The Junior Apprentices met Lord Sugar at Mudchute city farm in the middle of London. With their wellies on it all looked very countrified.
The task, simplicity itself: create a brand new product for campers and then attempt to sell it to 3 retailers for their stores. And obviously the team with the most orders wins.
The project leaders almost chose themselves and the boys team (Instinct) obviously thought they were onto a winner as Adam runs a camping and fishing web site. Unfortunately for them Sir Alan decided to switch the boys and girls team leaders – shame for the boys, eh? So the girls team (Revolution) should benefit.
Adam’s Camping Site Team
So Adam brings the girls together for a team brainstorm session. He’s obviously nervous and seems to think that he needs to keep doing all the talking. Signals from the girls reveal he shouldn’t be. You should have seen Zoe’s jaw drop when Adam said, “ if we come up with a great product people will buy it!”
And to add to his list of stupid thoughts he says during a breakout interview, “men are better in business” which must surely put him in contention for the “Nation’s Most Politically Incorrect Statement” award
These sorts of exercises must be a little unfair when your average junior apprentice wont have needed to brainstorm camping accessories or business-related stuff before.
As Karren Brady says, Alan is a bit like a headless chicken and doesn’t really know what to do. Maybe he finds it more difficult to think on the fly and needs a bit of time to think things through?
And interestingly Emma suggests the product should be made of cardboard. Come on camping, British weather, rain? That cardboard will soon go soggy.on
Shoe Storage and Games Table, What’s Not To Like?
Still Adam plunges onwards and then sends Zoe and Hibah out to do the research at family friendly camp sites. Except rather than asking what the people would like they tell them what they’re doing and ask what they think, then push the idea to the exclusion of the storage idea.
Their prototype is designed called “Flex ‘n’ Store” and sent over to them the following day. Adam is applauding his team and the awful cheap looking product with gusto. The rest of his team aren’t really convinced.
Adam gets to do the photo shoot after deciding to let the best salesperson do the pitch (Zoe). However, despite having a camping goods site he doesn’t have a clue about how to put up a simple tent. Even when he claims he’s been camping twice a year (last year!)
In the end they run out of time and patience and the 4 models Adam hired are arranged on either flysheet, the tent or the groundsheet, I’m not sure which and I suspect Adam isn’t clear either. Photos are taken for the poster, which turns out to look as though a Year 11 pupil had designed it in the dark.
Selling The Shoe Storage and Games Table Thing
Zoe gives the pitches for “Flex ‘n’ Store” her best shot, although I must admit it must have been difficult with all of the retailers looking extrememly dubious about the flimsy looking object.
Zoe pitched well but I think we’ve already discovered that she knows how to sell. It’s just s shame that her project manager hadn’t given her something worth selling.
Hannah Cherry Inventor and Project Manager
Pretty much the first thing Hannah says is that she’s an inventor. Great news for the boys because she’ll have had experience of the whole creative process including prototyping!
Hannah has the idea of going for the niche festival campers, because they tend to be the same age as her and her team. Although she apparently doesn’t realise that there are a lot of middle aged campers going to festivals. Ah, such is youth! That said it sounds like a good market to aim at.
So the team brainstorm, or rather Tim does, and comes up with a useful sledge/trolley to transport stuff across fields at festivals to the owners campsite.
The team is split into two and Hannah and Tim go off to design the product and the others are told to wander off and do some market research. When the market research is reported to Hannah she completely ignores it and says “Well done with whatever you’re doing” to Rhys and Arjun. Who are suitably unimpressed by this brushoff. Nick Hewer also points out that Hannah is missing some good feedback from her team.
When will Nick realise that The Apprentice appears to make even sensible people lose all commonsense?
Where Hannah Appears To Do Nothing
Anyway, the resultant design is prototyped and christened “Slide Stuff.” To my eye (apart from it’s lime green colour) it looked pretty good. It could have been a bit longer and slightly higher sides would have helped, but that said it did exactly what Tim had suggested. And it didn’t look cheap and cheerful either. And it’s major advantage over the other team’s product was when rained on it wouldn’t go soggy.
Arun and Tim were asked to do the photo shoot, which they did well and also to do the pitch! Hold on what has Hannah done here? It seems a little crazy to have someone else write what you’re going to say and leave them with little or no time to rehearse it.
Anyway, Tim obviously doesn’t like the thought of doing the presentation as he knows if it goes wrong the person who did it is first in the queue for the firing. So Arun draws the short straw.
Quiet lad though he’s been so far his pitches were good. In fact when he realised that the pitch written for him wasn’t working too well he changed it for the last pitch, and that change was massively better than the original. Hannah was luckier than she deserved to be with him.
Back To The Boardroom
So both teams go back to the boardroom where we discover that Adams team got precisely zero orders from all 3 retailers. Come on Adam knows what his camping customers like – so how can this be so? Apart from anything else Adam still likes the product. Learn the lesson Adam, it’s your customers who need to like the product, not you.
Over on Hannah’s team one retailer orders 3,000 of the fun festival sledge. So just one order smashes the zero orders gained by Adam’s team.
Adam Chooses Who Should Face Lord Sugar
Adam really has no legs to stand on. If it had been me he would have been fired without having him choose two other team mates to return to the firing range. And as for choosing Zoe, who he kept saying did a great pitch? Why?
Lord Sugar, knows that Zoe shouldn’t even be in the boardroom and it becomes a clear contest between Adam and Hibah. In the end the firing finger points at Hibah and she goes after a very fast and unconvincing passionate outburst from Adam about how he really wants this chance!
Was it fair to fire Hibah? I’m not sure, she didn’t make much noise really but then again neither did Arun and yet he did a sterling job with his pitches. Personally I would have kicked Adam out. He obviously couldn’t project manage and obviously didn’t appear to like looking as though he didn’t know what he was talking about.
So will he go next week? I’m not sure. He certainly made me laugh so he has entertainment value. Can he last the course? Who can tell?