Why Shark Tank, the TV Show, Gives a Boost to All Contestants
The pitches on Shark Tank, to the viewer, are a lot like infomercials. This is the magic of the participant’s success whether they get money of not.
Each participant or contestant is able to make a pitch, not only to the sharks, but also to the general public. They are able to describe their target audience… how their product solves a problem… who will benefit… how they benefit and so on.
That’s what an infomercial does!
These contestants on Shark Tank have about ten minutes to do just that. But it works.
It’s not just about exposure
Sure they are reaching millions of people, but if their pitch to the sharks was just a stupid song-and-dance commercial you see on network TV (like for the big brands), those contestants wouldn’t have nearly the effect that they have.
In the Shark Tank, they are able to tell their story. People want to know why a brand or product was created. They want to know why the inventor felt there was a need to solve a universal problem.
This is what professional direct response copywriting does. It tells the story of the product. It shows how and why it solves a problem for the end user.
Traditional advertising is company-centric, not customer-centric. They are more concerned about how great their product is compared to their competitor. (BMW, anyone?)
It’s the telling of the story that gets people to buy
Of course, a lot of people say that the general public simply doesn’t have time to sit and watch an infomercial or read a long-form sales letter. But the results speak for themselves. And Shark Tank proves that it isn’t just about exposure.
And this is the mistake many businesses make. They say, “I just need more people coming in…” That’s simply not the problem.
Even seemingly absurd ideas get momentum on Shark Tank
It’s because the inventor gets to demonstrate who they are and why they created their product. Mark Cuban invested in I Want to Draw a Cat For You because he “got it” in a way that no other investor on Shark Tank did. The product is exactly what the name of the product is, a guy named Steve who draws you a cat. That’s it.
This is one of the successes based on an investment from one of the sharks on Shark Tank, but there are plenty more success stories where people didn’t get an investment.
Business Insider reports on 4 companies that were a success even though they didn’t get an investment on Shark Tank.
“Shark Tank” experts say that, in many cases, the value of getting airtime on the show outweighs the benefits of taking a deal with one or more of the Sharks, which typically requires giving up a precious amount of equity. – Business Insider
Forbes wrote an interesting piece on the success rate of Shark Tank contestants: https://www.forbes.com/sites/emilycanal/2016/10/21/about-72-of-deals-that-happen-on-shark-tank-dont-turn-out-as-seen-on-tv/#2d7602324ed1’