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Lessons From The Apprentice (6.5 – Los Angeles)

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The Candidates

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

Arrow: Nicole, Frank, Michelle, James, Carey, Tim, Martin, Aaron, Stefanie, Surya

Prelude:

Aaron talks about being on Trump’s side of the table in the board room. He didn’t say much the whole time and Trump chastised him for it. He said he didn’t want to interrupt and was afraid to say anything that would put himself in jeopardy. Not the sign of a great leader!

The Task:

The teams will be working with Sue Bee honey. The team that makes the most money after bottling and selling the honey wins. This task is more reminiscent of Fear Factor than The Apprentice. The wow factor of this task is that they have to bottle it from the bee’s nests and run the production line. Oh, and there is a little bit of marketing involved as well.

Kinetic Corp:

Aimee leads the team as PM. While most of the Kinetic team is harvesting their honey she and Jen work on the marketing aspects. When the team returns they were somewhat disappointed that Aimee and Jen hadn’t even come up with a name. They had expected much more to be done already.

On the day of sale, Kinetic had no idea on pricing or posters. They are terribly disorganized. The team is busy unpacking honey and hanging a cheesy banner while Aimee stands around and gets coffee for the team.

Some of the team tries to make bulk sales store to store while other team members try to sell in the store. Derek puts on a bee harvester suite and tries to generate some buzz in the store. The team found an Olympic gold medalists to help them sell the honey.

Arrow Corp:

Arrow Corp. goes to work determining how best to sell the product. Surya leads the marketing aspects which seems to go above the heads of the other team members. They discuss packaging, labels, unique selling proposition, etc. Some of the other team members “just want to sell.”

Arrow has a buy one get one free deal. They are also providing honey samples with fruit. Survey starts talking about actually bottling the honey which seems to turn people off. Aaron, as project manager is doing more following than leading.

What I Might Have Done:

I would like to be able to see more of the marketing preparations from the teams. The gold medalist seemed to show up out of nowhere, who arranged that? This season focuses too much on the boardroom and not enough on the planning and execution of the tasks.

With that said, it’s hard to determine what I would do different since there wasn’t too much shown about what the teams actually did do. The gold medalist was a great tactic and so was the bee harvester outfit. Both of those could probably have been used more to the team’s advantage.

Having the sampling table with fruit was a good idea but I think both teams could have done more to generate buzz on the outside of the store to bring people in. More marketing, more signs, more “noise” about what they were doing. Neither seemed to have that.

The result:

Arrow sold 217 bottles for a total of $717.14. Kinetic sold 345 for a total of $836.58. Kinetic gets to move back in the boardroom while Arrow moves out for yet another night. Aimee gets to be PM again, despite her obvious lack of leadership skills.

The team feels that Aaron is too laid back. He needs to be more aggressive to win. Aaron blames Surya because he just wanted to talk about marketing “theory and statistics”. Surya is already blaming the others for throwing him under the bus… if he gets fired.

The Boardroom:

Surya says they had a solid plan but it was the project manager who lacked leadership. Trump talked to Aaron about his quietness in the boardroom. Aaron already has a notch against him. Aaron points to Surya as the failure because he was in charge of marketing.

Trump points out that the team love Surya until they lost and now they all blame him. Aaron said he wanted to ask Trump what was expected of him on the boardroom. The team seems almost evenly split between Surya and Aaron to go home.

Aaron chooses to bring both Surya and Nicole back to the boardroom with him, though he readily admits that Nicole should not be fired, even though they sold absolutely nothing from the bulk sales efforts.

Aaron points out that Surya cannot make a decision. He proved that when Trump asked him which team was more talented. Nicole puts the blame on Aaron due to lack of planning. Sean points out the lack of signage and Aaron says that’s Surya’s fault.

Trump says Aaron was weak on sales and weak in the boardroom the previous week. Trump fires Aaron for lack of leadership.

Who’s Not Apprentice Material? Frank, James. This week I add Aimee to the list. She seems pretty clueless when it comes to leadership. She did seem to do well in the boardroom, perhaps too well so she may be removed from this list later. After his pre and post boardroom performance, I’m also going to add Surya to this list. He’s a whiner!

Lessons Learned:

  • Don’t whine. Even when you think you’ve been wronged, get over it and get past it.
  • Planning is key to marketing. A bad marketing plan will almost always lead to bad marketing results. Plan, plan, plan.
  • Leading means making decisions. Don’t wait for the team’s input if a decision needs to be made now. Instead, make the decision now.

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.

3 Responses to Lessons From The Apprentice (6.5 – Los Angeles)

  1. “The gold medalist seemed to show up out of nowhere, who arranged that?”

    Stoney … she is one of the team members. See first episode where Trump shakes her hand because she got Gold in Hockey.

    Ok the task …. is it me or are these tasks kind of silly? Where are the big brands? Where are the meetings with the CEOs? Hot car manufacturers?

    I think the right person got fired. There was no marketing strategy from any one of the teams though.

    What I would do?

    1. Dress a guy in one of those honey suits (like they did) and sit down that gold medalist like they did. I’d also sell this thing on the “HEALTH” factor. We know that honey is healthy so why not push on that?

    2. Have the Gold medalist sign the bottles. People would buy them for their relatives and friends as well.

    3. Create buzz by advertising this thing locally.

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Oh, dang! I forgot about that. I guess that shows how well they are letting us “know” the candidates. Heck, they could really have used that better. How about Sue Bee Gold Select Honey? Or something like that. I guess it helps if you take stock of your assets before starting the marketing!