What’s in a Name?

Contributed by Peter R. Geyer

There is an old marketing tale (that is handily debunked here) about how back in the 1970s Chevrolet tried to market the Nova automobile in Mexico, only to find that it sold poorly. When they looked into the matter, they discovered that “Nova” in Spanish could be read as “no va” which roughly means “doesn’t go.”

While it turns out that this story is not actually true, it does demonstrate the usefulness of having somebody familiar with your new overseas target market actually review your product, its marketing, and its positioning prior to release. What may seem like an awesome name or marketing strategy in one language or culture, may actually end up sending all the wrong signals in another language or culture. Even the best product in the world can be an unnecessary burden if it unintentionally sends the wrong signals to its international customer base. 

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Why Did You Do That?

Our daughter plays ice hockey. Sometimes, we notice her doing something that seems out of the ordinary and we’ll ask her about it.

For example, after one game, we asked her why she was staying so far back by the blue line when the play was deep in her team’s offensive zone. She told us the coach specifically said that he needed her to hang back and hold the blue line, because her defensive partner liked to “go on excursions.”

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Updating Your Business Plan: Three Key Factors to Focus On

Contributed by Peter R. Geyer

Your business plan is your roadmap to success, and if you have built your own business – and particularly if you have had to seek bank or investor financing – you have probably had to write one.

But once written, how many of you have actually gone back at a later date to update your business plan?

It’s not a bad idea, even if you don’t need another round of bank or investor financing. Merely the act of writing – or updating – a business plan is a good way of refocusing your mind on where your business is going, how it is changing, and how you can keep it on a growth trajectory. Continue reading

5 Essential Things Your Pitch Deck Should Say About You

Guest Post by Peter Geyer, MBA

You have finally scheduled a meeting with a potential investor to fund your new company.

You only have a few minutes to convince them that you are their perfect future partner.

Your marketing department (you) has spoken with your controller (your co-founder) and your engineering department (both of you), and you have developed the perfect pitch deck to present to this investor. It has nice graphics, it has numbers, it has a description of your product.

The investor is not impressed.

But why? You have a great product and all you need is some seed money to make yourself and your investor millions. How could the investor not see your potential?

Maybe it’s because you didn’t address the 5 essential things that your pitch deck should say about you. Continue reading