For 37 years, Menlo Ventures has been a firm that shied away from the spotlight, preferring instead to let its track record quietly speak for itself. When it was time to develop and share a strategic marketing program, highlight its significant successes, and promote the firm’s thought leadership in consumer and the enterprise as well as reveal what makes the Sand Hill Road firm a unique and valuable partner to young companies, Menlo turned to Jennifer Jones & Partners.
Initially, JJ&P conducted a Market 360 study and unearthed several areas of opportunity for Menlo to differentiate its brand and create a competitive advantage. As Menlo managing director Mark Siegel told Xconomy, JJ&P’s Market 360 study gained impressive positive insight into the firm’s strengths and allowed Menlo to comfortably differentiate itself among the top 10 venture firms in the U.S.
Comments from portfolio companies included: “My director from Menlo is the hardest working person on my board. They also have enormously deep domain expertise,” Siegel told Xconomy. “That’s because we have always had a research focus here.”
JJ&P also updated Menlo Ventures’ image by helping to rework the focus and look of its website. More importantly, JJ&P worked to position Menlo Ventures as doing “Venture Right” with partners who are knowledgeable, market-smart and hard-working board members. JJ&P’s marketing plan positioned Menlo Ventures’ veteran investors as thought leaders in their areas of investment expertise via relationship building programs, event sponsorship, conference outreach and market relations.
The results have been gratifying. JJ&P has provided Menlo Ventures with positive press placements to publicize its strategy and new partners including articles in Dow Jones VentureWire/The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and PE HUB. The firm also has helped Menlo produce bylined articles that have appeared in other publications (“The Hottest Startups are Targeting the Enterprise” by Mark Siegel and “How Big Data is Changing Everything” by John Jarve and Kevin Brown).
Lisa Suennen, Managing Director and co-founder of PSILOS group wanted to create a unique identify in the world of healthcare venture capital. As a creative, and successful venture capitalist, Lisa was interested in ensuring her ecosystem members understood her value-add. JJ&P worked with Lisa and PSILOS to identify a blog identity that would capture her unique perspective. JJ&P knew the importance of branding independent perspectives in the healthcare arena. JJ&P identified various opportunities and Venture Valkyrie was the chosen blog identification. The blog was established in 2010 and immediately resonated with Lisa’s ecosystem and the visitors tripled within the first 10 months.
JJ&P found through a WSGR Market 360™ Study that a special target audience — the CEO – desired a place where all the CEOs of the medical device industry could gather to learn about new technologies, business models and government regulations and network with colleagues.
JJ&P recommended creating a unique and targeted community event for the CEOs that would be hosted by the client. JJ&P also recommended offering it to the client’s strategic business partners for co-sponsoring opportunities, as well as to name this event, and hold it annually. JJ&P advised that the event’s agenda must concern top challenges and issues that were prevalent in the market. The client took JJ&P’s recommendations and with JJ&P created an event that in two years the event was considered to be the premier gathering in the market category for CEOs. This event is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and it is still considered to be the most instrumental event with the CEOs within the medical device industry.
Bank of America Venture Partners (BAVP) approached JJ&P about the need to rebrand itself. BAVP had been a marketing client of JJ&P for two years and wanted to launch itself as an independent venture firm no longer connected to Bank of America. JJ&P conducted a Market 360™ study for BAVP and discovered its true differentiation. JJ&P chose SALT branding to create a new identify for BAVP that identified BAVP’s true unique ability: to work closely with other portfolio companies to make them more successful and to scale their businesses. Therefore JJ&P rebranded BAVP as the new Scale Venture Partners after much research and market assessment. JJ&P created a new logo and website messaging for the new Scale Venture Partners.