A Letter to the VC Community.


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:

Customer base
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.