The Shark Tank Effect is an entrepreneurial phenomena that, until just a few years ago, was unknown. The Shark Tank TV show created it, and it is taking on a life of its own.
On the surface, people think Shark Tank should be about start-up businesses getting the capital to get their venture off the ground. That's part of the equation, but the producers like to get a cross-section of American businesses: those that are start-ups to those that are mature.
The audience gets the benefit of seeing businesses in various stages of development. The entrepreneurs in the Tank get the benefit of getting their message out to 7 million plus viewers.
The Risk Involved
If a business decides to appear on Shark Tank, they may want a deal, but they all want exposure. The risk is the edit. The show's producers can portray an entrepreneur and their business in any light they want. An entrepreneur who gets a “bad edit” risks the erosion of their brand. Most people in business would say “there is no such thing as bad publicity,” but if your product or business gets ripped by the Sharks, the risk is your brand will suffer. You also could be subject to giving the production company 5% of your earnings. It's a steep price to pay, and some entrepreneurs pass on appearing, but enough entrepreneurs think it's worth it.
The Shark Tank Effect has it's rewards
There are surely rewards from the Shark Tank Effect; the most obvious is SALES. Regardless of whether or not a business gets funded, traffic to websites goes through the roof. Businesses that are prepared can leverage that traffic into sales, especially if a product “connects” with the audience. Time and time again, entrepreneurs report HUGE sales numbers in the aftermath of the show. The Bev Buckle did almost $50K in sales the weekend they aired. PostureNow did SIX FIGURES in sales! The Soundbender did good numbers too. Lollacup, BuggyBeds, ReadeRest, Xeroshoes – and the list goes on – all did big numbers resulting from their appearances.
If a product connects with the audience, people will buy it. The businesses reach millions of customers in 8 minutes and the ones with a solid product almost always see the benfits of the Shark Tank Effect!
Another benefit is investors watch the show too. With or without a deal, if an idea resonates, investors will step forward. The credibility of appearing on Shark Tank opens a lot of doors, too. Chef Big Shake got his shrimp burgers into national supermarket chains by virtue of the exposure his product got on the Shark Tank. The Muddy Water Camo guys calculated the PR value of their Shark Tank appearance at over $3 million!
So what is the Shark Tank Effect? It's the ability of national TV exposure propelling a business into the limelight. If a product is good and the business is in a position to exploit the Shark Tank Effect, there is tremendous upside!