Vincent's Apprentice Diary


About Vincent

Union Street's head of sales Vincent Disneur has a prolific sales record and is widely known in the telecoms industry. Half-Belgian and half-Swiss, Glasgow-born Vincent is a film buff and frequent traveller with a penchant for theatre.

The self confessed perfectionist who was a Liverpool mascot as a child, names Bill Gates and Richard Branson as role models and would love to have been the brains behind Microsoft.

Episode One: The aBILLity Pitch…

BBC1 9pm - 10th May 2011

In the first episode, Lord Sugar pitted the Boys against the Girls. He gave each team £250 and told them to return with a profit.

Vincent was the first to put forward a team name by suggesting ‘aBILLIity’, pitching it as ‘a positive name’ (and great billing product!!). Whilst his team mates did not agree with the name, he did manage to get the ‘aBILLity’ name check in at least four times!

Vincent's team 'Logic' opted to invest Lord Sugar’s £250 into the production of soup and orange juice. Vincent didn't look too comfortable preparing the oranges in the kitchen, but he was much more at home when it came to selling and quickly set about ‘charming the ladies’ while selling juice in an office. Karren Brady admitted, ‘strangely enough they seem to be quite impressed’.

Team Logic lost the task, and Vincent escaped the board room

Commenting on epsode one, Vincent said 'Wonderful experience, hope I came across as one of the good guys, lots more fun to come. Edward got eaten alive by the Lord' - 11th May 2011


Episode Two: The app...

BBC1 9pm - 11th May 2011

This episode was a bit of a shocker for Vincent and Team Logic because they thought that they had it in the bag. The sucker punch was not realising that an app based on British regional accents wouldn't have global appeal. Not much logic there, d’oh! After that it was the usual blame game. Alex going seemed a fair result because he had pretty much coasted during the first two tasks. Vincent got a bit tongue tied in one of the presentations. But hey, everyone loses the thread once in a while.apdashboard_213

At the Convergence Summit North 2011, Union Street previewed its new aBILLity Dashboard web app which should be available in the next few months. Judging by Vincent's pitch in episode 2, we better get someone else to present it!!!

Episode Three: Buying for the Savoy

BBC1 9pm - 18th May 2011

Well obviously Vincent dodged a bullet here. There were two key elements to the task; time management and negotiation. The time management broke down when Gavin failed to get a grip at the outset. From then on Vincent’s team was playing catch-up with Vincent doing a lot of the catching up. His ‘take charge’ approach came off as a bit arrogant, but he’s a take-charge guy and when people are faffing about someone has to take charge. The time to be nice and polite was over because the team was up against it. Gavin dragged Vincent into the boardroom, but this didn’t deflect his Lordship’s wrath. Gavin volunteered for project leader and when you do that, you know you've got an even chance of ending up in the firing line.

Episode Four: Beauty and the beast...

BBC1 9pm - 25th May 2011

The first rule in any exam is make sure you're answering the question and not just writing about what you know. And this was precisely the trap that Vincent’s team fell into. As Tom so eloquently worked out, all the margin was in the beauty treatments. The products were just the icing on the cake - but team Logic got it back to front.

There were of course a few other errors. The location choice was bad with only one treatment room located three floors away from the retail pitch. Plus the team didn't get the best product - the spray tanning that was quick, simple and produced an attractive and lasting result. But the real failure was on the sales floor where the focus for the sales people went into the tangible products that were easier to sell rather than the treatment concepts. They did what they knew instead of addressing the real issue.

Of course when they hooked someone on a treatment there wasn’t a mechanism in place to get them from the sales floor to the treatment room. Trusting that they would make their way there unescorted was a big error. Making a loss on the day sealed Felicity's unhappy fate.

Let’s hope Vincent is finally on the winning team next week.


Episode Five: A right dogs dinner...

BBC1 9pm - 1st June 2011

Vincent’s roller coaster ride on The Apprentice came to a crashing end in this episode. The recurring theme for Team Logic was missing the point of the task and this dog’s dinner was no exception. As team leader (volunteered by Lord Sugar) Vincent was bound to carry the dog food can. We all know that the gloop (lungs, brains, guts etc, basically the bits of animals only the French and dogs will eat) which goes into dog food is all the same stuff. The marketing trick is to make the dog owner believe it is something special for their four legged friend.

But instead of creating a niche or premium brand Vincent and the team came up with ‘Every Dog’ – a “one size fits all” dog food as Jim described it. Despite coming up with a better commercial, the ad men hated it the concept and sealed Vincent’s fate. In the boardroom Lord S was obviously gunning for Jim but Vincent brought in Ellie and Natasha. Ellie certainly deserved it having coasted through the series so far, but Natasha didn’t, having done a first rate job directing the commercial. So in a shock double firing Ellie and Vincent both went to doggy heaven!

In some small consolation, during the follow-up inquest programme on BBC2, Kelvin MacKenzie, Britain’s greatest ever national newspaper editor, stated that Vincent should have stayed. Having been on the losing side in every round Vincent finally got a treat when host Dara O'Briain presented Vincent with a spa treatment voucher.

So for Vincent it’s back to the day job!


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