Working with start-up companies is intense as the stakes are high and often the fees are low. It’s something I and our team have a great deal of experience with and no two start-ups have ever been remotely alike in the way they operate.
One of our clients is theaquavault.com so I will take the hits if this post is seen a shameless plug. This Friday night March 13 at 9PM AquaVault will appear on ABC’s Shark Tank. The AquaVault founders Avin, Jonathan, and Rob, will stand up in front of Sharks Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Grenier, and Robert Herjavec. The efforts up until now have been on the B-to-B side with hotels buying AquaVault’s and then renting them to their guests. There have been many individual website sales but the founders felt the opportunity to be on Shark Tank was too good to pass on. Is it the right thing for AquaVault?
In truth an appearance on Shark Tank was not among the primary things we were focused on in helping AquaVauit grow their company and at the same time maintain the high brand standards we’ve all agreed upon. Personally I find Shark Tank to be entertaining if not overly theatrical. Which makes sense since after all it’s a television show designed to achieve the highest ratings possible.
But is it a good idea for your start-up brand? If you ascribe to the old adage any publicity is a good thing then it’s a no-brainer. Keep in mind that many companies audition for Shark Tank and very few make it onto the air. The personalities of the pitchers become as important (if not more so) than the product. I’ve talked with many people about it and found that viewers of Shark Tank are passionate and dedicated – meaning they watch almost every week.
We questioned if an appearance on Shark Tank for AquaVault could in any way damage the brand’s reputation with higher end hotels that rent the units to their guests. This was a primary reason why it was not a formative strategy. Now that it is in the can and ready for airing, we could not be happier or more excited.
The way I see it is most start-ups would benefit from appearing on Shark Tank and we are thrilled that AquaVault will appear tomorrow night.
Do you have a product that could benefit from being on Shark Tank? Under what other conditions might such an appearance be detrimental? Are there any?