Building Your Brand: The Importance of a Consistent Message

5 Mar

By Michael Quigley, Director of Research, LSN

mike-2Scientist-entrepreneurs, often emerging from an insular academic environment, may not think about spending significant time and resources on their communications and marketing materials. Oftentimes these items are thought of only during the last moments of preparation for a fundraising campaign. “My technology speaks for itself, so it doesn’t need to be marketed” is the refrain we hear time and time again from entrepreneurs.

As science has protocols, so does fundraising, and adhering to the rules helps to move the process along. Understanding that it takes two to have a conversation and taking the time to find the best way to initiate that conversation is imperative. While all your data and publications are crucial to the success of your company, they are of no use to you if you cannot entice an investor to read and review them. Your brand and marketing materials are essential in capturing that initial interest. This newsletter has previously discussed the various marketing collateral required for fundraising, including your tagline, pitch deck, website, and introductory email; to effectively introduce yourself within the life science investment arena, it is essential that you keep your message and brand consistent across those mediums.

In its most refined state, your brand should be represented by a strong, simple logo accompanied by a cogent and lucid three- to six-word tagline by that is easily understood by people outside of your field. This logo and tagline should be present throughout all your marketing materials, including your business card, executive summary, pitch deck, website and anything else you are putting out into the marketplace. Stemming directly from your tagline should be an equally lucid three- to five-sentence elevator pitch that everyone at your company, from the bottom up, can clearly articulate. The elevator pitch provides a tactical and harmonious way for each person in your company to quickly communicate your core value proposition to whomever they may meet.

From the elevator pitch, you should develop a one- or two-page executive summary that elaborates your story and introduces your technology, the problem it is solving, and your management team. Your pitch deck should act as a visual representation of your executive summary, providing some additional metrics and graphics to further the understanding of your opportunity, and should consist of no more than 10 to 12 slides. Your website should effectively be a reorganization of your pitch deck in web format that also features links to additional supporting publications and relevant studies.

Building-Your-Brand-LSN

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It is important to keep colors, visuals, and language clear and consistent throughout all of these materials in order to develop your brand. By maintaining consistency you keep the same message echoing through the industry, allowing anyone who would be interested in your space to get a fundamental understanding of your opportunity. These materials should be updated simultaneously as new significant data is gathered, partnerships are formed, or other significant changes in your business take place. You don’t want to waste an opportunity to highlight your most recent progress, or cause potential confusion among interested parties by circulating different materials.

A cogent, consistent core message becomes easily reproducible by anyone with whom you come into contact, which can drastically increase the number of relevant people who hear about and understand your opportunity. A developed and understandable brand can be vital in capturing the initial interest of an investor, and can help to eliminate the unnecessary conversations with incompatible parties that can suck up crucial time in a campaign. Being able to establish interest is critical in getting the investor to engage in due diligence, and will put you that much closer to achieving your fundraising goal.

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