Message Testing & Refinement
"We know the importance of product testing and focus groups. We understand how important the 'Red Herring' process is for companies who are price testing their equity before their IPO. We need a focus group environment designed for folks raising private equity, where we can confidentially test our messages against a panel of experts before we start our road show."
The CEO must
gather equity customer (investor) feedback in a market that only
gives you 1 shot to make an impression. Feedback loops are a
critical check and balance system that keeps markets and messages in
sync so they target the right customer with the right needs. The
process exists for public equity, but CEOs are on their own to
create their own "focus group" before raising private
early-stage companies either a) don't have a board, or b) the board
lacks the proper tools, process, and resources to adequately perform
this critical function. Those who skip this step do so at their
peril, as the deal can easily become "over shopped" in the
marketplace which significantly lowers their chances of success.
VenLogic's programs use a number of facilitated exercises that are designed to test and refine key messages.
Expert facilitation is a key ingredient that guides a team of high caliber experts quickly through the necessary steps to success.
CEOs who carry the right messages not only achieve faster time to funding, they also achieve another invaluable benefit - credibility. High net worth executives routinely destroy their credibility when they over shop their deal in the venture community, lowering their net worth and "Equity Brand". Putting the principles of Equity Marketingô to work starts with the refinement of key messages in the right environment.
Words matter. The greatest challenge we pose to our CEO clients is to define the meaning of their Equity Brand into a single word that holds a unique and valuable position in the mind of the equity customer.
Equity markets are similar to product markets. In the product market realms, "FedEx means Overnight" therefore to send something over night means to FedEx. Overnight is the single word that FedEx owns in our mind. We buy products, such as Perrier sparkling water, more on brand perception of "prestige" than on the tangible features and benefits sold to us.
Investors buy based on perceptions. Perception has a powerful effect of killing the fund raising campaign behind the scenes, burning hard earned cash - regardless of the company's progress.
Since message design takes time, CEOs are encouraged to participate as often as needed until they get it right. You get one shot and, unlike capital, your personal brand credibility is not a renewable resource.