“We saw the prize and thought, wow!”- Interview with Hafervoll CEO Rob Kronekker, winners of SevenVentures Pitch Day 2017
From startup to brand: applications are now open for SevenVentures Pitch Day 2018 (7VPD) on September 12th at DMEXCO where startups compete to win €3 million in TV advertising. The Restless CMO catches up with 2017 winners Hafervoll on their rollercoaster year and what startups can expect from the Pitch Day experience.
1. Congratulations on the SevenVentures Pitch Day win Rob! Why did you apply for 7VPD and what was the experience like?
We saw the prize and thought, wow! The €3 million TV media budget, plus online budget, TV spot and support from influencer Sophia Thiel were all unparalleled compared with other startup competitions. It also seemed like great PR in itself.
We enjoyed the whole application process and day from start to finish. At the pitch day in Berlin all finalists were given a stand to promote their products so that the public could test the products. That was great – our slogan was Votes for Oats! It was also an excellent networking event. We made lots of valuable connections with other startups and press contacts like the Huffington Post. Our only mistake was getting straight on the train the night after the competition - we wished we had stuck around a bit longer to enjoy the winning feeling!
2. What were the next steps after your Pitch Day win?
We had an initial meeting with SevenVentures and agreed next steps. We started planning the TV spot in October, around one month after the Pitch Day, and the first spot went on air in May the following year after our trade shows. We made a 20 and 10 second spot, and invested a little more on top of our Pitch Day prize in a 6 second spot as an online bumper ad.
3. How did your Pitch Day TV spot perform?
Really well. Revenues from our online shop grew by 150% in the first week the TV spot went on air. The number of visitors to our website grew massively also. Of course we had a wider campaign outside TV at that time too, but we really found that TV was a fantastic catalyst for organic online search.
We were also really happy with our spot content and how it appealed to our target audience. We conducted A/B tests before the spot went on air and discovered that our final spot appealed to women who make up 60% of our customer base but men found it sweet too. It was great to know that the spot had a wide appeal before it went on air.
Our spot didn’t just bring financial benefits. When our spot went on air we suddenly had many new partners such as suppliers, influencers and fitness studios reached out to us asking about possible co-operations. The post from Sophia Thiel also brought us over 300 new followers in one fell swoop. It was fantastic.
4. So what’s next for Hafervoll now?
The SevenVentures Pitch Day prize was a great first sales push, but we now have to really concentrate on building our brand and brand awareness. We have just introduced a new range of protein flapjacks and vegan products and we are striving to market our products in the fitness community. In fact, we have just been to the international fitness trade show FIBO. It’s our 5th birthday in November and we are taking all of our staff to party in Mallorca to celebrate!
5. And finally, what would you say to startups considering applying for SevenVentures Pitch Day this year?
Stop considering it, just do it! We wouldn’t change a thing. It has been a fantastic experience for us and has really brought us forward as a company and a brand. As a young startup, we wouldn’t really have considered TV advertising to market our products originally – we didn’t know how the process worked and you have notions that it is expensive. But it was such a fantastic boost we would consider investing in future TV advertising now that our prize has come to an end.
Applications now open for SevenVentures Pitch Day 2018 at http://www.sevenventures.de/de/7vpd until August 22nd, 2018.