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Domenick Celentano

How to Create a Great Business Pitch? Read My Pitch Critique of NightFood

By October 31, 2012

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We all periodically have trouble falling asleep and the remedies abound from over the counter sleep remedies, homeopathic options like ??? to herbal teas and warm milk. Suppose your are hungry AND have trouble falling asleep? Then this will be an interesting business pitch from a small brand, NightFood.

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NightFoods nutrition bars help promote sleep naturallyThis is a "snack bar" product that is in the sometimes ill-defined Functional Foods category with one flavor.  Cookies N Cream.

You can read the NightFood business pitch and come to your own conclusion on this pitch.

Retain a Professional to Help Create a Great Business Pitch

Your pitch is critical to getting shelf space, investor capital and media attention. Most of us can't do this on our own so get some advice and help here. In particular you should find someone to help you prepare your retail buyer pitch since this is different from raising capital and getting media attention. It has to be a great balance of addressing Merchant Issues and Marketing Issue.

Many retailers buy a category once or MAYBE twice a year so if you don;t get it right the first time, your have a LONG wait for the next appointment.

My Feedback on the NightFood Business Pitch

Sean has an interesting story that I wish he had included into his pitch... storytelling marketing is a powerful tool for small food brands since most food entrepreneurs have an interesting backstory that defines their brand.

Business Summary

"Over 200 Million Americans want better sleep, NightFood is a product needed by late-night snackers". Good support however when one makes claims it is best to back those claims up with credible sources. As a retail buyer how would I know 200 Million Americans want better sleep and why are they "needing" this product?  A bit of work here would add significant credibility an moves the meeting along to getting closer to getting on the shelf.

What is the Customer Problem You Solve?

"The majority of adults want to improve their sleep..." you need real support and not just Facebook posts.

How Will You Make Money? (your business model)

"We will use direct response advertising..." I think it would be best to say "such as...". Direct response is too broad. Also starting off by shooting for "national rollout" is too aggressive and reduces brand credibility. Pick one or two distribution channels as specifics with later goals to achieve national distribution.

Who is Your Target Market (your customers)

"Our target is existing late-night snackers..." It would be better to add several segment examples to frame the product from a marketing perspective. The best place to get detailed segmentation data, free, is Nielsen MyBestSements. Refrain from saying  "they require the smallest change to their behaviors and attitudes"... because changing consumer routine is difficult and the major brands spend millions of dollars to break into our purchase and consumption behaviors.

Sales/Marketing Strategy

"Direct response TV Advertising will support our national roll-out through mass retail." Unless you have raised serious capital, you can't have this in your pitch. Fall back to a more realistic launch plan.

What is your Competitive Edge?

"To people who want more energy and better sleep, NightFood is the delicious and healthy nighttime snack, specially formulated to support better sleep." This is a great positioning statement!

Why Should the Retailer Buyer Give You Shelf Space?

"The sleep category is booming..." again support your claims with some backup. Also buyers are interested in things like your suggested retail price, your gross margin, master shipper size, your in-store marketing budget. If you don't address these, there will be no reason for the buyer to say yes and will probably send you back to do some homework.



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