Your help with a new strapline for DFJ Esprit

By December 16, 2009DFJ Esprit

Here at DFJ Esprit we have been working on a new strapline.  We are looking for something pithy which captures the essence of what makes us different and unique and explains why you should want to work with us.

After some soul searching we came up with three key messages that we want to get across:

  • As individuals the partners at DFJ Esprit are great people to have as investor directors.
  • We are very experienced at helping build companies.
  • We are uniquely well placed to help global businesses

It is looking at the work we’ve done with investments like buy.at and Lovefilm, the way we don’t need to drive companies towards billion dollar exits to make our fund work, what our entrepreneurs say about us, the global nature of our portfolio and our participation in the DFJ Global Network that lies behind this choice of themes.

We’ve been kicking a few ideas around internally, but none of them seem to work that well.  Here are a couple of examples:

  • DFJ Esprit – the people to help you build a global business
  • DFJ Esprit – no-nonsense people building global businesses

I’m writing this partly to get feedback on the themes.  Do they resonate well with you?, are they credible?, are they differentiated from our competition?  Our target audience is firstly entrepreneurs and then advisors, angels, other intermediaries and LPs.

And partly to solicit suggestions for straplines.  If anything great pops into your mind I’d love to hear it.

Thanks for your help.

UPDATE – I removed the repeated tagline above.  Thanks to those of you who pointed out the error.

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  • Robleh

    I think entrepreneurs are more concerned with changing the world/doing something new. Though we may not admit it to VCs, building a global business is the means to an end rather than the end in itself. So if the primary audience is entrepreneurs try to appeal to the first sentiment rather than the second.

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    I like the first one. Thanks.

  • PRJ

    The People to help Build Global businesses
    or

    People. Build. Global.

  • http://twitter.com/carbonvoyage carbonvoyage

    Hi Nic, As an entrepreneur, my immediate thought is that those strap lines are more aligned with management consultants rather than venture capitalists. talking about building global businesses is definitely important but perhaps you need to tie in something around vision or new business 'horizons' or something. when i get to the point of looking for funding for my business, i will be looking for a VC that is pretty visionary, vibrant, aligns with my core values and is willing to propel exciting new businesses onto the world's stage… anyway, just a few thoughts. sincerely, james

  • http://lmframework.com/blog/about David Semeria

    Getting you there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=541910190 facebook-541910190

    I think the strapline becomes more personal if you move it into the first person.

    DFJ Esprit – we'll help you build a global business

    -David Rohrsheim

  • http://www.VentureDeal.com Don Jones – VentureDeal

    DFJ Esprit – Building Global Businesses

  • Alexis

    Some suggestions (from a non-native speaker!):

    DFJ Esprit – Building what matters.

    DFJ Esprit – Building what matters. Together.

    DFJ Esprit – Building what matters together.

    DFJ Esprit – Your partners in building what matters.

    DFJ Esprit – Your partners in building great businesses.

    DFJ Esprit – Soulmates to succeed

  • http://twitter.com/azeem azeem

    U bring da fun, we bring da ding.

  • http://www.famebook.com famebook

    DFJ Esprit – working together with global entrepreneurs
    DFJ Esprit – supporting global entrepreneurs
    DFJ Esprit – DFJ Esprit supported me! (Picture always supplied of successful individual!)
    DFJ Esprit – DFJ Esprit backed me! (Picture always supplied of successful individual!)
    DFJ Esprit – fueling entrepreneurs worldwide
    DFJ Esprit – backing the best
    DFJ Esprit – supporting entrepreneurs worldwide
    DFJ Esprit – behind the best
    or my favourite:
    DFJ Esprit – fueling global ambition

    Just some ideas Nic, best Jan – If I was designing logos for AOL or 2012 I'd be making a fortune… Mind you anyone would…

  • http://www.famebook.com famebook

    DFJ Esprit – fueling global ambitions
    DFJ Esprit – fueling entrepreneurs globally
    DFJ Esprit – fueling your global ambitions

    etc…

  • http://twitter.com/davidsmuts David Smuts

    First of all Nic, credit to you for reaching out to the community on this one!

    Here's some thoughts:

    DFJ- He Who Cares Wins
    DFJ- Changing the World Together
    DFJ- Believing in You
    DFJ- It's Personal

    Nic, I think the biggest differentiator DFJ can make is it's personal approach to growing companies. LPs and Entrepreneurs want to see there is a human and caring component. You're more likely to attract LP's if you have a personal relation rather than a transactional relation. Keep them informed, involved, introduce them to the Entrepreneurs etc.., And as for Entrepreneurs, we're looking for mentors, helpers, advisors and counsel, but above all a PARTNER. Otherwise why bother with VC money at all?

  • http://lmframework.com/blog/about David Semeria

    DFJ Esprit – fueling global ambition

    I like that, dovetails nicely with VC = rocket fuel

  • Chris H

    This is always a fun exercise, thanks for sharing!

    “Knowledge. Capital. Growth.”

    Good luck!

    C

  • Dave

    “no-nonsense people building global businesses” sounds like you've been using one of the BS generators eg. http://www.atrixnet.com/bs-generator.html 🙂

    Seriously Nic, get some professional branding help. Or copy what your mothership does.

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    🙂

    I don't want to go through a whole branding exercise at this point. Just get a good tagline.

  • http://rafer.tumblr.com rafer

    I'd suggest that those are strategy statements more than marketing. While your business requires that you care more about the business than the founder(s), you may not want to announce it quite that loudly.

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    That's helpful. Thanks Scott.

  • http://www.famebook.com famebook

    In response to Scott's implication, has anyone ever done a survey of VC exits with original founders in place versus one's without? Personally I hope it would demonstrate my belief that the big winners are the ones who back good people and ideas, not one's who try and muscle in and control other people's effort and pass it off as their own, whilst also limiting potential by trying to mitigate all risk! In the latter case, I would prefer those VC's to roll their sleeves up and stand up and be counted as entrepreneurs instead of giving the industry a bad name by living off the watered down and spread bet versions of other people's visions. I don't expect you to create your own 'riskmaster rap' Nic, but it would be comforting to see the tagline reflect Tim's people centric attitude!

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    I haven't seen a survey, but my impression is that a large proportion of the very, very best exits still have the founder as CEO, but for the next group there will often have be a new CEO, although if the transition has been done well the founder will still be at the company.

    I wouldn't want a tagline that was at odds with this reality.

    Nic Brisbourne, Partner DFJ Esprit

  • http://www.famebook.com famebook

    That's good to hear Nic. It's not how some of your competitors, especially in Europe have made me feel. I stick by the notion of 'fueling great vision' or similar then!

  • http://www.famebook.com famebook

    In response to Scott's implication, has anyone ever done a survey of VC exits with original founders in place versus one's without? Personally I hope it would demonstrate my belief that the big winners are the ones who back good people and ideas, not one's who try and muscle in and control other people's effort and pass it off as their own, whilst also limiting potential by trying to mitigate all risk! In the latter case, I would prefer those VC's to roll their sleeves up and stand up and be counted as entrepreneurs instead of giving the industry a bad name by living off the watered down and spread bet versions of other people's visions. I don't expect you to create your own 'riskmaster rap' Nic, but it would be comforting to see the tagline reflect Tim's people centric attitude!

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    I haven't seen a survey, but my impression is that a large proportion of the very, very best exits still have the founder as CEO, but for the next group there will often have be a new CEO, although if the transition has been done well the founder will still be at the company.

    I wouldn't want a tagline that was at odds with this reality.

    Nic Brisbourne, Partner DFJ Esprit

  • http://www.famebook.com famebook

    That's good to hear Nic. It's not how some of your competitors, especially in Europe have made me feel. I stick by the notion of 'fueling great vision' or similar then!

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