The Apprentice 2012 Week 8 – Hogg Roasted on Back Of Poor Sales

The Apprentice 2012 Week 8 – Hogg Roasted on Back Of Poor Sales

This week’s BBC Apprentice focused on the teams identifying urban art and selling it to the public and a corporate client.

Tom took on the role of PM for Phoenix. He got the job based on his enthusiasm for and knowledge of art. For Sterling, Gabrielle took on the task. This gave us the chance to see, in my opinion, two of the stronger performers to date.

The first part of the task involved a sub team checking out urban artists in Bristol, while the main team did the same in London and met a corporate client. For Phoenix this was Renault and for Sterling it was a brand of Gin. Suitably briefed, the teams set off on their tasks. Both PMs demnstrated good leadership skills with focus on the task, team and the individual. Truthfully, most of the candidates seemed out of their depth, but this allowed Tom to shine with his obvious knowledge of the subject. However, this was to prove both a strength and a weakness, as he got so wrapped up in his topic that he failed to impress his preferred artist (Pure Evil) and it eventually cost him the task. Tom had put all of his hopes (and plans) into securing Pure Evil that he had no plan B. In the end he “took a punt” on Jessop, whose art resembels Iron Maiden album covers form the 1980s. These pieces were high ticket items (up to £10K) but Phoenix sold none. Tom did do well with Renault, his corporate client, in understanding their needs from an artist who would represent their brand (“frenchness”) and the budget they had. He chose his other preferred artist, Copyright, to fit their needs.

For Sterling, Gabrielle correctly identified that they needed to impress each artist that they were passionate about their art. This they did  and Sterling had their choice of artists, including the much desired Pure Evil. One criticism that has been levelled at Gabrielle is that she lacks business acumen, and fuel was poured on this fire when she failed to explore what budget her corprate cleint, a Gin Distillery, had at their disposal. This error was compounded at the gallery when Gabrielle got everything wrong. She served wine, not gin and tonic, ignored her corporate client and never introduced the cleint ot the chosen artist (Nathan Bowen). However, sales for both of her artists were brisk.

In the boardroom, the errors for each team were explored in forensic detail; Sterling failed to secure the Gin Distillery, but Phoenix got Renault. However, Sterling made sales for both artists, but Phoenix failed to sell any high price Jessop’s. Tom’s high risk punt backfired and Phoenix lost the task. Tom quickly realised that Adam’s sales alone made him immune from firing and chose to bring back Jade and Laura. Jade had been warned last week that she only narrowly escaped getting fired and Laura looked vulnerable on the back of the lowest sales. In the end, the difference in sales between the teams was only £137, but Tom who was vulnerable due to his having no contingency plan. However, he used a combination of honesty, a bit of humility, and defelection to get Lord Sugar to focus on Laura. Sugar showed his favouritism by giving Tom credit for his risky strategy, and on the back of consistently good performances he survived. Laura had failed to make a similar impression and she was fired.

So Tom survived, but both he and Gabrielle have revealed weaknesses. For all of that, Tom actually looked to grow in stature based on his performance in the boardroom. Adam again showed he thrives in any sales environment, but Stephen looks more and more like a dead man walking.

In my next post I will review the remaining candidates left at the half way stage.

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3 Responses to The Apprentice 2012 Week 8 – Hogg Roasted on Back Of Poor Sales

  1. Tim says:

    Ultimately Sugar made the right decision here, despite the exaggerated fake-out to make Tom look at risk. Tom made a couple of decisions which turned out to be mistakes – although the choice of James Jessop could also have been a master-stroke – but he was not afraid to be bold and he had built up a bank of brownies points over the past few weeks which earned him a get-out-of-jail free card. I agree that, even though he lost the tas, he came out of this week looking strong.

    Great candidates sometimes lose tasks – it happens. Conversely, weak candidates can often be winners in the tasks – Stephen is currently 6 out of 8, and he is probably the weakest candidate still there,

    Laura paid the price for not shining in any of the tasks. She was always around the place, but seemed to be hiding too much and hoping she would end up looking good by being associated with greatness. She’s a nice enough girl with a nice small business, but no evidence of the big investment potential Sugar’s looking for.

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2012/05/10/the-apprentice-season-8-episode-8-street-art/

  2. Pingback: The Apprentice 2012 – Butterfly emerges to win the prize « markdecosemo.com

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