One of the biggest success stories to come out of Shark Tank is the original, one-of-a-kind, Squatty Potty®. The startup is one of the top 5 most successful products since the show first premiered in 2009. But it wasn’t the first break for the cult juggernaut.
“Squatty Potty® had 3 huge breaks”, said Jason Burrows, Director of Marketing, “Howard Stern, Unicorn videos with the Harmon Brothers, and of course, Shark Tank.” Their video campaign and bold marketing helped propel Squatty Potty® to become break-out retail stars. Their journey began with Judy Edwards and her health issues. Judy’s colon problems drove Judy, her husband Bill, and their son Bobby to build their first Squatty Potty in their garage in 2010 after using other stools that didn’t work. Bobby, a successful designer and contractor, prototyped step stools until one was built that fit. It worked so well, Bobby built several more and handed them out as gifts. In 2011, he launched their website and started selling Squatty Potties online.
In 2013, Howard Stern received a Squatty Potty® for Christmas and raved about it on his show. He has been a big proponent of the company ever since. The Edwards’ made their well-known season 6 appearance (2014-15) on Shark Tank. Lori Greiner from QVC®, invested 10% into their company. Sales after their show aired were the highest in Shark Tank history, hitting $1 million in sales the first night.
Then in 2015, The Harmon Brothers were hired to create a video for their company. “This Unicorn Changed The Way I Poop” was their first viral sensation. The video introduces Dookie™, the mystic unicorn, who poops ice cream. The video features the Prince of Poop™ listing the reasons why you need a Squatty Potty®. It surpassed 100 million total views and continues to be recognizable across the world.
Make48 & Squatty Potty®
We were lucky to have both Judy and Bobby Edwards mentor our season 1 teams and have Bobby judge at our season 2 event. “We love the hands-on support we can offer at the event,” they told us, “The event is fun and full of great energy. We loved Tom (Gray) and the crew.”
When I think of Squatty Potty®, I think brand success. I asked Jason what advice does he have for inventors and startups when it comes to branding? “Look for social media influencers that you like.” Jason pointed out, “Don’t pigeon hole your options. If your product has appeal to a wide audience then be aggressive (give some to conservative and liberal social media influencers). Give a lot of free samples and follow up. Ask for their referral and their good rating.”
Their appearance on Shark Tank was their second attempt. In season 5 Shark Tank wasn’t sure about a bathroom-related product. Instead of giving up, they changed the way they approached their product. Bobby Edwards explained to Heavy.com in 2014 “In our second audition tape we really nailed down that Squatty Potty is a health tool, a solution available to help people suffering from elimination issues and not just a novelty. We were told this helped us change their minds and allowed us to get on.”
Thanks to their perseverance and determination, Squatty Potty® has evolved into a multi-million dollar company. Not only can you pick up the original bathroom stool on their website, there’s a line of bathroom accessories, toilet sprays and other gifts, including our favorite Dookie the Unicorn plush toy. Squatty Potty® has held strong to their brand and they’re an inspiration for all entrepreneurs.