This episode is all about customer experience and customer promise – whilst what is presented to us differs vastly in terms of customer groups, markets and audiences – the fundamentals of brand promise remains the same; Does the customer believe that ‘you will do what you say you’re going to do?”
Intelliweed – As a ‘would be’ green thumb myself, I know that whenever I start to grow something weeds pop up and keep popping up – as soon as I pull them out they are back. I pull out my weeds one by one – because I don’t want pesticides in my garden – but this might not be the best use of my leisure time. Omid was inspired by his son’s need for a chemical free garden, and for ten years he has been perfecting his invention – he does have patents, however, no customer has paid money for the product yet (pre-revenue). It is a very impressive device that kills weeds by piercing the foliage and introducing a micro-dose of herbicide directly into the internal capillary structure of the leaf. This is Aussie ingenuity at it’s best – and with lots of interest from the US market too, there is plenty of offers by the sharks; but who is the best to bring this product to market? The entrepreneurs journey is long and winding one; would you sell your house and put everything into your idea? If you would PLEASE read Ready to Soar first.
Hairluxe – Now every pun intended when it comes to a ‘Bad Hair Day’ for this pitch in the tank. A product that ‘gives you hair’ is what Oran the founder tells us – which is a massive customer promise… Apparently it is powder that clings on to the hair – the model has a slight bald patch and Janine comments ‘it is like you are colouring it in’. Alas, the product comes off on her hands, and with a wipe across the face, instant mustache…. Maybe there is an application for Movember. It won’t work if you’re bald, otherwise, there is nothing for the powder to cling to; whilst he makes no scientific claims I cannot help but feel he is selling to the vulnerable. It may well be a big market – but it has big competition and would need big focus. Brand promise and reputation is everything in consumer marketing, and social media is a great leveler. Simply ‘Do What You Say You’re Going to Do’.
Catch up: Synxsole – Designed by two podiatrists this product attracted Andrew’s investment last year when they walked into the tank. They are professionals and have expertise in the industry, and they had developed a solution to a problem they see every day. They recognised that we needed the strategic help of a successful business partner to take our business to the next level, and the world. Since appearing last year they have achieved 300% growth in sales, are distributed nationally and have also been selected by the Rabbitoh’s physicians following an introduction by Andrew.
Maria Nicola- Maria Nicola is the name of the business and the product it imports is a necklace that can be worn ten ways. Maria (the founder) and her daughter present the 10 Way Necklace that she invented – she is a slick presenter with a wonderfully engaging demonstration of the product. It is a whole jewellery box in one set, great for travel, with 1400 sales in the first year mainly through party plan. With good gross margin (her cost of sale is added to that) it seems very attractive – however, there is nothing that is unique enough to be patented. She wants investment to help grow the business through PR, stock, social marketing – and distribution. Check it out on RedBalloon for yourself?
Hit With Me – @HitWithMe (which can be downloaded from the app stores) which I refer to as Tinder for tennis’, is founded by a keen social tennis player Sam Begg. Sam is looking very sporting himself. He wants to support people who are looking for a social game of tennis. His passion is infectious and he tells us that his nickname is Smiling Sam – I see why. Steve and I have a #SharkSpat about whether a business needs a tech founder – and I suppose we just have to agree to disagree… – but Sam is clear why he has come into the tank and that is to find someone to help him with the business model and to find a tech partner. Andrew comments ‘I want what he’s having’, whilst Dr Glen Richards says we all need ‘passionate self-belief’.
There was plenty to be challenged by in the tank tonight – and we sharks really don’t always see things the same way – and we also bring vastly different experiences to each of the newly invested enterprises. It, of course, makes for a very interesting program.