The Truth Behind the Shark Tank Effect

For many emerging brands, 90 seconds in front of four wealthy entrepreneurs who each vie to take your business to new heights on national TV is something many only dream about! For the few that not only make it to the show and get a deal, it can change the trajectory of a business and rapidly accelerate growth. While it may be a dream scenario for your budding business, it’s important to understand the realities of that dynamic that we’ve observed over the years.

•  The great: The infusion of money can scale a business quickly and gain access to a myriad of distribution deals, media placements and the halo effect of having been on the show.

•  The not so great: It can create a false sense of security within the company and it’s important to remember that the Sharks have the companies they do for a reason. Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary and even guest shark Bethenny Frankel are all savvy business-people eager to grow their companies by propelling forward and keeping their fingers on the pulse of what’s innovative. At some point, your company will be stale to them and it’s critical to continue the momentum by driving the business forward yourself.

From GreenRoom’s standpoint, there’s inherent validation in being on the show and getting a deal. However, that validation is not an excuse for not putting a robust digital marketing, public relations and business development team in place, armed with a multi-faceted approach to continue growing your business. It’s critical to align with the right people who are as driven to help you as you were walking into that shark tank for the first time.

While a Shark’s appearance on “Good Morning America” or “The View” may be sales gold for 24 hours, is there a team in place to keep your brand in front of consumers when site visits and sales begin to slump? Leveraging seasonal and holiday-based media opportunities, saturating the YouTube influencer space with unboxing videos, crafting bylined articles, retargeting ads featuring earned media and influencer content are just a few tactics to propel the brand’s marketing efforts forward.

Are you taking those clips and turning them into quick social ads and growing your online communities? Are you able to see how you can continually de-position yourself against competitors and recognize when your key photo and video assets need updating?

It may seem like brands that go on Shark Tank are handed fool-proof success on a well-lit studio platter, but unfortunately that’s not the case at all. It takes the same hustle and strategic thinking to capitalize on the success generated by the show that every other company must possess. Maybe Mr. Wonderful isn’t so wonderful after all.