Week two of the Young Apprentice greeted the candidates with a task designed to really challenge the mettle of the youngsters, taking them out of their comfort zone and into a market they may not yet be too familiar with.
Sugar had them whisked off to the prestigious Royal College of Art to inspire them for a tricky few days, in which they had to design a new product for the parent and baby market, before pitching to three leading retailers.
As ever in this type of challenge, orders count, and whichever team could bag themselves the most orders would bask in the glory of a team win.
Harris the Hippo
The boys (Atomic), kept together for the 2nd week in the row, struggled to nail down a specific idea which the whole team could agree on, as various concepts were muted, examined, cross-examined and eventually consigned to the scrap bin.
It took a trip to a retailer and a chat with an enthusiastic shop assistant, before they settled on Harris the Hippo, a bottle warmer shaped as a hippo in an attempt to put babies at ease with feeding time.
Although egos clashed throughout the task and pitches to the retailers proved hectic and disjointed, the boys came up with a half-decent product, which they felt would win them the task.
Team Kinetic got the wheels in motion particularly quickly as their idea for a baby support sling, called Comfy Curve, was settled upon within minutes by the whole group.
But whilst their teamwork was impressive, aspects of decision-making were a bit more haphazard. For example, when casting a mother-baby combination for their packaging, a black mother was cast with a white baby, creating an unrealistic image on the packaging which might not go down well with the retailers.
The girls also had issues with their pitches, with conflict in abundance about who would promote to which retailer, but the team worked well on the whole and the girls could be happy with their efforts.
After Lord Sugar had pointed out where both groups had been fallible in the task (Kinetic’s product questioned about its purpose, Atomic queried for rejecting other ideas), it looked like the boys would triumph for the first time as they got orders from both the first 2 retailers, whilst Kinetic were stuck with zero orders.
But it was the final retailer which delivered a crushing blow to Atomic, ordering over 7,000 units of the support sling and, in the process, handing a second successive victory to Kinetic, with the last of the girls’ pitches being heralded for its professionalism and clarity.
Can Atomic power to their first triumph next week or will Kinetic only need to turn up and go through the motions to bag their third victory on the trot? Find out next week right here.
Skipton Business Finance won the DealMakers Global Award for 2011 for its invoice finance products, together with the Most Supportive ABL award in 2010 at the Endless LLP awards.
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