VBRIDGE Founding directors Hamish Roy and John Ward ON MESSAGING TO MARKET

Christchurch tech business vBridge knew it could help customers with complex cloud computing services but needed a better way to communicate that to them.

That was one of the key learnings for the four vBridge staff that took part in the 2015 Hi-Growth Launch Programme, delivered by Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) with support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Founding directors Hamish Roy and John Ward, along with Development Manager Ben Young and Chief Financial Officer Susan Higgs, attended the weekly three-hour workshops held over three months aimed at helping businesses with potential grow.

“We had been operating since late 2010 so we knew that our product, service and pricing was good.  But our messaging to the market was too technical and not consistent.  We learnt how to make our messaging easy to understand,” John, Managing Director, said.

“We had to ask ourselves, ‘Could Nana understand this?’ When you are involved in the business it’s easy to start using technical speak, but people not working in this field every day didn’t necessarily know what we meant,” Hamish, Technical Operations Manager, said.

The business is still spending a lot of time working on its messaging to market.

Both John and Hamish agree the time investment of having more than half of their seven-strong team attend the programme was definitely worthwhile. The calibre of speakers was high each week and it meant they were all on the same page with changes that needed to be made.

The group also felt the mentor they were paired with, through Business Mentors New Zealand, was just what they needed.  They still meet with their mentor every week or two to discuss different ideas they have or things they want to do differently.

“We wrote a list of what we were wanting in a mentor and we were paired with someone that ticked every one even though he didn’t work in tech.  It showed us you don’t necessarily need a mentor that works in the same industry – it’s actually good to see things from a different point of view,” Hamish said.