The Apprentice Final: Let’s eat cake!

Alana The Apprentice

Week 12 – the final week!

As finalists Courtney and Alana gathered at City Hall to prepare themselves for a potentially stressful few days ahead, they were instructed to bring their businesses to life and launch them fully to present to industry experts and Lord Sugar, Karren and Claude.

Once the previous candidates had returned, Alana’s team finalised as Grainne, Frances, Rebecca and Oliver, whilst Courtney’s consisted of Jessica, Karthik, Sofiane and Paul.

The battle between the cakes and the novelty gifts had truly began.

Firstly, to think of a brand name. Creative Courtney was dispersing all these pretty naff ideas, which Paul openly didn’t appeal to. Meanwhile, Alana’s team generated a name pretty quickly – ‘Ridiculously Rich’.

Whilst Courtney attempted to think of a name for his brand, he chose Jessica to manage his sub team of Paul and Sofiane, but did he not learn from previous tasks? These three had been a complete and utter nuisance when working together in the past and who’d guess that Sofiane and Paul would have friction again?!

With Courtney still yet to decide on a name, time was running out and it literally came down to his favourite colour and favourite animal – no lie, ‘Purple Whale’ was born.

After attending a pitch coaching session, Courtney left with some interesting exercises to help him deliver his final pitch in a more confident manner. With pitching being more of a weakness of Courtney’s, this was such a valuable opportunity for him to really embrace and fully take on board the techniques he’d learnt as it truly could impact the result of the delivery.

Frances and Grainne were in the sub team doing the digital ad for Alana and decided to call her up about their concerns after seeing the logo in which Alana had helped design, Least to say, she didn’t take it well, but I couldn’t help but agree with what Frances and Grainne were saying. The logo really wasn’t that great and the including of the cake stand within it was somewhat cliche and predictable.

Once Courtney’s team members all took a glance at the final logo, they seemed pretty satisfied with the result. The simplicity was something of praise.

Both Courtney and Alana were generally pleased with the work produced by their sub-teams, even though in my opinion they were not entirely great.

However both teams did successfully create a good TV ad. However, Alana made the change of having herself as the driving force of the brand and with such a personal story behind the brand, having her as the face of Ridiculously Rich was a good option to take in my opinion. After Oliver initially suggesting this sort of change in order to create USP when in comparison to other brands, it showed that he was actually inputting some good into a task, unlike in most of the others he’d took part in before.

Alana putting Oliver in charge of packaging was not so much a promising elect, simply due to the fact that he is very indecisive, even with such little time left. However, team members and even Oliver himself were pleasantly surprised by the packaging outcome.

Courtney’s team also loved the prototype baby trophy drinking cup that Courtney had designed and I have to grant that its uniqueness is fairly evident.

Back to City Hall to deliver their final pitches and it is clear just how nervous the finalists are. I was particularly nervous for Courtney, especially as he has crumbled so much at pitches before in the previous tasks in the process that you wouldn’t expect him to have made such a drastic change as he had made.

Both pitches were very successful and seemed to be confidentially impressive. Alana especially, started off a little shaky, but once in the swing of the pitch, nothing was getting in her way and she even lacked hesitation when being faced with on-the-spot questions.

Once returning to the boardroom, the previous candidates shared that both were easily capable for being the new business partner of Lord Sugar’s, but there could only be one winner.

With a tough decision to make, weighing up the positives, negatives and risks of each brand proposed to him. Lord Sugar finally based his decision on his gut feeling.

The result was finally revealed and Alana had done it! Her perseverance in business from the age of 17 had truly paid off and the future looks very bright for her indeed.

What a great series and after personally predicting that the girls in this series would not do so well, there were clearly a few dark horses amongst the selection.