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Dragons’ Den – what consumers really think!!

By 17 May 2023June 12th, 2023News

Another series and another group of hopeful entrepreneurs has been and gone.  We’ve seen a steady stream of business owners giving their best in the den in the hopes of winning over the Dragons – selling their product, brand, business model and even themselves.  However, what we rarely see is consumer research, some insight that screams ‘consumers want to buy my product!’. Market researchers are staunch believers that insight brings confidence to any decision making including whether to invest, or not to invest, and watching Dragon’s Den, we’re always desperate to know what consumers really think. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find out! Throughout the series, we asked our consumer panel, LaunchPilot, to watch along with us and tell us what they think – do you like the product/service, would you buy it, do you think the business will be successful or not, and if you were a dragon, would you invest?

Here’s the lowdown from our LaunchPilots on this series’ best and worst pitches..!

 

Consumers’ favourite pitches

  • 1  Perfect Ted

Perfect Ted gave the perfect pitch for their Matcha energy drinks, with all five dragons making an offer for the first time in the series and Sara Davies dubbing them as ‘a case study on how to come into the Den to pitch and knock it out the park’. Consumers were in agreement with this and thought the pitch was fantastic and the pair were extremely enthusiastic about the brand, which ultimately made a deal with Stephen Bartlett and Peter Jones. Receiving some of the strongest ratings of the series, 6 in 10 said they loved the business and would have decided to make an offer themselves. Many thought the drinks looked tasty and were curious, with 56% keen to try – even those that don’t like matcha! Some felt that timings are spot on for Perfect Ted whilst Matcha is trending and according to consumers, the outlook for Perfect Ted is positive – nearly 7 in 10 believe that the business will be successful.

The founders were so enthusiastic about this product. They put the idea across so well. I personally don’t like matcha much but would be open to trying this product.

The pitch was great and they came across positively.

I would try this, it looks tasty and feels like a healthy alternative to normal energy drinks.

  •  2  Mood Bears

Mood Bears, often referred to by viewers as the modern-day Care Bear, not only pulled on the heartstrings of all the Dragons but also consumers, 61% of whom loved the concept. Viewers were touched by Joanna Proud’s emotional pitch and after winning over all five dragons, the brand received the highest rating of predicted success of all pitches this series – 71% believe that the business will be a success in the future.

 Absolutely fabulous. Care Bears come into this century. Great pitch. Great product.

I thought this was a lovely product with a really lovely story behind it. I think this will do really well and it deserves to.

This was such a touching pitch and a very clever idea. We sometimes forget to look after ourselves so this is a great way of doing it. We are never too old for a hug. They bring such warmth.

  • 3  Solar Buddies

Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones joined forces to cut a deal with the child-friendly sun cream applicator, Solar Buddies, which consumers unanimously thought was simply a ‘great idea’ with 7 in 10 saying they loved the product and 58% likely to buy one. The general consensus was that the product is a clever way to get kids to apply their own sun cream and viewers agreed with the Dragons that the product has more uses outside of this for adults and people with dexterity issues. Viewers also thought the pitch itself was really strong with 60% saying they would invest themselves and 70% believing that the business will be a success in the future – a great response for Solar Buddies!

Solar buddies is a very creative idea. I love the concept, it’s very unique and the pitch was very good.

I think this is probably one of the more innovative products that I’ve seen on the Den. It can be used by anyone, adults and kids alike and like Peter mentioned, the designs can be altered to look like famous characters from different franchises, which he has the experience to do. It’s an all-round great idea and has the potential to go further than it has, and has the potential for a great profit. It’s definitely something that I would buy and something that so many other people would buy.

They were a very credible, likeable pair who have put a lot of thought into designing a clever yet easy to use device which could be used with a number of products, not just sunscreen, to allow easy application. The device looks really ergonomic and would also help people with dexterity issues. Having patents in place should protect their product, at least for a while.

  • 4  Adapt Ability Omeo

In another emotional pitch, entrepreneurs Matt Walker and Cristian Brownlee received a joint offer from three dragons and won over consumers with what they described as a  ‘revolutionary’ and ‘life-changing’ wheelchair. Although some raise concerns about the high price point of the wheelchair, 70% believe the business will work and 67% said they would have made an offer if they were a dragon.

So inspirational and great that they have created such a versatile wheelchair.  Liked the lights to and the amount of work they have put into it. They are very expensive but there is a market for it.

Fantastic. What a life changer. Obviously very expensive, but must be worth it to raise money somehow. Quite an emotional impressive pitch.

I think this is such a revolutionary idea. There are only so many places a wheelchair can access but this product really helps with the independence and freedom of those who can’t go about like normal. I think that it’s fabulous and well worth backing.

  • 5  Unhidden

The brand that serves disabled people with its versatile clothing makes it into the series’ top five pitches with over 6 in 10 saying they love the brand, feeling that it fulfils an important yet unmet need. However, although people feel strongly about the concept and what it stands for, many feel that the price point is particularly high for its target market. Consumers are particularly impressed by founder, Victoria Jenkins, who is praised for her delivery and viewed as a knowledgeable, capable individual. Likely related, a small number agree with Peter Jones’ recommendation that the founder should consider a consultancy approach. Despite its failure to get backing in the den, consumer feedback is positive yet constructive and nearly two-thirds believe the business will be a success in the future.

I think this is a wonderful idea. It must be hard finding clothes that are practical and stylish if you have a physical challenge so something like this is long overdue.

She did an amazing pitch and has a product that I think would be a huge success if at an accessible price point.

I thought the idea was great as was she, but agreed that actually her strength would be in advising a company or companies that already exist.

Great idea but items were so expensive!  Many disabled people would struggle to afford them.

 

Other pitches that were commended by viewers and came close to making it into the top five included Redcote Leisure, Tabuu, Pop & Bark, Grow So Simple, Dog G8 and BOBHEAD.

 

 Consumers’ least favourite pitches

  •  1  Just Lend

A number of consumers struggled to understand the concept behind Just Lend’s solution to borrowing money from friends and family, feeling as though the pitch wasn’t clear, confident nor did the brand didn’t stand out from other lenders on the market. There was also concern around the amount of time it would take for Dragons to receive a return on their investment. Perhaps due to the lack of clarity and general understanding about financial products, 60% said they would definitely not use the service and just over 4 in 5 would not have chosen to invest if they were in the den. Despite this, Steven Bartlett had an undeniable gut instinct about the business and made an offer which was accepted by Co-Founder and CEO, Craig Smith.

I think it is a bit tricky, and the fact that it will take so long to actually get some money out of this business is not for me.

 I don’t really understand the concept. Craig was pleasant.

 Didn’t seem very clear the idea of the business. Also, there are many lending companies available and this presentation didn’t stand out.

  •   2  The Road Rower

Although some agree that the rowing bike solution is an interesting and unique concept, like the Dragons, most consumers weren’t convinced – the key barriers being expense and safety concerns on UK roads. There are however a small handful of consumers that do like the idea and would be interested, demonstrating how niche the market is for a rowing bike. Overall, 81% said they would not invest in the business.

We don’t need more bikes on the road in the UK. I think this would be an absolute and utter safety hazard.

Technology definitely can surprise us these days and that’s one of them. Very interesting in terms of trying.

Loved his passion and quite liked his idea. It’s not for the wider public due to the size and cost. I think it’s better suited for gyms.

  •  3  The Fobbit

Pitched as a multifunctional keyring that solves a range of on-the-go pain points from zipping up kids clothing, scratching lottery tickets to opening packaging, consumers think The Fobbit is a useful product but aren’t blown away enough to go out and buy one. A number describe the product as ‘gimmicky’ and ‘unnecessary’ and only 1 in 5 said they would purchase one. Positively, some consumers see the product working well as free merchandise or impulse items at checkouts, but like the dragons, 88% still say they would not have chosen to invest.

This lady had guts to set up a business but I do not find the product useful enough in my opinion.

Handy but unnecessary piece of plastic.

A cute little gadget but nothing more than that. It’ll get lost in the mass market of other gadgets.

  •  4  Drag Diva Fit

The fun and inclusive fitness class led by drag performers divided consumers, with some excited about the fun combination of drag and exercise but many not keen at all. Although the pitch failed after the dragons queried the business’ ability to generate profit, the key takeout from consumers is that the market is too niche. Only around 1 in 4 like the idea, are keen to go to a class and would invest in the business.

It was fun and quirky but far too niche.

I love the idea behind a company like this. Drag culture is so much more popular nowadays the I feel like there would be large support from LGBTQ.

Good combination of ideas. Who doesn’t like drag and exercise?

I think that it’s a fantastic idea but not worth a pitch at the Dragon’s Den. They came to the table with poor merchandise and expected one of the dragons to give them money AND remerchandise their brand. A little lazy if I’m honest. Most folk can go to their local sports centre or gym for a fraction of the price and I believe it would only cater to a small minority of people.

  •  5  The Bed Stretch

A similar reaction to other pitches, consumers thought The Bed Stretch was a great idea but for a number of consumers it just didn’t have the ‘wow factor’. For those that weren’t interested, the product wasn’t exciting, unique enough or something they would personally use.

A good business idea, but I am not really impressed.

This is fab for taller people.

This idea was boring and too ambitious because most beds are normally big enough for tall people. I don’t think it was anything special and people could just buy king-size. The pitch was professional though.

 

This all begs the question, which Dragon came out on top? In this series, it was long-serving dragon, Peter Jones, who scooped up most of the LaunchPilot consumer favourites. Congrats Peter!

 

Want to know how consumers are feeling about your brand?

At Launchpad we speak to consumers to dig deep on everything from concept through to product development, packaging, advertising and ongoing brand tracking using both quantitative surveying, statistics and qualitative techniques such as focus groups, shopper observations and online communities and SO much more! Get in touch with the team to find out how we can help you to understand consumers on a deeper level.

 

Research note: Data was gathered in an online survey with UK viewers who were surveyed weekly after each episode. Please note that base sizes per pitch range from 27 to 157 and a random sample of viewers was selected, no further demographic quotas or screening criteria were applied.