You know it, I know it, heck, we all know it: it’s Shark Tank! Well, in case you don’t, the critically acclaimed and multi-Emmy Award-winning entrepreneurial-based reality show is worth getting to know. The ABC series encourages enthusiastic entrepreneurs to pitch their product ideas to a panel of famous investors, including Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Kevin O’Leary (who happens to be a keynote speaker at ECRM’s 2021 Global Market: Fall Experience). Good products are praised and provided with financial backing and rejected products are usually faced with many brutal critiques. Only a very small percentage of entrepreneurs make a deal with an investor on the panel, but they still get to put a face and background behind their products and share their business with millions of viewers and potential consumers. Many brands still find success and make it big whether or not they succeed in enticing the judges. 

We set out to interview brands on RangeMe that previously appeared on Shark Tank and asked them about their experiences and how it prepared them to pitch to retail buyers in the industry. Here’s what they had to say:

Up First: BoomBoom Naturals

  • BoomBoom
  • BoomBoom

A product that blows minds, instead of noses! BoomBoom Naturals carries a line of all-natural nasal sticks that boost your mood, focus, and breathing. With each inhale, you stimulate thousands of sensory nerves inside your nose that are connected to the brain.

Here is what John Pinto, CEO of BoomBoom Naturals had to say about his experience on Shark Tank and RangeMe:

RangeMe: How many times did you audition for Shark Tank and when did you air?

Pinto: We applied and auditioned just one time. We were aired on 10/28/2018, Season 10 Episode 4. 

RangeMe: What does a Shark Tank audition entail?

Pinto: I sent an email to the casting agency, a few months passed, and they then called me out of nowhere as they were starting the “open call” process and wanted to learn more about the business. I ended up sending in a couple of different videos talking about our products and then got paired up with a team of producers.  

RangeMe: How long did you have to prepare your pitch to the Shark Tank judges and what do you think you did successfully to get a deal?

Pinto: We had a couple of weeks to work with the producers and refine our pitch. We ended up getting an offer from Robert during the show but turned him down because he wanted almost four times what we were willing to give up. We definitely wanted to get a deal with a shark, but even more than that, we wanted to have a fun/positive showing and actually get aired.

RangeMe: Has the airing or overall experience of Shark Tank impacted your business?

Pinto: Yes, the night it aired, we did more in sales than what we’d do in six months online. We still get re-aired from time to time and see a nice jump in sales. Now, three years after airing, I’d say we’ve finally hit the tail end of any substantial benefit. It is definitely a goal to get showcased in one of their “update” segments, which we plan on trying to make happen next season.

RangeMe: How would you compare and contrast your experience pitching to Shark Tank judges to retail buyers on RangeMe?

Pinto: The cameras on Shark Tank made it a bit more nerve-wracking than pitching to retail buyers on RangeMe. I know the type of impact one conversation can have with the right buyer/retailer, so my palms still get a bit sweaty, even if it’s just a Zoom pitch.

RangeMe: How do you use RangeMe as part of your retail strategy? Do you have any favorite features, resources, or tips? 

Pinto: We know buyers are getting hit up by hundreds of brands, so we use Submissions on RangeMe as another touchpoint in our sales process. We also like to look up the specific reset dates for each retailer so we can get prepared to reach out.

RangeMe: What’s next for BoomBoom?

Pinto: We’re bringing life into an old-stagnant category with our daily-use nasal stick that helps (and encourages) people to breathe through their noses. We have a solid online business, but the future of our flagship nasal stick product is definitely in retail. We have a big test in progress with CVS right now and seeing good sell-through. The goal is to go nationwide with them in 2022 and continue developing relationships with other retailers who’ve been waiting to see how things unfold at CVS. 

Are you a buyer on RangeMe interested in BoomBoom’s products? View their profile here

Up Next: Bug Bite Thing

  • The Bug Bite Thing
  • The Bug Bite Thing

Have you ever bought a product that completely sucked? Well, so does this one! Bug Bite Thing is a revolutionary and simple solution that helps relieve the itchiness and swelling that mosquito bites cause. 

Read on to see what Founder Kelley Higney and President Ellen McAlister had to say about their experience on the show:

RangeMe: How many times did you audition for Shark Tank and when did you air?

Higney & McAlister: Once. We flew out to California for our audition in July of 2019. Our first appearance aired on October 19, 2020, on Episode 4 of Season 11. We were also featured on a Shark Tank update Episode 22 of Season 12 on April 23, 2021.

RangeMe: What does a Shark Tank audition entail?

Higney & McAlister: For us, it all started when Bug Bite Thing grabbed the attention of one of the casting producers through social media. The application process included sending in videos, answering a series of questions, and filling out a ton of paperwork. We worked hard to move the audition process forward quickly. We believe this helped us stand out and the producers were quick to respond.

RangeMe: What do you think you did successfully to get a deal?

Higney: My mom and I prepared by practicing our pitch a million times, which helped us come across as confident. We wanted to make a big impression and we even created a “mosquito magnet” costume that Ellen wore on the show.

I focused on communicating my passion for the product. It was a solution for my six-month daughter when I discovered Bug Bite Thing. When I began selling Bug Bite Thing in our community in South Florida, people constantly told me that the product improved their quality of life. 

We also studied the heck out of our numbers. That made the process easier because we were prepared for any questions they tossed at us. We had all the Sharks biting with offers and accepted Lori Greiner’s offer. 

RangeMe: Has the airing or overall experience of Shark Tank impacted your business?

Higney & McAlister: Overnight growth! Immediately after our first appearance aired, our sales increased by over 1000% in one day. Prior to Shark Tank, the product was available in three countries and sold at CVS Pharmacy. Now, Bug Bite Thing is available in 25 countries and 25,000 major retailer locations.

RangeMe: How would you compare and contrast your experience pitching to Shark Tank judges to retail buyers on RangeMe?

Higney & McAlister: Pitching retail buyers on RangeMe is similar to pitching the Sharks. You need to sell them on your product and both are focused on return on investment (ROI). However, when you are pitching the sharks, you have to respond to questions on the spot. With RangeMe, you have the opportunity to interact with buyers and answer their individual questions. 

RangeMe: How do you use RangeMe as part of your retail strategy? Do you have any favorite features, resources, or tips? 

Higney & McAlister: Yes! RangeMe’s Blog is a valuable resource for educational and insightful strategic advice. The article, How to Perfect Your Brand Pitch in 5 Steps Directly From a Former Retail Buyer, has been extremely helpful in guiding our retail strategy.

RangeMe: What’s next for Bug Bite Thing?

Higney & McAlister: We will be expanding our color offering. We have a new color launching on Black Friday and we will continue to introduce new colors as our customers are asking for them. We will also be introducing a new product in 2022 and will continue to expand our product line.  

Are you a buyer on RangeMe interested in Bug Bite Thing’s products? View their profile here

Up Next: Click & Carry

  • Click & Carry
  • Click & Carry

No matter what you find your hands full with, Click & Carry helps you conquer the stigma of “two trips is for the weak.” With Click & Carry, you can gather and carry multiple bags or products at once!

See what Kimberly Meckwood, Owner of Click & Carry, Inc. had to say about her experience pitching to the sharks. 

RangeMe: How many times did you audition for Shark Tank and when did you air?

Meckwood: I auditioned seven or eight times for the show! I lost count. I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud of my determination. My episode aired on December 11, 2020, and again on February 7, 2021. My episode was number 8 of Season 12!

RangeMe: What does a Shark Tank audition entail?

Meckwood: I auditioned a few different ways over the years. I stood in line at open casting calls for three of the auditions, and other times, I auditioned online. I made it past the initial stage of the audition every year. That enabled me to progress onto the second stage of the competition. The second step entails a 30+ page questionnaire and a 10-minute video describing myself and my business. I made it to the third and final step of the audition twice, which involved working weekly with the Shark Tank producers to prepare the pitch for prime time. The first time I made it to the final stage of the audition was in Season 3 and most recently, in Season 12. Thank goodness I finally made it into the Shark Tank. It was both the most exciting and scariest day of my whole life.

RangeMe: How long did you have to prepare your pitch to the Shark Tank judges and what do you think you did successfully to get a deal?

Meckwood: I worked with two amazing producers, Shawn Aly and Maggie Morlath, for about two and a half months. They helped me to fine-tune my pitch and they thought of a clever idea to have a unicyclist ride out onto the stage while using Click & Carry, all while juggling three balls! It aligned with the part of my pitch where I said, “But what if I told you that I solved this problem, allowing you to be hands-free and also juggle all that life throws your way!”

RangeMe: Has the airing or overall experience of Shark Tank impacted your business?

Meckwood: Yes, the exposure was incredible! I sold more Click & Carries in the week following the show than I had the entire year prior. Not only did my sales increase, but the show added a level of credibility to my product. 

RangeMe: How would you compare and contrast your experience pitching to Shark Tank judges to retail buyers on RangeMe?

Meckwood: I recently participated in the Diversity & Minority Owned General Merchandise Program with ECRM through RangeMe for diverse business owners. I am WBENC accredited because I am a female owner, and was able to meet with 22 different retailers for 10 minutes each. I began each pitch with a picture from the set of Shark Tank, so that was an amazing ice-breaker with the retail buyers. Plus, I was a lot less nervous with the buyers than being on set with the Sharks. 

RangeMe: How do you use RangeMe as part of your retail strategy? Do you have any favorite features, resources, or tips? 

Meckwood: I describe RangeMe as the “dating site” for retail buyers. I think RangeMe is an incredible platform. I love that I am allowed to submit my brand to all retailers once a year. I find the virtual supplier introductions and programs to be incredible, as well. Through the ECRM Diversity & Minority Owned General Merchandise Program in May, I was added by Kroger.com, Lowe’s.com, BuyBuyBaby.com, CVS, Zulily, and I’m going to be doing a test in Meijer stores. I am so appreciative of RangeMe for this incredible “match-making” opportunity!  

RangeMe: What is next for Click & Carry?

Meckwood: I will introduce two new items that connect to the Click & Carry to carry larger, heavier items with ease. Both new inventions include a strapping system that allows the user to carry oblong items and the second addition allows the user to carry heavy boxes simply.

Are you a buyer on RangeMe interested in Click & Carry’s products? View their profile here

Up Next: Everything Legendary 

  • Everything Legendary
  • Everything Legendary

The mom, the myth, the legend. Everything Legendary is crafting flavor-packed plant-based foods inspired by the original legend—their mom. The burger flavor will get you just like it has gotten everyone else!

Vince Parker, Chief Operating Officer of Everything Legendary, provides insights on their experience on Shark Tank and RangeMe.

RangeMe: How many times did you audition for Shark Tank and when did you air? 

Parker: We auditioned one time but the screening process and preparation took about 6 months. We aired February 26, 2021, Season 12, Episode 15. We heard it was the highest-rated episode of the season and one of the highest-rated of all time.

RangeMe: What does a Shark Tank audition entail?

Parker: Shark Tank was a very intense process. We started the process in the Spring of 2020 when the world was shutting down. We had to submit so much information. Our CEO was adamant that we could gain an advantage by submitting things almost immediately after they were requested. For example, if they asked us for a document by next week, we gave it to them the same day. 

RangeMe: How long did you have to prepare your pitch to the Shark Tank judges and what do you think you did successfully to get a deal? 

Parker: After we were selected, we had about one month to prepare for the show. We watched every single episode of Shark tank and generated a list of possible questions. We studied day and night. Duane (our CEO) answered questions in the push-up position. If he got it wrong, he had to do 10 push-ups! We had a mock pitch with some business experts in D.C.

We also had a strategy that we were going blitz the sharks with our vital information when we got in there. The idea was to get them to play on our terms instead of having to react to them.

RangeMe: Has the airing or overall experience of Shark Tank impacted your business? 

Parker: Shark Tank completely changed the game for us. It changed our lives. We are forever grateful to the casting team, the prep team, and especially Mark Cuban for believing in us and investing in our success. 

RangeMe: How would you compare and contrast your experience pitching to Shark Tank judges to retail buyers on RangeMe? 

For us, it all starts with the story regardless of the audience.

  • Mom inspired
  • Made in a kitchen, not a science lab
  • Gourmet plant-based
  • Better ingredients
  • Black-owned, connected to the culture
  • Better food and cooler brand
  • TASTE IS EVERYTHING
  • Best Burger in the World

From our experience on Shark Tank and with buyers, these points resonate with everyone and are further backed up by data that shows we are the number three best-selling plant-based brand.

RangeMe: How do you use RangeMe as part of your retail strategy? Do you have any favorite features, resources, or tips? 

Parker: We are new to RangeMe but the features seem to be very helpful. We have talked to a couple of buyers through the platform and we are excited to talk to more. We are also participating in the ECRM Foodservice Programs in November.

RangeMe: What is next for Everything Legendary?  

Parker: We are continuing our growth in Grocery stores and expect to be on the shelf in 2500 stores, with many major banners joining the Legendary Bandwagon! We are also starting to focus on foodservice, contract food, colleges, and catering in Q4. We are launching our new product line which includes classic spicy sausages, boneless wings, and more! Watch Shark Tank next season to get a LEGENDARY update about some LEGENDARY things happening for us.

Are you a buyer on RangeMe interested in Everything Legendary’s products? View their profile here

Whether or not the sharks deemed these products “profitable,” millions of consumers shared interest and investment after learning about these brands. RangeMe has intentions similar to Shark Tank, giving opportunities for eager entrepreneurs to get in front of buyers and pitch their products to their greatest potential. And we’re excited to support you along the way through resources, insights, and visibility. 

Looking for an easy, convenient way to get your products in front of retail buyers worldwide? Set up your RangeMe profile now!

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