Crafting a Powerful Pitch

For Companies General July 1, 2016

Crafting a Powerful Pitch

Whether in the traditional form of a spoken elevator pitch or a concise marketing video, a pitch is one of the most powerful tools when seeking investors during a crowdfunding campaign. With investment hubs moving online, the need to grasp potential investors’ interest in a quick and meaningful manner has increased rapidly. A pitch can truly make or break an investment opportunity, so getting it right upon its initial launch is essential for a company’s crowdfunding success. This piece is intended to help entrepreneurs navigate the intimidating task of presenting their business to the public while raising capital from the crowd.

A large component of delivering a powerful pitch is articulating the company’s mission. It is important that the mission statement is ambitious, yet not unrealistic. A company’s mission statement drives it forward, giving it momentum to advance its goals and explore each day as an opportunity for growth. A mission statement also functions as a succinct way to express the brand’s passion to its potential investors. For instance, Nordstrom’s mission reads, “In store or online, wherever new opportunities arise, Nordstrom works relentlessly to give customers the most compelling shopping experience possible. The one constant? John W. Nordstrom’s founding philosophy: offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value.” Nordstrom’s optimistic yet realistic mission statement works to exemplify its dedication to customer service, shedding a positive light on the brand.

Another piece of creating a powerful pitch is identifying the problem that the product or service is intending to solve and instilling a sense of need for the investor. The scale of the problem is not as important, but rather that the problem exists and there is room for traction and growth. Ensuring that the problem is identified in consumers’ lives can increase the product’s relatability and possibility that fans may transform into investors for a crowdfunding campaign.

By establishing the distinct problem from the start, identifying the target market becomes a much easier task to tackle. This brings up another important area to consider when creating the perfect pitch: the customer.

Laying out the problem being solved is a large component of a product pitch, but presenting who the customers are is just as important. Without identifying people to sell the product to, half of the standard seller-buyer business model falls apart. Target market exemplification also gives investors context for the product, as it allows them to envision the product in active use throughout consumers’ lives.

After establishing the problem and the target market, the stage has been set for a focused presentation of what the product or service entails. Creatively engaging customers and potential investors through storytelling is a fantastic way to gain traction and begin to grow interest in a company. Consider telling a story of how the idea came to be or how the company envisions its use around the world in order to entice investors in the physical product’s capabilities. Additionally, a thorough breakdown of the product, including its features and limitations, could increase an investor’s confidence in pursuing the venture as it showcases the company’s own “know-how” in the market. This portion of the pitch could feature current competitors, market trends, and future projections.

Unfortunately, with our current IP revolution at hand, many individuals generate similar product ideas with comparable business models and projections. This creates saturation in the form of competition when launching a startup company. If competition is strong enough, it can completely shut a company off from its target market, leaving them with the scraps, if they are lucky.

This is where competitor analysis becomes increasingly important. Getting ahead of the game and showcasing recognition of competition through the pitch is a great way to keep an honest and realistic flow of communication between a company and its potential investors. Depicting the competitive edge a company has over others is a great way to lure investors in. Establishing an angle that differentiates the company from others is pivotal, as it will both stand out to consumers and entice investors. Statistics and visual aids with data analysis are useful in maintaining the attention of viewers.

At this point, potential investors have a good idea of what the business provides and how it will fit into the market, but it is important to recognize that investors are not just placing their faith in products and business plans. Rather, people tend to invest their money in other people, specifically ones who show immense dedication and tenacity for their ventures.

Giving investors a depiction of the company’s team and its goals can help connect them with the brand on a more personal level. This personal approach to describing the company will humanize the business process and push investors to join the startup’s journey. Incorporating even a brief overview of company culture and employees can increase the faith investors have in the business venture and potentially act as the tipping point in their decision making process.

Crowdfunding brings together practically anyone with a smartphone or computer and an Internet connection. A crowdfunding campaign’s audience is comprised of potential investors and future customers, each with varying tastes and sentiments. Crowdfunding by nature is less formal, so the pitch process traditionally demanded by larger investors is softened, as it must cater to a greater number of people.

The overall pitch should be concise, but also apply to a broader range of people to attract as much attention as possible. A large majority of crowdfunding is still rewards based, a model used by platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. On the rise now is equity crowdfunding available on platforms such as our own, StartEngine. With more people of varying backgrounds now able to invest in startups and early stage companies, crafting the perfect pitch to attract investors has become that much more important for the launch of ‘the next big thing’.

 

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