Inside the Shark Tank, most entrepreneurs wait for Mark Cuban to speak, itching for his approval of their business plan. No wonder. The Dallas Mavericks owner is worth $3 billion, more than double the combined fortunes of the other sharks. So when Cuban chooses to invest, entrepreneurs consider themselves lucky to have a truly a deep-pocketed partner. Now, 13 of his tank companies just got lucky again.
Earlier this month Amazon Exclusives launched the Mark Cuban Collection, a curated group of products from those 13 companies, and three others that were not featured on the show. Currently, the collection has 63 items, including bodysurfing handboards and Game Day Couture t-shirts, bottle openers made by veterans and R.Riveter handbags made by military spouses.
Cuban considers the Amazon Exclusive program a "no brainer" for any early-stage company, if you can crack it. Amazon Exclusive launched in 2015 and closed the year with more than $50 million in sales. This year, sales have increased more than 15 percent per month on average, according to the online retailer. The beauty of the program, says Cuban, is that it allows brands to get exposure to new customers while Amazon handles most of the logistics. "That back-end support is critical for companies that want to grow," he said in a statement.
A collection takes shape
Tower Paddle Boards, the standup paddle board (SUP) retailer that got $150,000 from the shark, sparked the idea for the collection. Its good performance on the platform, said Cuban in an email, got him thinking about creating something specific to his companies. "Based on our experiences [with] Amazon we tried to pick the products we thought would do the best," he said. And the Cuban halo seems to be working--Nuts 'N More founder Peter Ferreira, whose high-protein peanut butter is featured, said his sales on Amazon are close to outpacing sales on his website after only one month on the platform.
Cuban also said that Amazon will continue to grow the number of products offered in his collection. He confirmed that Bee Free Honee's plant-based alternative honey products (which secured an investment on season seven of Shark Tank) will be included soon.
To qualify for the Exclusives platform, Amazon looks for "innovative new products from popular up-and-coming brands" as well as original inventions. If you've got one, the billionaire suggests that you participate in all the "targeted marketing services" provided through the Exclusives program. Also, make sure to tell your brand or product's story well on the content page, including images and video.
Getting featured on a large retail platform like Amazon has a risk: it will likely bring a rapid increase in demand. That's why managing the product inventory is vital. "The key is for the business to deliver on inventory," he adds. Having Mark Cuban delivering your message on Amazon doesn't hurt either.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled Bee Free Honee's company name. It has been corrected and a description of its products has been added to clarify that they are honey alternatives.