On ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Daymond John is known as the investor who cares most about a pitch’s marketing plan. In his business life, he’s an entrepreneur and marketing expert with a history of creating gold from target market engagement and connecting deeply with his customers. That includes success with the iconic hip-hop brand FUBU (For Us By Us), which became an apparel brand with sales to rival Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger.
John is also the head of Shark Branding, a consultancy that helps other marketers benefit from the insights that made his companies successful.
Target Marketing had a chance to talk with John during filming of the upcoming season of “Shark Tank” about the keys to his success, what he would do differently if he were starting FUBU today, and what he wants to see in a marketing plan before he invests in a business.
Here are four of the interview’s most important takeaways:
1. Being Broke Can Make You a Better Marketer
Thorin McGee: When you and your partners were starting FUBU, what were some of the marketing strategies that led to your success?
Daymond John: I think the first marketing strategy was really to go out there and get ‘proof of concept’ and find out if we had a viable product and how much people would pay for it …