In our last Human Discussions talk, Kate chatted with Claire Cherry, Investor at True Global. True is a venture capital fund that invests in innovative brands and businesses to help them grow. The company is primarily focused on retail and invests in both B2B and B2C. Claire has been working as an investor for the last 10 years. She loves the variety of the businesses she sees every day and her ambition is to find the new Nike, Depop or Glossier.

When asked what she looks for in a business before investing, she told us that of course, she looks for a digitally focused business. However, she gives great importance on how the brand can marry the offline and online experience and how it gives its customers a more efficient and personalised experience that has not been seen previously. Great interest is also given to loyalty and community as these elements continue gaining importance for consumers. In fact, as also stated by Claire, lately there has been “a proliferation of brands really focused on community”. 

We are certainly really happy how much accent there has been on a brand community.  We truly believe that brand community is the next biggest differentiating factor for brands and should form part of every future forward brand strategy. 

Sustainability is another big subject against which Claire analyses all the brands she sees. As a brand you will obviously produce products, but you can do it in a more sustainable and transparent way. To Claire, sustainability is not a core differentiator but a core requirement. We so agree as we see sustainability as simply a default aspect of every business strategy rather than a USP within a brand strategy.

A good understanding of your customer is yet another key element that Claire is analysing. She admits that many brands don’t often have clearly defined customer profiles nor brand strategy. Claire also warns against focusing on customers you want to have rather than those you already have. 

Venture capital investment can be a good route for many businesses but Claire advises that  is the best route for a business who want to scale more quickly, and she has given us a couple of tips for those brands that are looking for people to invest. First of all, it is fundamental for you to do your research, know who you are as an entrepreneur and brand and understand what is the right channel for you. When talking to an investor, strongly show your passion, vision and your mission. Be creative when you are talking about your business and remember if you, as a founder, cannot truly define (in one sentence) your business how do you expect your customers to do it? 

Last but not least, research your investors and understand what type of investor you want, and which one is the best fit for you. Remember investment is like a marriage, so pick your investors wisely!

Our Human Discussions talk with Claire has been truly interesting and we have discussed so much more than summarised above.

Watch the full webinar here