Friday, 7 January 2022

Lessons from the Apprentice. 2022 – Episode One

For me, it's gherkins.  I don't like them, but shoved under my nose (or a burger lid), I will eat them, mildly grimace, and continue eating them anyway.  

That's how I feel about The Apprentice in 2022. I have disliked it for about five series yet watched them all. I vowed to never watch it again, yet kind of missed it last year. And, within the first 'durhh, durhh, durhh's' and LorSugar's smirk of pride with his new pandemic-themed one-liners, I knew I would be handing my Thursday nights to BBC1. 

The UK is desperate for a new business programme.  In the early years you could learn something from The Apprentice and Dragon's Den, but they are now firmly in the 'light entertainment' genre.  

While it won't get 6M+ viewers, I believe an 'Apprentice-style' programme, following teams of aspirational entrepreneurs with some seed funding over a series of weeks would work.  Over the series you could watch them create ideas, breathe life into them, generate the brand, do market research, and then pitch for investment. 

Yes, I agree it's BBC2 stuff and not so much fun.  However, mentored by credible and critical expertise that help the contestants and perhaps other viewing budding entrepreneurs, it could genuinely help people 'go their own way'.  Just a thought.

I guess the BBC needed to hit hard to get the ratings for Episode One, but I think the fan favourite, ‘The marketing task', was wasted.  The result was a symphony of noise as the clash of egos shouted over each other, while scoring points on the camera to use in the boardroom. 

Both teams were poor, as they always are in the first five episodes.  There was zero influencing, negotiation, and collaboration…. I'm convinced they're edited to be this way. 

Just a sideline; if the contestants consider themselves to be the greatest emerging business brains in the country, why didn't they begin formalising ideas in the limo on the two-hour drive down to Portsmouth?  They'd already been briefed that it was 'the marketing task'. And, it was on a cruise ship. Surely, they could have nailed the concept, name and some brand ideas before reaching the Hampshire border?

So, what did we learn:

·      “No = next opportunity”.  Absolute camembert, but I rather liked it!

·         "I've got seeds, so let's grow a tree from it".  Is this the "run something up the flagpole" for the 2020’s?  If so, I'm out.

·         Don't make a logo without relevant colours or the company name

·         Don't wear a green dress to a green screen

·         One from LorSugar, and, mildly paraphrased: "The theory of advertising/marketing is presenting something to someone so that they buy from you"

My biggest takeaway was that formal business attire was back!  Wasn't it great to see the blokes in smart suits, shirts and ties and the ladies in a single-colour business attire? 

In the last twenty-one months, I can count on two hands the people I've met both in person and online that have dressed this way.  Hurrah, is it the end of the grey sweatshirts!  However, it's also worth noting that I'm outside of the 25 to 45 demographic and didn't know the meaning of 'bouji'!

And, then there were fifteen.  Adios.

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