Blog: Take a dive into the Shark Tank


November 20, 2012

I finally caught the Shark Tank fever – four seasons after everyone else did. ABC’s hit show about the unshakable strength and vivid imagination of American startups has been on the air since 2009. I caught my first episode last week – and I’m “hooked.”

The nighttime feeding frenzy teaches a thing or two about knowing what to say during a very short elevator pitch and marketing not only the brand, but the contestant himself. Hopefuls stand vulnerable to the potential investors and hope to catch a break within their five minutes of fame on primetime television. The end result? Either a deal with a “shark,” or a redo on their life’s work.

The show delivers an unconventional lesson on the importance of venture capitalism and peeks into the world of startups. So what does it remind us and why doesn’t every new stage two product jump on that bandwagon? … Because they need to pass stage one and have some substance.

Every product needs a “hook,” a story, an element that makes them untouchable to the competition. Shark Tank shows us that in order to swim with the fishes, these start-up contenders need to know the business inside and out. The most evident flaw with the guppies in the tank is that most have a good idea but it’s only one piece of the greater picture. You can’t float a product if you’re only good at manufacturing but don’t have resources in marketing. Similarly, a marketing plan won’t execute successfully if there’s no component to build a trade industry to support it. These elements all are a harmony to ignite the brand.

Shark Tank, while entertaining and enjoyable, sheds true light on the blood, sweat and tears that go into making a product a brand. Here at Concentric, we understand the trials and tribulations of making a brand and taking it to the next level – without the risk of embarrassing you on national television. Think your product is ready to reel in the big fish? You can either apply for Shark Tank (I hear there’s an open a call for next season!) or remember that all of us at Concentric Marketing are good at understanding the real world of new product development and innovation. Some of us have been doing just that for 12 years now… longer than the Shark Tank has been swimming.


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