Pitching Investors: When Numbers Aren’t Enough

Interestingly enough, your brand story is only as compelling as the legal framework used to hold it all up.


Photo: Kelly Weiner, NYC-based attorney and owner of  Kelly Weiner Law PLLC; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Kelly Weiner, NYC-based attorney and owner of Kelly Weiner Law PLLC; Source: Courtesy Photo

Do you think numbers are enough? Think again. The intersection of financials, brand identity, and intellectual property is priceless.

You know how to run the numbers, but what is your company’s story? Does your pitch deck convey who you really are? Do you really understand your company’s brand value as a company asset? Do you recognize your intellectual property assets? Do you have the language to talk about these issues at length?

Unless your numbers truly speak for themselves, you need every tool at your disposal to communicate your company’s value. You need to articulate what makes your company stand out.

 

Communicating Company Value

Business ideas and concepts are rarely truly unique. But branding and marketing can effectively set your company apart from the competition.

Telling a compelling story in a pitch meeting is not as easy as it may seem. As your company’s leader you must communicate a defined brand mission and position, a specific target market, a clear belief system and values and experience that creates a real point of difference from the competition.

Only when this foundation has been laid can a business identify executable sales and marketing plans and a convincing competitive analysis.

 

Brands and Legal Framework

Your brand story is only as compelling as the legal framework used to hold it all up. Has your company registered for the trademarks, copyrights or patents necessary to run the business and grow?

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“Your brand story is only as compelling as the legal framework used to hold it all up. Has your company registered for the trademarks, copyrights or patents necessary to run the business and grow?”

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Registered intellectual property can increase the value of a brand and provide leverage in a negotiation. Are there holes in your intellectual property strategy that could leave purchasers at risk? Buyers and investors will ask for assurances regarding potential claims. Are core marketing messages compliant with the relevant advertising laws and regulations? This is especially relevant to companies in regulated industries, such as healthcare, financial services, and alcohol and tobacco.

One significant fear when pitching your company or business idea to investors is that a receiving party will steal your ideas. Nondisclosure agreements can be a great tool, but they’re not always practical or enforceable.

Incorporating a discussion of your valuable intellectual assets in your pitch can be a powerful way to dissuade would-be thieves. While it can be difficult to legally claim exclusive rights to an idea, creative components built around an idea may be ownable. Don’t overlook the importance of these elements. Ideas and concepts can be copied…brands cannot.

 

This article has been edited and condensed.

Kelly Weiner is an NYC-based attorney and owner of Kelly Weiner Law PLLC. Kelly provides general counseling on trademark, copyright and advertising laws and intellectual property support in mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions. She helps clients develop, protect and exploit their ideas and brands, offering a wide variety of services relating to trademarks, copyrights, domain names, social media and advertising. She provides strategic advice, assistance with planning and budgeting, brand evaluation, trademark clearance and filing, representation relating to contentious trademark matters, competitor analysis, intellectual property intelligence, advice concerning licensing and other commercial transactions. Connect with @kellyweiner_tm on Twitter.

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