What Shark Tank Teaches About Marketing
by Josh Amidon
There’s really only 2 shows I get sucked into when they get shown in marathon form on TV. The first is Golden Girls on the Hallmark Channel - you can judge me all you want, but my love for those 4 sassy single ladies runs deep. Have you ever been sad while singing their theme song? No, because it's not humanly possible.
The second show I binge watch is Shark Tank. It’s so addicting!
In addition to the unscripted drama and innovative (or not so innovative) inventions, there are some great marketing lessons this show teaches on a weekly basis.
Know your target audience: I talk about this one all the time with clients. No matter how great your product/service is, you will NEVER be marketing a product to “everyone” – so figure out what segment of the population is best suited for your product. Many small business owners have been beat up in the tank for not knowing this.
Have a competitive advantage – bonus points if it’s protected with a patent or trademark: Often, small business owners are asked why their product or service is better than their competitor’s product or service. That reason you give is called your competitive advantage and you must have one! Lori Greiner (the best shark, I’ll fight with you over it) often asks if the product is patented or legally protected in some way, this is a rock solid competitive advantage that no one can knock off, the sharks love seeing a product legally protected.
Have a plan for the future: Often times you’ll hear the sharks deny a small business owner an investment by saying “you’re only a product and not a company.” This means the sharks don’t think the budding entrepreneur has a plan to turn their idea into full-fledged enterprise. In the world of business, you should constantly be thinking about the future and can’t build your company on one idea, product and/or service.
If you want to reach out and talk Shark Tank with me, that’s cool, we can connect at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, I’ll just sit here and think about what would happen if they mashed up my favorite binge watching shows….Betty White as a guest shark on Shark Tank?!?!