Digital media always has the potential to go viral and reach millions of people at next to no cost, but mostly it doesn’t. Certain traditional media channels can still deliver every single time. That’s part of what we saw after a local company made it onto ABC’s Shark Tank, the sign-of-the-times, investment pitch turned reality show.
We saw a big spike on our coverage of Susty Party after the cofounders appeared on the show, so we imagine the results on the company’s site were much bigger. We wrote about the company’s decision to turn down a shark and their subsequent deal yesterday. It made us curious about just how powerful the Shark Tank effect is on a company’s online presence? This is a question other leaders with a chance to appear on the show may also ask themselves.
The deals offered on Shark Tank are not, let’s be honest, all that great (not a load of money for a huge stake, again and again). The visibility, on the other hand, might be.
So, first we went to Google Trends and looked at a seven day graph for the term “susty party.” No surprise: there’s a big spike on Friday. Google Trends only gives relative search information, though, so you need something to compare it to. So we threw in two much more established Brooklyn firms. Here’s what we got when we compared the Greenpoint sustainable party supplies company with edtech vet Flocabulary and local 3D manufacturing giant Makerbot:
The next question is: was Susty Party special? Maybe there was something about the team that made it particularly interesting to people watching Shark Tank? Here’s a comparison of relative search for all the companies that were on Friday’s episode — note, the others, of course, aren’t also from Brooklyn. A note about the following graph: all of these companies have funky startup names. You’ll notice that the search term used diverges from their branding. Angellift is one word, not “angel lift.” Because this is about measuring increased interest, however, we went with the version that got the strongest result. Really, all these results are higher because people searched multiple ways. The companies on Friday’s episode were: Susty Party, HangEase, Angellift and The Bouqs. We left the search term “makerbot” in there as a baseline to the above graph:
Lastly, we were curious about what sort of effect a Shark Tank appearance has over time. Brooklyn Heights’s Nearly Newlywed was on the show back in November 2012 (its CEO also got an offer and also didn’t take it).
So here’s how the two of them look on the chart from September 2012 to now:
We met Nearly Newlywed‘s CEO Jacqueline Courtney at a gathering organized by eLuminate (we wrote about it here). During the event’s discussion period, she said that her appearance gave her visibility that resulted in a better deal for her company when it got serious about looking for investors. Susty Party got its recent $500K equity deal before they got the visibility, but as a consumer facing product that wants to get into more retail channels, you can also see how this appearance could help.