A Letter to the VC Community.

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I recently read a business plan for a new company which, I suspect, was based upon a templet someone developed for people trying to raise money for a startup. Below are the sections:

Mission
Product
Customer base
Competition
Industry Overview
Market Analysis and Competition
Sales and Marketing
Ownership and Management
Operating Plan
Financial Plan

It looks like all the bases are covered and I’ve little doubt a lender who reads all the sections would be better prepared to make a funding decision. Ish. You see, a business plan is not a true indicator of success. What it lacks is a deep dive into consumer values, behaviors and biases. That’s where a brand plan comes in. These two elements of marketing need to be interconnected. Without the business plan you’re overlooking product, manufacturing, distribution, pricing and cash flow. But without a brand plan you are not understanding demand, emotion, psychology and humanity.

This is not an “art and science” discussion. Branding is not all art. There’s a degree of reflexology involved.

If you are in the venture capital business, you would do well with your investments to require a brand plan in addition to the business plan.

Peace.