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The Apprentice: Los Angeles – Why Marisa LostPage 2
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The sixth rule tells players to focus on the long-term. Specifically, applicants have to remember that the challenges are short-term in nature, while the long-term goal should be to get a job with Trump. Marisa apparently lost sight of that. She was so focused on one small facet of one challenge that she lost sight of the bigger picture. She should have made her suggestions, been overruled, and moved on. If they had lost the challenge, she could have brought up her points without appearing to have had tunnel vision.
And who knows – with her mind freed up from chicken suits, she might have been able to come up with other marketing ideas that could have drawn customers in and made them want to buy the Paradise Pollo Bowl. She might have even come up with the idea of marketing the bowl to local businesses – an idea that pretty much spelled the win for Arrow.
Of course, that would have required following the seventh rule and understanding the challenge. The simple fact is that this was a marketing challenge, period. Getting people to the restaurant, in and of itself, was not important. Selling lots of stuff to customers was, in and of itself, not important. The only thing that mattered was getting them to buy the chicken bowl created by the team. That means customers had to know about the product before they reached the register. Sure, the sales force could try to sell them on the product, but customers are unlikely to buy something they’ve never heard of – most people know what they’re going to order by the time they get to the register.
Let me give you an example that I suspect is pretty general in nature. When I pull up to a drive-through window, I know what I want to get. I am, frankly, annoyed when the disembodied voice in the menu board greets me with, “Hi, welcome to McHardeeBurger. Would you like to try a loaded omelet burger croissant?” No, I wouldn’t. If I wanted to, I would tell you. I cannot think of a single time when I was asked this and said, “Sure, I don’t know what that is but I’ll give it a shot.”
Back to the issue at hand. Marisa’s big idea was getting people in chicken suits. While it would have attracted attention, would it have done anything to tell customers what the Paradise Pollo Bowl was? No. People already know that El Pollo Loco sells chicken. This is not a surprise. And selling chicken, in general, was not the task at hand. Marisa needed to come up with a marketing strategy that explained to people what was in the Paradise Pollo Bowl specifically and why they should want to try it. She failed to do that.
This is certainly connected to the eighth rule, which says to be creative but not insane. Dressing people up in chicken suits is better than handing out flyers made at Kinko’s – but not by much. And as we just discussed, it would have done nothing to explain what their specific product was. Marisa needed to be creative, not get one idea and harp on it.
Ninth is a reminder that you can’t be one-dimensional. I can’t really say if Marisa was one-dimensional or not, but we certainly know she was one-track-minded. And we didn’t see anything to indicate she had multiple talents.
Finally, we arrive at the rule saying contestants simply need to use common sense. I could bring up the one marketing idea again and the repeated phone calls, but we’d just be beating a dead chicken.
Marisa was put in charge of marketing on what should have been a marketing-intensive task. But she was not up to the challenge. Marisa not only acted in a way that failed to move her team forward, she also managed to alienate all of her cohorts. At the beginning of this article, the question came up of whether Marisa was fired for obvious or not-so-obvious reasons. It was both. Marisa was obviously unable to function in an environment where she was not the top dog, because as an underling, your suggestions do not always end up being the final answer – she couldn’t handle that. Less obvious was that even if Marisa hadn’t made such a pest of herself, she failed to find success by doing the job that was given to her. Combining these two gives us the answer to why Marisa lost.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Apprentice articles:
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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