Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yoasis -- Pretty good job

A few weeks ago in my Brand Management class, we had the chance to help HogiYogi choose what they would call their new entrant into the latest Yogurt craze that is going on.

Initially HogiYogi was going to go with "YogurRXt" -- not a good idea. They had a creative idea around it, and they thought it tied into "Health" well. But Yogurt Health means organic not sterile hospital. Plus calling sizes something like "Overdose" while creative is going to bring back very bad memories for some people.

What they decided on was Yoasis. I agree with them that of the ideas put up, Yoasis was probably the best presentation. The student team that came up with Yoasis had some very faulty logic as to why this idea should be picked (like a "National" survey that was sent to who they knew in the MBA Program, or the fact that it competed with names they made up and not the names that other teams presented).

Nonetheless, the Yoasis team by far had the best presentation. One team actually spelled yogurt backwards for a sound saying "True-Joy" but spelt "Trugoy." Does anyone really want the name "Goy" in their business name? Unless you were told to say 'joy' you'd be making an ethnic-slur every time you said the business name.

So my wife and I went to Yoasis last night. They've done a pretty good job with it I think. They did use the water-fountains idea from my team's presentation. They made a really nice "sit and lounge" modern atmosphere right next to Yoasis. Because of this, I think that if there was a Starbucks in Provo, this location would be able to take a sizable portion of that Starbucks' market.

The price was great; I'm sure that will help them capture a lot of the student market.

The actual product is wonderful!

In fact, I only had two problems with it. Yoasis has a flat screen where it shows video of natural, oceanic places. When I was there a documentary concerning sea-lions was playing. The problem is they play the sound as well. So while I was there trying to talk, I felt the documentary kept invading my conversations. Perhaps muting the sound like Costa Vida does with its tv's would be a good idea. Of course I can see the flipside to that too. I love surfing and I always want to hear details of the waves pictured at Costa Vida.

Second, I love the ocean. I graduated from BYU-Hawaii. I will probably move back to Hawaii within the next 10-years. And large portions of my vacations will be spent scuba-diving all over the world until I am back in Hawaii. So when I see a product use the word "Oasis" and then show me a tropical island.... I don't like it. I've heard many others say "Isn't an Oasis in the desert?" Well, I agree! Its funny but it is actually kind of offensive to me and those are my two passions in the world: the Ocean, and the Desert (of Southern Utah).

So without biasing this with my clear opinion, I do think the Imagery Yoasis is using to brand itself does create a little customer confusion.

All in all though, I think they did a pretty good job and I'll patronize it once or twice a month while I'm here for another year. With the rush they were in, I believe they chose the best idea and they've done some good implementations. As always, there are tradeoffs, and that more than anything is what keeps critics in business!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Brand Management -- Pretty Cool

There are a lot of exciting things in business. And there are many not so exciting things in business. I wish that 10 years ago, I would have had a parent who could explain to me the different "Holy-Grail's" of business. I think these basically boil down to:
  • Investment Banker
  • Consultant
  • Brand Manager

Maybe accoutant and a large firm should be on there too.

Anyway, I'm taking a Brand Management course and I love how much all of marketing combines in this class. I don't really want to be a brand manager at big company like Nestle. I'd rather to technology and work on branding a product in the eyse of consumers.

Before the MBA, I often was told branding was a waster of an entrepreneurs time. And maybe all aspects of a brand are. But if you're trying to be true to a specific brand (some expermentation will still be necessary) then building a strong brand is definitely the way to go. it won't hurt you and it will make you more accountable and not allow you to pursue whatever strategy your emotions may desire at the time.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Harvard Busines Review

So does anyone read the Harvard Business Review? Until MBA School, I was never that interested in it, I thought it was professors at Harvard writing a few things here and there and then supplementing it with their students' papers.

This last year at BYU, I have read a lot of articles from it. We purchases these articles in our course packets. I'm not sure if my professors are just choosing the cream of the crop (well actually I would hope they are), but these articles are amazing and packed with insights. In fact I've noticed many books are written after an author explores the ideas in these articles first. I've read a lot of books where the whole thing wasn't much more useful than what is in an 15 page article anyway.

I also like that it is professors and experts from all over the world that submit articles-- its not just those at Harvard like I had thought.

Anyway, I'm going to begin reading the HBR in the Library over the next year and if I feels its as good as the articles I'm getting from my MBA professors, then I'll probably be a subscriber for many years to come.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

All you Wymounter's!

Hey Wymount changed where its website is at. Now when I look it up on Google to pay my bill, I can't find it. Instead I find links to a bunch of whiney people's comments about Wymount (I whine too, but seriously, what do you expect for this prices?)

Anyway, Wymount is not at the given link.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Business Plan Details

Last week, a private equity partner--Ron Mika-- attended my MBA 664 Venture Capital / Private Equity course and gave us a document on what he likes to see when a company is pitching itself to be bought by his firm.

I definitely think this list will be useful to me in the future and probably to thousands of the million of readers of this blog :)

Presentation Outline Suggestions:

Executive Summary ("Answer First"):
  • Company/Industry/Transaction Overview
  • Investment Thesis - Why why are we interested?
  • Risks - What should we be concerned about?
  • Proposed Deal Structure (Sources & Uses)
  • Financial Cases (Management, Underwriting/Base, Downside)
  • Financial Returns
Industry Detail
  • Is this an attractive industry to invest in?
  • Porter 5 Forces
  • Growth
  • Relative Market Share
  • Speed of Change/Innovation
  • Cycles
  • Etc. --- (ok I agree, is there a need for an 'etc' in a list like this?)
Company Detail
  • Is this an attractive company to invest in?
  • Competitive Advantages
  • Product Advantages
  • Distribution Advantages
  • Relative Cost Positon
  • Technology of IP Position
  • Management
  • Etc.
Deal Detail:
  • Deal Dynamics (Auction, Inside Track, Proprietary, Mgt. Reinvest, Etc.)
  • Structure/Financing Terms
  • Comparables (Trading & Transaction)
  • Exit Scenarios
  • Major Assumptions for Each Case (Mgt, Base, Downside)
    • Bottoms-up P&L, B/S, CF
  • Downside Protection - "How low can you go?"
  • Excel Model

Obviously, this list is for a Private Equity firm, but there is still lots of applicability to those trying to raise Venture Capital. I imagine there are thousands of lists out there like this. I'm sure those are legit too, but I know this one is because of who gave it to me.