique and favoring friends over skill, its still always better to take the high road and not make a public stink. Consider it a lesson learned, finish your commitments and take that knowledge with you onto the next project, hopefully with a more business minded team.


There will be times in a collective that the group will fail. Whether it is a lack of strong leadership, drama, folks not delivering by the times they promised, quality just not up to snuff, so be prepared to possibly need to scramble to get the job done, you may need to…


-Remove sub standard products.

-Replace team members or reassign projects to others on the team.

-Have the group take less profits to bring in a stronger dev to add a key feature items to boost a lackluster bundle into a standout.

-Dissolve the group and just sell the products individually


Anyone in a Collective should never think of their own (or their friends) ego, sales, or profits, are more important than making a top quality marketable final project. Product first, the ego should only come AFTER the sales start rolling in.


Bundle Team Method Two, Contracting


In this situation the needed roles still hold true but the roles of Project Leader/Chief Designer and Project Organizer are combined into one position of a sort of Bundle Coordinator. The project chosen, the times to be made and all the decisions for it ultimately come solely from them. They run the project, keep the business side of things to themselves, and just contract out the various jobs.


If you have a project and you want stricter design controls, instead of using a collective to come up with all the ideas and designs and assigning themselves projects you should do that independently or with a small trusted think tank. From the get go you need to hold a strong line that this is your project and what you say ultimately goes. (course don’t be a jerk, or your peeps will walk) You will still want to be open to creative feedback and suggestions from your builders as the project progresses, (they may come up with some cool stuff you never even dreamt of) just be sure to keep them steered to your goals.


Think of it like building a house and you are the general contractor. You have your blueprints, now it is up to you what devs you are going to ‘employ’ to build and decorate your house.


Once you have a clear idea of your project and what needs done for it the Bundle Coordinator individually contracts/assigns devs to make specific items at a pre specified prices. No one on the team really needs to be aware of all the details of the project or what else is being made unless you whish it so. As such each dev just focuses on their part of the pie and does not have to deal directly with any other devs, worry about what the others are making or deal with any of the team organization issues.


All business is handed privately by the Bundle Coordinator This method has the advantage of only one chief, as well as full privacy on any profit agreements you may have with other devs… the big bonus, minimal drama. This is how most of the ‘usual suspects’ bundle teams can continue to work regularly with one another.


Once the plan for the project is in mind the Bundle Coordinator approaches a dev. ‘I need a widget that has A, B, and C, Here are some images for ideas of how I’m seeing it. Can you make this? What are you thinking your price would be and how long would you need to deliver it?”


The Dev can then ask any questions they may have, give their cost, and a timeline for completion.


The Bundle Coordinator then accepts the terms or offers a counter offer. If the dev cannot deliver the project within the Bundle Coordinators budget or timeline the Bundle Coordinator can then pitch it to another dev.


The more craftsman types of devs like absolute clear notes on what they are making and how it should look so there is no confusion. You order an xyz, and you get a beautiful xyz.


The more artsy types of devs (I’m one of these) work best with the ‘here’s the basic idea now run with it!’ type of leader. This looser (blind faith) control style is only best only if you are working with folks you know well, know they can deliver the quality you want and you know they understand where your head is for the project. They will tend to deliver something that may not be exactly what you had envisioned but will still fit its intended role and will hopefully be something well beyond what you dreamed. You order an xyz, but you get xyz’s much more interesting second cousin. Don’t do this blind faith way if you are in any way a control freak or with a dev you can’t fully trust


The main downfall of the Contracting method is if your don’t already have a known name that folks would jump at to work with or you don’t already have an established go to list of skilled developer buddies its going to be real hard going.


If your relatively under the radar or just starting out in the bundle game you may be better off helping in a few collective projects to start building up a network of buddies that you can later call on for your own project or you may want to just go solo and see what happens.


Bundle Team Method Three, Going Solo


Yes you can do it all yourself, even if you are ‘just’ a retexture or ‘just’ a clothing maker! Indeed IMVU prefers bundles featuring new meshes, but if you are great at texturing and have a great theme, IMVU will accept it.


Before you embark on a solo adventure be a realist, do you have the skills to pull it off and can you handle rejection if IMVU doesn’t accept your offer? If you are the only one in the project then having the bundle rejected can be a very bitter pill.


The main advantage of doing a solo project are that you have total creative control, you only have to answer to yourself, and you can set your own deadlines and if you can’t meet those deadlines your only effecting yourself.


Solo adventures are great, those who want a fun challenge for themselves, those who don’t play well with others, those who are afraid of ideas being leaked, or are just plain uber control freaks.





Promotional Bundles have a profit cap. A bundle team is limited to an 10,000** credit profit per bundle sale for all items in the bundle. Bringing a bundle in on or under budget is mandatory.


Have a clear budget and make sure everyone knows approximately what they can expect to get paid and can adjust what they are making to fit that budget.


Let it be know that some small profit adjustments may have to be made later for issues that pop up along the way… products that don’t work out, replacement higher end products, etc. but every effort should be made to keep to the original goals.

It’s a good idea to have a few hundred credits in reserve for things you may need to add to make the offer feel more complete.

Pay devs what they are worth. Not everyone should get the same profits for each product, instead each dev should decide what they will be willing to make within the profits they are budgeted. Devs making the the key feature items that bottom line will be selling the bundle should get a larger chunk of the profits.


Break the project down into these three components (fashion bundles excepted) and then budget for the importance and the quality of items accordingly


Room: Sets the tone for the whole project, the ‘frame’ as it were. A room can literally make or break a bundle. (mid to high profit range)

Key Items: Items that are the feature spots and give the avatars something to do. They each are key to adding function to the project and the project would be grossly lacking an element if they were removed. (mid to high profit range)

Filler Items: Decorative items that fill in the gaps to make the project ‘full’ and a cohesive whole but are individually interchangeable and not integral to the project. (low profit range)


Calculating Your Profits


Don’t count IMVU’s base fees


The bundle team member’s total profits (numbers in profit box on the products) AND all the profits made by any products in the deriving chains cannot exceed 10,000 credits.*

Selling your Bundle to IMVU


Making the bundle is only the first part, the second part is getting IMVU to want to sell it.


As IMVU’s marketing team is ultimately the one selling the bundle consider your offer as a suggestion on how to sell it, they will either reject it, accept it as-is, accept it with a few changes/fixes, or take the idea substitute items out and market it their own way.

With your marketing images you want to show off the products as well as illustrate how groups of avatars can use them. So you will want to have a mix of establishing shots, as well as group activity shots. Having a video to go along with the offer is very useful too.


You will also want to include a bit of descriptive text of the overall project as well as to highlight the individual items. Look at the advertisements in IMVU’s Bundle Vault for ideas on what they like.


Remember the real point of your marketing package is not so much to provide the final marketing materials but to sell the project to IMVU. The goal of your marketing should be to showcase the marketability of your project and excite their creativity.


IMVUs staff will make all the final marketing choices, they may use what you gave them they more likely will not. Ultimately your job is just to make them want to sell it, it is their job to actually sell it. I wouldn’t bother wasting your time on fancy bundle logos, graphics and stuff like that that IMVU may never use, just focus on making good, clear and well composed screenshots.


Things that will get your bundle rejected or asked to make changes.


-Poor Quality
-Obvious Copyrighted graphics and/or Trademarks used on products.
-Needlessly KB heavy products.
-Laggy high polygon products.
-Excessive deriving chains.
-No fog or lighting used in the room.
-No activities.
-UFI Content


Professional Dev TIP: Don’t just stop at the bundled items, make more items that match the bundle and have them ready to sell when the bundle goes live. If folks love what they buy they will want to buy even more of the set so have more accessories ready!


Final Thoughts of things to keep in mind and some personal tips


-Don’t commit to a project you do not have the time to complete


-Don’t commit to making more than what you can realistically make in the set time frame.


-Don’t commit to make products you don’t already have the skills mastered to make. A bundle is the time to sing with what skills you already know, it is not the time to experiment with something you don’t have the knowledge of yet. If you want to push to new things do that on your own time so any problems that arise don’t effect the team.


-Be open to bend your ideals to the needs of the Project Leader.


-Don’t agree to selling your items for less than your normal fees unless you are fully comfortable with that. A bundle is forever, you can’t change your mind later.


-Be a team player, if you find you can’t complete your promised goods let the team know in a timely manner so they can explore other options.


-Leave the ego at the door. The TOP goal of the whole team should be providing the most marketable collective product as possible, so if some products are not up to the cut replacing them with something else that ultimately would sell more bundles is a sound choice. If that means you only have one item in the bundle but the change transforms an average bundle into a blockbuster one you will ultimately come out ahead. It’s better to have your name on one item in a wow bundle than on many items in a disappointing one.


-Don’t use a bundle just for a sales numbers grab. Bundles are best used as a marketing tool, you want folks to see you at your best so focus on a few quality items that you can sing your skills with that will also sell you as a developer. Cramming a bundle full of sub standard overpriced products is not the message you want the mass IMVU public to see. Just because the profit cap is 10,000 doesn’t mean your work is worth 10,000cr be honest with yourself and you contributions.


-And most important….HAVE FUN!


Happy Project Making!


*IMVU changed their promo bundle pricing in spring of 2010, now all profits made by all products AND the meshes used cannot exceed 8,000cr.


** Cap increased to 10,000cr with the late 2010 mesh profit increases.


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