High-Concept Pitches for Startups

Venture Hacks has a post up right now about so-called “High-Concept Pitches”, a device apparently originated and perfected in the movie business.  Think “Jaws in Space” = “Alien” and you’ve got the idea.

The author implies that it’s a good idea to develop a pitch you can write on the back of a business card (hopefully legibly).

So, let’s see: my startup is Crowdify, a tool for brand and reputation managers to discover new insights into consumers’ attitudes about their subjects and make better decisions about marketing and public relations strategy.  We do this through semantic analysis applied to consumer-generated correlations among and between brands and reference data.  Further, we utilize social-networking metaphors to keep interesting information flowing back and forth between branding people and the consuming public.

That’s a little wordy, especially for a business card, so let’s try a little high-concept pitch development.  Hmm…relations that people will understand.  “A for B”, where A is a known brand in my space, and B is the target audience…how about:

  • Facebook for Brands

I think I like it!  Not least of which is the rumor floating around today that Facebook is about to be acquired by Microsoft for something like 15 to 20 billion dollars.

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6 Responses to “High-Concept Pitches for Startups”


  1. 1 Damon May 20, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    It’s awesome that you’re referring to Crowdify as my startup.

  2. 2 Tony Wright May 21, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Nice work getting onto venturehacks! Those guys rock.

    I’m not sure if I like the “Facebook for Brands” thing, though.

    “Jaws in Space” (Aliens) is great. Jaws was suspenseful as hell. Adding a sci-fi wrinkle to that– all the better. “Die Hard on a Bus” (Speed)… That COULD be cool I suppose.

    “Facebook for Brands” certainly is brief, and it certainly raises questions, but it doesn’t deliver meat to a lot of people and delivers a pretty lousy message to others. Beer bong hits? Is Coke going to superpoke Pepsi? Is Tide going to come to my party? Can they all play Scrabble together?

    From what I can tell, your startup is building something that provides the ability to measure something that, before now, wasn’t really measured– the effectiveness of brand management efforts.

    I might be in the minority, but I think you need to convey that value and it needs to paint a meaningful picture. The movie pitches above make it clear… “Oh, a monster/suspense movie with a sci-fi wrinkle!”. It’s obvious that people would love that, if it were properly executed. “Die Hard on a Fig Newton” is similarly concise, but… Well, you get the drift.

  3. 3 Anthony Stevens May 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for your feedback, Tony!

    Yeah, I see your point. “Facebook for Brands” is cute, and recognizable, but you’re correct in that it doesn’t really get at my USP. More thought is in order. Maybe something like “SAS for Brands” or “Google Analytics for Brands” or something that points to the significant and complicated data-munging I’m doing.

  4. 4 Tony Wright May 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    It occurred to me as I drove home what a glass house I was throwing stones from. :-) My high concept is decidedly wordy, but is in the same neighborhood as what you’re doing. Bringing measurement, accountability, and hopefully a bit of fun to something that heretofore wasn’t very measurable.

    Anyhoo, can’t wait to see crowdify in action!

  5. 5 Anthony Stevens May 21, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Your last comment of course leads to the followup question: Have you formalized your high-concept pitch? Do you have a single short sentence that quickly describes your offering? Offhand I could think of a few good ones for RescueTime (I think).

    Given the original article from Venture Hacks, do you personally think a super-brief high-concept pitch is even necessary?


  1. 1 Venture Hacks — From Incoherent to High Concept Pitch Trackback on May 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm

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