What It Takes to Build a Brand in the Private Equity Industry
Jul 15, 2021
An Interview with Patrick Floeck, Principal at Valesco Industries, LLC.
By Lou Sokolovskiy, Founder & CEO at Opus Connect
Patrick Floeck has been in the private equity industry for years. As a principal with Valesco Industries, a lower middle market private equity firm based in Dallas, Texas, Floeck’s primary responsibilities include business development strategy and investment origination.
Floeck’s biography on Valesco’s website reads, “His athletic background and drive for success help promote Valesco’s brand and mission of Commitment Beyond Capital.”
I recently had the chance to speak with Floeck on Zoom about his views on branding in the age of technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and Big Data. While technology has changed how people are exposed to brands, Floeck believes that it hasn’t changed human nature, which he sees as the foundation for building a successful brand.
“What we have really focused on from a branding perspective is tapping into human nature,” stated Floeck.
“People do business with people they like.”
Marketers often send gifts such as mugs and tote bags bearing their logo to customers. Valesco’s business development team used the recent Memorial Day holiday to send their network a sleeve of spices from their portfolio company Adams and a large wooden cutting board branded with their logo.
“The whole idea was to send something people can actually use. I hope you’re getting out and having a BBQ with friends and family as we come out of this pandemic environment. Maybe next time you use this cutting board or spices you will think of us,” he said.
Floeck says his philosophy on branding is shaped by a comment made to him earlier in his career by one of his mentors, “People do business with people they like.”
“You really have to like somebody to want to do business with them. Many others are going to have similar value and resources to offer, but being likeable is the best way to have more than just a transactional relationship,” he said.
You Can’t Quantify Everything
Valesco invests in small to mid-sized companies specializing in manufacturing, value-added distribution, and service businesses. In this industry, Floeck says branding depends on building close ties, developing trust, and engaging in intangible activities that cannot be quantified in terms of dollars and cents.
“There’s no way to quantify each individual thing that I do. Whether it’s a phone call, an email, a gift, a dinner, or specific moment along that relationship-building process, what was the defining moment that led to an opportunity coming in the door. I don’t think you can ever quantify that because it’s an accumulation of all of it,” he said.
“We truly look at it as a friendship. I know about their families, their Alma Maters, the things that they’re interested in and what they do on the weekends. And it’s not because I take notes and put those into a CRM system. It’s because I’m truly genuinely interested in it because I’ve developed a friendship with them.”