Reality2 usda feb2011
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Reality2 usda feb2011

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How to position your company to go to market successfully right from the start. Early stage branding plays a key role in attracting investors, partners and licensees as well as customers. This PPT ...

How to position your company to go to market successfully right from the start. Early stage branding plays a key role in attracting investors, partners and licensees as well as customers. This PPT targets "New Ag" and cleantech but can also be applied to any company that wants to reposition itself in changing market.

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Reality2 usda feb2011 Reality2 usda feb2011 Presentation Transcript

  • © Copyright 2009 Reality2 LLC Early Stage Branding The key to attracting partners, investors and licensees for USDA & NIFA CATP companies Farida Fotouhi [email_address]
  • This is your time
  • Energy Water Food
  • Fix the economy, fix health care, plus: The environment: preservation, remediation Health: people, livestock, & produce Reduce Ag dependence on cheap oil (quotes Michael Pollen) Sustainable Ag: environmental impact, productivity Food and water supply: safety, availability Reform of food system Alternative energy: a national security issue
  • Your world is bigger than you think
    • Food science, nutrition, food safety
    • Crops, aquaculture, horticulture, pest control
    • Alternative energy & materials: biomass, wind
    • Forestry, timber
    • Health : people & livestock
    “ New Ag” & cleantech : sustainability.
  • The “new Ag” is the place to be today.
    • But, to reap the rewards you need to:
    • Build a brand
    • Align yourself with the big picture vision
    • Define the roadblock you remove
    • Educate
    • Demonstrate a good business case
    • Show a clear benefit for each audience
    • Keep it simple
  • Your brand = the sum of experiences at every point of contact.
  • You have a brand whether you know it or not. Take control and make it work for you. “ What X stands for”
  • A brand is both facts and feelings.
      • What you stand for
        • Left brain: logical
        • Right brain: emotional
      • The “takeaway”
    Market savvy? Credible? Cutting edge? Am I in love? Pain relieved? Why is it better? $ Potential? Market traction?
  • The Reality-Based branding and positioning triangle.
  • Your customer.
      • The customer POV: what’s important to each segment?
        • Greatest pain = greatest opportunity
      • Drivers & barriers. What’s changed or changing
      • Why choose you over status quo...or competitor
  • Your competition.
      • What do they say they do?
      • What do they really do?
      • Who knows this?
      • Be sure your communications set you apart (Signal-to-noise ratio)
      • For game-changing technologies, toughest competitor is “the old way”
  • Position your brand where your strengths are most relevant. Your window of opportunity.
    • Anchor your brand at the intersection of:
      • Customer need or pain
      • Gap in competitive offering and message
        • Roadblocks your technology removes
      • The value you deliver
  • Define and express your brand personality consistently, everywhere.
      • Helpful?
      • Friendly?
      • Compassionate?
      • Businesslike?
      • Solution-focused?
      • Technologically cutting-edge?
  • Align yourself with the big picture vision and be specific about the roadblock you remove.
  • ALIGN WITH BIG PICTURE SPECIFIC ROADBLOCK YOU REMOVE
  • NEW WAY OLD WAY EDUCATE (SIMPLE, CLEAR)
  • “ Roadblocks” in search of solutions from the new Ag – a few examples.
      • Food safety: better threat detection
      • Biofuels that take too much fossil fuel, land, or food crops to produce
      • New feedstocks: economics of conversion
      • Waste products (ways to process, transform, recycle)
      • Energy storage and distribution; intermittency of wind & solar
  • Paradigm shifters: educate! Own the solution as thought leader. Change perceptions and behavior.
  • EDUCATE: CHANGE PERCEPTIONS BE A THOUGHT LEADER
  • OWN THE SOLUTION AS THOUGHT LEADER
  • Make a good business case. Sustainability alone isn’t sustainable.
  • Businesses buy sustainability when it also fixes pain, adds value and impacts the bottom line. 1) Sustainability 2) Affordability 3) Quality
  • THE BUSINESS CASE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
  • THE BUSINESS CASE + GREEN BENEFIT OLD WAY - NEW WAY: QUALITY OLD WAY - NEW WAY: SAVINGS OWNERSHIP OF SOLUTION (IP)
  • A value proposition for each target audience (within unified brand)
  • Example: The “Early Stage” target audience includes partners, licensors, investors.
      • Early adopter high-profile customer/partner for co-development and credibility
      • Strategic partners: contractual relationship with big company
      • Licensors: all or part of your IP. Fund operations without giving away the store
      • Acquisition by big company
      • Investment capital
  • Early Stage Branding ™ : the key components. A branding strategy A clear market-focused value proposition Professional startup package (not home-made) Name/logo Website Brochure Presentation
  • How about social media? Rule of thumb for B2B: Blog and LinkedIn.
  • Be where your target audience is networking and conversing. First step: search your topic.
    • Use the social network’s “search” function and Google Reader:
      • Blogs: who is blogging in your field?
      • Linked-in: prospects? Competitors? Individual and by company.
      • Twitter: generally not as applicable for B2B
      • Facebook: intersection of personal and professional. Do your contacts have pages?
  • Tips for your Blog.
      • Research: Google Reader, Google’s blog section, & Bloglines
      • Setup: Blogger template easier than Wordpress
      • Name it after topic not your company, but link to your website
      • What to post: opinions, how-to’s, industry issues, problems solved, interview somebody. No obvious promo. Casual and playful are OK
      • Post at least once a week
      • Link to LinkedIn profile
  • Tips for LinkedIn.
      • At Early Stage: create individual not corporate profile
      • Import your contact list into LinkedIn
      • Update your status - engage your network - goes to email
      • Look for shared contacts, ask for introductions
      • Recommend people and ask them to recommend you
      • Join groups or create your own
  • Courtesy of Robin Frank
  • Keep it simple.
  • You’ve developed a technological breakthrough.
  • Commercialization, branding and selling involve an entirely different skill set. Ours is better!
  • Can you explain your product to a six-year-old?
    • The challenge for technology companies
      • Simplify
      • Educate
      • Benefits
  • What is it you guys again? do
  • So what?
  • Your positioning statement can also be your elevator pitch.
  • The first sentence: define product, customer, and pain/need. We have a / we are a (category of product; name your space) for (type of customer; target segment) who (pain dissatisfaction: is dissatisfied with)
  • The second sentence: define benefit and uniqueness. Our product (main benefit) unlike (old or competitive way and disadvantage)
  • Third sentence: quick hook or summary for this audience. Here, your summary depends on the audience. General end user? Investor? Prospective licensor or partner?
  • Workshop: position this product!
  • The Wheel.
  • October 28, 2008 Early Stage Branding The key to attracting partners, investors and licensees for USDA & NIFA CATP companies. Farida Fotouhi [email_address]