I was channel surfing when I stumbled across the program ‘Shark Tank.’  For those of you who may not have seen it, entrepreneurs present their business ideas to very savvy, very wealthy business people (sharks), in hopes of getting obtaining the funding they need to grow their businesses.  What lesson can we learn from these sharks?

One of the entrepreneurs introduced an extremely powerful pogo stick that selling well at $600.  He wanted funding to go to the mass market.  If you’d have been one of the sharks, how would you have responded?

The sharks demonstrated not only their business savvy, but their integrity.  They unanimously declined to participate.  Their rationale?

They said that the mass market route was the wrong way to go.  That the entrepreneur should double his price and remain focused on his brand image, extreme sports.  The pogo stick was powerful enough to allow the user to the kinds of flips and twists one would expect to see in skateboarding competitions.

All of the sharks agreed that the mass market would dilute the brand image and make this product just another pogo stick.  Based on this analysis the sharks said that there was nothing they could do to enhance the entrepreneur’s success.

Have you made the mistake that this entrepreneur almost made?  Have you diluted your brand by marketing to the masses?  If so, it’s not too late to change.  Refocus on your niche market and adjust your pricing upward (the sharks said “double”) to reflect the value these customers get from using your offerings and stop wasting time, energy and money trying to satisfy people who don’t value what you have to offer.

Author – Dale Furtwengler