Building a Brand: From Blah to Boom

6 Aug

By Karen Deyo, Senior Investor Research Analyst, LSN

“You don’t need marketing materials because your technology speaks for itself,” said no investor ever, besides the ones living in the minds of hopeful, yet branding-challenged, CEOs. What many often neglect until the last minute is that a company’s marketing collateral is one of its most important assets when reaching out to investors, often the first glimpse an investor has of the company. The goal is to keep a clear, consistent message across all channels of communication. No matter who interacts with your company in any context, they should all have the same understanding of who you are and what you do.

Of these channels, the pitch deck can often be a challenge to master, balancing the visual format while allowing investors to understand the whole with no explanation. Furthermore, a pitch deck needs to provide a good snapshot of the company in 10-12 slides – as an investor once said during a RESI panel, a pitch deck should be like a movie trailer.

The key to a good pitch deck is to ensure that no one portion dominates. It should tell the story of your company, and we recommend that it include the following information:

  • Elevator Pitch & Tagline: Clear, informational, but concise and memorable.
  • Company: Who are you as a company? Who is your management team, and what stage of development is your company now?
  • Technology: What need is your tech filling in the market? Where is the opportunity, and how does your idea fill it? Describe your tech, and back up your claims with supportive data that is visually appealing and easy to digest. Remember, this isn’t a thesis defense.
  • Pipeline & Future Projections: You’ve got this great idea, but what’re the next steps? What’s your path to market and, eventually, exit? Do you have competition that you stand out from? Are there any risks you anticipate, and how do you plan to mitigate these? This would also be a good time to share milestones (both achieved and future), as well as a timeline for the use of funds you are raising. Again, keep it clear and visually palatable.

Companies, especially those guided by scientist-entrepreneurs, have a tendency of focusing on the science, leading to pitch decks that are heavily weighted on the technical aspects of the technology and are much too long. Remember, the purpose of your pitch deck is to hook the investor’s interest, and leave them wanting a meeting, where they can learn more.

You won’t get that second meeting unless you’re delivering a clear image of your company and its value to the market. Remember that this isn’t rocket science (you’ve probably already done that), just telling a compelling story to an audience that ultimately wants the same thing as you – a successful partnership.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: