BBC Apprentice Series 12 Episode 10 – Gin Task

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BBC Apprentice Series 12 Episode 10 – Gin Task

The task for The Apprentice candidates in Series 12 Episode 10 is to create a new Gin product along with a visual brand identity.

My initial thoughts are to focus on the luxury market.  Lots of existing companies go with green coloured labels of bottles & something different could  increase shelf/bar appeal. It makes more sense than trying to compete with more established Gin brands.  If you want consumers to try a new product – it’ll be an impulse purchase the first time – then it needs to look like other competitive products, but not the same.

G for Gin

In terms of the name, I’m tempted to go with ‘G’.  The most common mixed drink that uses Gin as its base is a G&T.  With a product called G you can play on that.  ‘G – the gin customers have been asking for for more than 300 years.’  ‘G – Ask for it by name’.  You also have the opportunity for bars and restaurants to choose it as their house gin, playing on the ‘A G&T please’ request from its patrons.

I see naming as a serious challenge for many startups because standard spelling domain names are so hard to find. That creates problems when trying to get people to visit a site.  With a product called G there’s no issue with pronunciation and the domain g4gin.com (G for Gin) is still available, as is ggin.com (G Gin).

I’m tempted to go for a silver and black visual identity – taking design inspiration from Tangueray – or a diamond label on a clear bottle.  A smoked glass bottle might work well too.  These aren’t things that could be created for the task, but could be mocked up.  They could be presented during the pitches providing potential customers with a chance to input and help fine-tune it.

Protoyping

One of the challenges with these product design tasks is that the time from concept to pitch is so short.  Candidates try to create a finished product and present it to their prospective customers. Rather than presenting half-finished products I’d position them as prototypes. Looking to get orders on the basis that modifications can (arguably that they will) be made to the delivered product could increase the chances of selling it.

These are my observations and thoughts, written in real time – as the task unfolds.  Let’s see how the candidates fare.