Bolstering Startups through the CVP
The world of startups is fast moving, exciting and innovative. The agility of a small business and the enthusiasm of founders executing on their cherished ideas means startups move fast, pitch often, and put investment dollars to work quickly. The most successful startups have identified an important problem to tackle, and even more importantly, they have developed a clever way to solve that problem.
At yet2, we have the privilege of speaking with innovative startups, researchers, and inventors daily as we reach out to the community to find the best partners to solve our clients’ technology and partnership needs. Over the last 19 years, we have had the opportunity to review and hear the best and worst pitches, product brochures, and websites, and if we could provide one piece of advice to the startup and inventor community, it is this: know your comparative value proposition (CVP). More importantly, know how to convey your CVP in a way that goes beyond “marketing speak” to specific, quantitative, truly comparative points.
The CVP is the hallmark of a good sales pitch. It defines not only the reason a company or product exists but also why anyone else should be excited about it. A good CVP will proactively identify close competitors and call out the specifics of how a featured product beats those competitors. Whether is it twice as fast, half as expensive, three times as durable or entirely without rival, there will be numbers there to support the claim. You can bet that there are others claiming to be merely better, faster or stronger without providing any context for what that means. When you provide numbers, you transform yourself from just another startup with an interesting idea to a proven solution with the data to back it up.
Think of all the innovation and technology showcases, competitions and pitch-fests you’ve attended. How many “better mouse traps” have you heard about? How many of them included data proving those claims of why it’s better than what is currently available and why people will spend pay more for your mouse trap than a cheaper version?
In today’s innovation-driven economy, there are startups working in nearly every Starbucks. Entire businesses have popped up to provide co-working space for these businesses. To truly be successful, you need not just a great idea, an elegant solution, and outstanding execution. You also need a provable and defendable CVP. Without it, you could be just another startup with just another idea.