Learning from Trump?

I think I have given up on The Apprentice. When it started, I was trying to pull business lessons out of each episode. After the third week, I was finding it almost impossible. Businesspundit also had higher hopes for the show.

Consider this week. The teams had to sell Donald’s new product – “Trump Ice”. One team beat the other and Ereka got fired. They showed some of the selling, but it was edited to create the proper tension. What could you really learn from the teams?

I think there is a segment of reality television that plays to a viewer’s interest in learning. Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear, and Queer Eye For the Straight Guy all have that component. I think the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel also has it.

I wanted to learn something from The Apprentice. I guess I’ll go buy Trump’s book instead.

One thought on “Learning from Trump?

  1. I’m still watching The Apprentice not so much for the “business lessons” but rather for the compelling characters. I truly believe that these reality shows from Joe Schmo to Survivor to The Apprentice succeed not because of the situation or design of the program, but rather because of the character development.

    As evidence by the sliding Nielsen numbers, Hollywood is struggling to develop compelling characters for sitcoms and dramas. The most successful reality shows present viewers with compelling characters that develop over time be it over one episode or multiple episodes.

    The “characters” left on The Apprentice all have something compelling about them that writers in Hollywood could never conjure up and bring to television. And as much as I hate to admit this, Trump is proving himself to be a very compelling character to watch.

    Back to the business of The Apprentice — the latest episode of did teach me a business lesson. It’s one that I wrote about in a recent Brand Autopsy post on how drug dealers want to make the fewest sales for the most money. The winning team in last week’s episode worked “smarter” by focusing their selling efforts on high-volume customers (distributors) and the losing team worked “harder” by going the “kibbles and bits” route and trying to sell bottled water to small businesses (c-stores and mom/pop restaurants). Ultimately, the team that focused their energies on the most profitable customer target won. A business lesson any retailer should follow.

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