Shark Tank dresses to impress, and is always dressed for success. Entrepreneur sat down with celebrity Shark Tank investors Kevin O’Leary and Daymond John for a fashion police check point stop. The stars echoed some poignant points to fashion faux pas. The interview is below and worth the read. But, we’d like to point out the tips hold value far beyond your personal attire, but also how your present your invention. Yes, we’re talking packaging. But first, a few words from our sharks:
“Your look really needs to be true to your profession, head to toe,” John recently told Entrepreneur.com on the set of Shark Tank. The millionaire founder of FUBU was dressed to the nines at the time, rocking a black velvet ultra-formal, peak-notched suit coat over a wine shirt buttoned to the top and a meticulously folded matching maroon pocket square. Surprisingly, the menswear mogul went without a necktie. He did, however, don his trademark marble-sized diamond earrings.
“Don’t come as a construction worker dressed in silk. I need to see you in some overalls with a hard hat on. If you’re a coder in the tech world and you walk into the room in a nice three-piece suit, I won’t believe that you’re in a dark room for four straight days coding. I’m just not buying it. Always dress to what is accurate to who and what you are.”
John said the same doubly applies if you work in the financial arena. If you’re “in a suit that’s not fitted and you have a bunch of jewelry on,” he’ll suspect “you’ll also be also loose with my money. Not good.”
Fellow Shark Kevin O’Leary, clad in a classic black suit and tie, and a crisp white shirt adorned with elegant silver ball collar pins and cufflinks, shares John’s traditional views on dressing for business success. “You have to dress as your clients expect to see you, to their expectations,” he told us between Shark Tank takes.
The shrewd Canadian mutual funds magnate, who also goes by the moniker “Mr. Wonderful,” said the days of dressing down in the financial sector are dead and gone, and he doesn’t miss them a bit. “In financial services, for a while during the tech boom, it was cool not to wear a tie, or to dress down with jeans and a coat. It was awful.”
Now, he said, people respect “a crisp, clean, unfettered disciplined look, like what I wear every day.” We couldn’t describe O’Leary’s day to day business apparel better. “That’s my uniform. My look is what I am, who I am. I’m very comfortable that way and it works.”
John said you can still look good, even if you’re a newbie entrepreneur on a shoestring budget.
“It’s not about having money,” he said. “If you have a suit that only cost $150, go the extra mile and get it tailored. Shine your shoes. Make sure you manicure your nails. It’s the simple things that people notice, that take you far.”
Also pretty sound and logical, right? Then why wouldn’t you treat your invention the same way? All too often we see entrepreneurs with a prototype, and no packaging. While it is crucial to see how your product works, it’s also imperative you do everything you can to help a manufacturer visualize what you product will look like in the store. That’s what your packaging does. It is the billboard, that in a glance, clearly shows what the mysterious item inside the box does. Take heed in the comments above and do everything you can to ensure you’ve dressed your new product for success!
Shark Tank Season Six air this Friday, Sept. 26, from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT on your local ABC station.