Corporate Eye

Making the case for investment

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The Tale of the Big Why

I’d like to start this blog entry with a request for money. What’s that? You want to know why I want money. Well, I’m looking for investors in my business. What’s that again? You want me to make an investment case. No problem. If you just head over to my company website, you’ll find… hold on a moment.

It’s unlikely that anyone would play down the significance of the Investor part of a company website. Whatever their size, businesses need investors. Most companies understand this, so they make sure the Investor part of their website is chock-full of stuff that they hope potential investors will like. The latest annual report will be there for all to view and probably some older reports as well. There’ll be information on most aspects of company performance as well, plus share price data, and content aimed at analysts and shareholders. But it still might be missing an answer to what I call the “Big Why” question. And what’s that? Well, put simply, its content that tells investors why they should invest in your company and not someone else.

The best way to do this is to provide a clear investment case or pitch, with dedicated content for investors. Not all websites do this however. And some might argue that the reports and results data found on Investor pages already do this, sort of, so why bother creating a specific new section? But a good investment case is not just a collection of key results and statistics. If a company is going to provide a really good answer to the “Big Why” question, it has to create a carefully designed USP for investors and their money.

So what does a good online investment case include? I’m afraid there’s no such thing as a perfect example to share, but I’ve found a few good ones that are definitely heading in the right direction.

Let’s take a look at Sainsbury’s to begin with. There’s an interesting focus here on what makes the company different to others, combined with an insight into long-term strategy and input from the chairman. A visitor to Sainsbury’s Investor centre site can still see all the reporting data they need to make sure the sums add up, but also use the Investment Case to get a deeper insight into the company’s strengths and long-term prospects.

Next, let’s look at a completely different industry and how Land Securities answer the “Big Why” question. Business strategy is shared again, like Sainsbury’s, but there’s also market information, company KPIs, and risk content. This extra layer of content could make all the difference with an investor keen to see the whole picture for a company, before they commit themselves.

My last choice is the excellent “Big Why” content provided by power generation specialists Aggreko. Here we find market and strategy content, together with information on KPIs and risk management. There’s also a clear explanation of what the company does, and perhaps most interesting of all, their competitive advantages. Aggreko have obviously put a lot of thought into explaining why they might be a good investment choice, and why they’re different to their peers.

If you think your company website might be missing some “Big Why” content, why not drop us a line and we’ll be happy to share our expertise.

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Den Cartlidge

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