The Apprentice 2014 Week 6 – Relationship Woes

board-48117_640The Apprentice 2014 Week 6 – Relationship Woes

At the end of last week’s exciting episode of Soap Reality TV show The Apprentice, the hostility between team “mates” Mark Wright and Daniel Lassman was out in the open. It was always going to be interesting to see how it would impact on this week’s task. We weren’t disappointed. Instead we were treated to a clash of 2 different strategies, played out in almost Shakespearean tones. Or Cane and Abel if you prefer a biblical reference. Mark is not alone in team Tenacity in not trusting Daniel, but he is the one stoking the fire. For his part, Daniel is so blunt and direct, it is easy to see how he unites his team against him.

The task this week is to design a board game, and Mark manages to manipulate branding assistant Pamela Uddin to lead a task nobody wants to. Tenacity have their PM. After last week’s narrow escape, multiple business owner James Hill chooses to become PM for Summit and immediately demonstrates his style – decisive and paternalistic – by choosing the type of game – fun and educational for the family.

Meanwhile, back in Tenacity, Mark suggests a game based on relationships. Sub teams are set, with James again showing his decisive, direct style. Half of each team  go off to do at some market research, half start to design the game.

The challenge in marketing here is that if you take one idea – like both teams did –  and it isn’t liked, then you have nowhere else to go and you’ve lost a lot of time – so either go out with an open mind and no fixed idea, or give the focus group some choice and measure preference. Both teams opt to take out a single offering. Summit’s idea about a geography based family game is well received, Tenacity’s idea of a dating game is not. Tenacity PM Pamela, in a fatal error that will ensure no brand assistant manager loses the word “assistant” in their job title, decides to ignore the market research and go with their idea “The Relationship Guru”. This is her first mistake. Her second is to allocate Daniel to write the questions (which are based on subjective, not objective data, so are guaranteed to annoy and cause argument) without checking every single one. In these two decisions, Pamela has almost guaranteed that she will be fired if Tenacity lose the task.

And so it proves to be. In a rare case of everything turning out just as it appears to be unfolding, Summit win the task by almost double the sales to shops and big chains compared to Tenacity. James led the task well, but it helped to have a good idea, well thought out and in line with what the target audience – both retail and public -would buy. In this respect, accountant Roisin Hogan came across well and deserves a lot of credit.

In the boardroom, Pamela chooses to bring Daniel (no surprise) and “glamorous solicitor” (sounds illegal) Lauren Riley back. Despite Pamela trying to push the blame on Daniel, the combination of his direct-in-your-face street fighting defence, and Lauren’s steely cross examination, as well as a poor performance as PM, it is the end for Pamela and she is rightly fired. Both Daniel and Lauren receive warnings about future conduct from the judge Lord Sugar, but they survive. After a poor week as PM last week, and with Sugar’s warnings about his need to take feedback ringing in his ears, Daniel lives to fight another week.

Pamela Uddin, Inept Branding Assistant and PM was fired this week. Courtesy of BBC

Pamela Uddin, Inept Branding Assistant and PM was fired this week. Courtesy of BBC

Back in the house, Mark is telling everyone why it is unlikely that Daniel will survive, as the failure of the task and the woes of the world in general are down to last week’s PM. The look on his face is priceless when a humbled Daniel walks into the room. I have been a fan of Mark in this series, and once again this week his salesmanship is outstanding. However, the way he tried to manipulate things this week and his modus operandi in general are now out in the open for all to see. He is as scheming and determined as Daniel, but is pretending to be a team player – a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Or should that be a dingo? It will be interesting to see what happens when he is PM. And this must be soon, as Sugar has cottoned on to his tactics. Maybe a change in strategy? Cane and Abel Part 3 is next week…

 

 

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4 Responses to The Apprentice 2014 Week 6 – Relationship Woes

  1. Tim says:

    Good analysis, Mark.

    Barring the greatest turnaround since Lazarus, Daniel is dead in the water now and it’s only a matter of time. More than his fantasist claims, the thing that has hurt him the most is his inability to sell. While it was good to see him stand up to Mark, he is neither articulate nor credible enough for this to be a winning strategy.

    Mark is very much the alpha male at the moment and isn’t afraid to tell everyone how good he is. The thing is that so far he’s been pretty much spot on with everything he’s said and done, even if he does come across as not overly pleasant. The key will be how he responds to failure and a subsequent levelling of the playing field. I will be amazed if he doesn’t outlast Daniel, but how he responds to personal failure could be pivotal to his chances of actually winning.

    Personally, I think Lauren could go before Daniel. She is intelligent, articular and professional – but does she have commercial skills?

  2. markdecosemo says:

    Great points, Tim regarding all 3. I guess the winner may be the quietly getting on with it – Katie maybe?

    • Tim says:

      It will ultimately all come down to the business plans, obviously, but I think Katie has been quietly impressive so far – direct, determined but not overblown. She’s been my tip for a few weeks now. But I’m also increasingly impressed with Solomon, who is articulate, sells well and may interest Sugar because he operates in the online arena. There are a few others who have a chance (in particular, I would say Roisin and, despite his abrasiveness, Mark). But, for a variety of reasons, I think Daniel, James and Lauren are not long for this process

  3. Pingback: The Apprentice 2014- Weeks 6-10 Catch up - Tomorrow's Consultant

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