Marisa Thalberg shared advice with students interested in entrepreneurship at the Tips on Pitching your Business event during April of last year through a webinar in honor of Entrepreneurship Month. Throughout her career journey, Thalberg has been Global Chief Brand Officer of Taco Bell, VP Corporate Digital and Content Marketing Worldwide of Estee Lauder and Executive Vice President, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at Lowe’s. She currently works as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at SeaWorld.
What makes a product idea a great idea?
Thalberg encouraged students to think like marketers. When developing a product and before putting it out there, make sure there is clarity on the brand and proposition. Who is it for and why? What problem would the product solve? Could you create demand for this product? And how do you break through against big competitors? Answering these types of questions will help guide you to develop a well- thought-out idea to launch.
What makes a pitch stand out when welcoming a product?
Boiling down to a singular statement was recommended by Thalberg. Make it fast. Think of it as an elevator pitch. Focus on penetrating people’s consciousness especially because the person may only be paying half attention. Can you use that singular statement to make people stop and ask to learn more? That is the bar you should strive to hit. Whether it is pitching to an investor, consumer, or retailer, get to the essence of why and “back it up.” This is what she called “reasons to believe.”
Thalberg stated that behind every product, service, or invention, there are compelling stories that make people root for it. She specifically mentioned Sherrill Mosee, and her product called Minkeeblue- a backpack designed for women to be compartmentalized for lunch, shoes, and a laptop. Mosee’s backstory was that she worked in a non-profit with low-income moms and saw all the bags these women had to carry. Thalberg thought this anecdote made her product and experience relatable to the audience, and from her website, you can see that she is a huge success. The synergy between coming up with something that didn’t exist and using her personal story to see it, feel it, and believe it is a great example of an entrepreneur Thalberg stated.
For students interested in entrepreneurship, the Center for Career Development has plenty of resources! Visit our Innovation & Entrepreneurship career community page for on-demand insights, or schedule a Career Coaching appointment to further discuss your ideas and have your questions answered!