In the last two weeks, the GreenBox eco-friendly pizza box and Balm Chicky Balm Balm lip balm in The Friend End tube entered the “Shark Tank,” ABC’s hit TV show, trying to entice the investors to help support their products and their innovative packaging.
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After a bit of a shaky start, the founders of GreenBox reeled in two offers and made a deal, albeit one that is contingent on getting a licensing contract.
How did the inventors of Balm Chicky Balm Balm and The Friend End tube fare? Although no offers were made, the founders realize that all publicity is good publicity. Prominent on their website is the claim “As seen on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’” and they offer a “Shark Tank” special product pricing on the homepage.
While it was fun and heartening to see packaging innovations getting some media attention, watching the episodes drove home important lessons:
The packaging benefit must be “intuitively obvious,” to borrow a phrase from a former colleague of mine, and fulfill a true need.
If the economics don’t make sense, it doesn’t matter how cool the packaging development is. It won’t get the love and investment needed to turn a concept into a commercial success.