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Lessons From The Apprentice (6.2 – Los Angeles)

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The Candidates

Kinetic: Muna, Kristine, Derek, Marisa, Angela, Surya, Jenn, Heidi, Aimee

Arrow: Nicole, Frank, Michelle, James, Carey, Tim, Martin, Aaron, Stefani

Prelude:
Frank makes it back from the boardroom much to the delight of his team. They all seem legitimately excited of his return. Frank sees himself as a strong leader for having survived.

Kinetic gets the luxury of waking up in a warm suite while Arrow gets the discomfort of waking up out of doors. I’d say Kinetic has the advantage of a good rest while Arrow has the advantage of desperation.

The Task:
The teams are to design and manufacture a line of men and women’s swimwear for Trina Turk. They will have access to a design consultant, hair and makeup artist and model. They will put on a fashion show for buyers. The team that makes the most money wins.

This time around, the winning team will be exempt from participating in the next task.

Kinetic Corp:
Heidi continues to lead Kinetic, thanks to her win last week. The team begins putting together their beachwear. Marissa designs the first piece which Heidi doesn’t like, but ultimately gives in and let’s Marissa keep it.

Perhaps I’m naïve to fashion (and my wife would gladly concur with that) but the suites developed by Kinetic didn’t seem all that interesting. Looks like something I could find (but wouldn’t buy) at Wal-Mart!

Arrow Corp:
Nicole was elected as project manager. She tells the team the next 30 hours will be painful but it will be worth the in. The team immediately goes to work to develop a theme for their fashion designs.

Carey begins to draw designs suitable for gay men, which other team members begin to take notice of. Carey develops the first set up trunks which some mistake for women’s wear.

Nicole feels that pricing is an important aspect of job and wants to make sure everybody is on board with agreed pricing. Michelle seems to be the only one not giving her opinion which doesn’t bode well with the other team members.

At the fashion show Arrow has six suites and four models. The team decided to use Carey and Nicole for the remaining two suits.

Arrows suites were far more interesting than Kinetics. Carey’s trunks were a bit overboard but at least the team took a risk in being creative, if not mildly outrageous.

What I Might Have Done:

First step would be to review Trina Turk’s swim suite / beach wear line. That would give you a good idea of what direction she usually goes in. But the bottom line here is what the buyers want. These buyers may not necessarily be typical Trina Turk buyers. With the knowledge of her line, I would try to offer something in the same vein while also getting a little edgy.

The result:

Arrow sold $19,616 worth of their product. Kinetic sold $20,111. A difference of 495. I have to say, I’m actually surprised. While I didn’t expect Carey’s shorts to sell I did think that some of their other products were much more stylish than Kinetic’s.

According to Trina, Arrow’s men’s wear wasn’t as strong. Of the three men’s swim suits the buyers only like one and ultimately spent no more than $350 on it.

The team starts looking to Michelle as the scapegoat. The consensus is that she is the hardest to get along with. Personally I think Carey should be a prime candidate for dismissal. The men’s shorts were the reason for the loss and he played a significant role in developing at least one of them.

The Boardroom:

Carey is offered up as being responsible for the failure of the men’s suits. Carrey agrees that the suite was developed only for gay men, which really cuts down the potential buyers.

Carey blames Michelle for the loss because of her inability to mesh with the team. Heidi believes the PM should bear ultimate responsibility. Down the line the team is split between Carey and Michelle, with one dissenter blaming Nicole. To no one’s surprise, Nicole brings Carey and Michelle back in with her.

Both Ivanka and Heidi want to know if Nicole approved Carey’s design or if Carey railroaded it over everybody. Looks like Michelle might be in the clear.

Carey goes back into the boardroom immediately on the defensive. Carey said his pieces were approved by the team and Michelle disagreed. Interestingly, Michelle did let her objections be known which is why the team was saying she was difficult to get along with!

Nicole jumps in agreeing with Carey that Michelle was hedging on the price point. Heidi says she doesn’t think Michelle should be in the boardroom. There were people in charge of pricing, Michelle was not one of them so she should bear no responsibility for that.

The focus goes back to the suit, which Trump believes less than 1% of the male population could or would wear. Carey tries to defend it but it’s a no go. Carey was fired.

Who’s Not Apprentice Material?
This will be my running predictions of who won’t be Trumps apprentice. Any of these may make final four, but ultimately they are individuals I don’t believe are apprentice material.

From last week’s show, Frank is the first to make the list. From this episode I didn’t see anybody else that should make the list, though Michelle, if she doesn’t figure out how to get along with her team will likely be on it shortly, or be fired soon enough.

Lessons Learned:

  • Know your audience. There is nothing wrong with taking a risk here or there but you have to know who your audience is. A risk is only worthwhile so long as it pays off. Targeting too narrow of a population never will.
  • There are right and wrong ways to disagree. If you strongly believe in something you must make your objections known but you have to do it in a way that does not alienate yourself or others. While you may be right, you may come across as difficult to work or get a long with.

What would you have done?

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

5 Responses to Lessons From The Apprentice (6.2 – Los Angeles)

  1. Chris G. says:

    It was that bad! Imagine pink Hawaiian print short shorts.

    Although ultimately it was his fault the team lost due to the fact that he forced the suit upon them and no one put the kibosh on it, I think he would have done far more good for the team than Michelle. She doesn’t seem like a team player or someone willing to take action and responsibility.

    I agree with you on Frank, but I would throw Michelle on your list as well.

  2. Stoney … I think you’re pretty good with the predictions about Frank. Did you see his smile when he learned that he’ll be staying? Silly.

    Anyway.

    What sets apart a good marketer from the bad one is the ability to move your personal views aside and step into the shoes of the customer. Carey proved to us that he was unable to do so.

    He is proud to be gay … and that’s fine, but my friend, not every one is like you and not every one enjoys things that you enjoy. Get out of your own sandbox and try to understand the buyer. By the way … I am glad he got fired. It was the right decision.

    Now … about “Arrow” sleeping outside. As long as those sleeping bags are comfortable, they are getting a much better sleep than the other team. Think about the fresh air up on that mountain. I don’t see a problem there.

    Stoney … is it me, or is something missing from this season’s Apprentice? I think what’s missing is the New York jungle.

  3. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Well, I can’t speak for the comfort level of the team. They certainly don’t look happy in the morning, but then who does.

    Hmmm… A NY jungle? Naw, I like the idea of getting outside of New York. I can’t wait until next season’s Apprentice: Reno!