Posts Tagged ‘Misfit’
“Let’s revive British manufacturing”
So shouts Mary Portas, striking a pose for the cameras in her new TV show Mary’s Bottom Line (read all about it here http://www.maryportas.com/bottomline/)
Mary is passionate and persuasive and appeals to every emotion any decent human being can relate to as she strides through a deprived area of Manchester rescuing unemployed people and an unloved factory by manufacturing “Made in Britain” knickers.
The programme is the usual mix of ‘business lessons’ and entertainment that we’ve come to expect from this type of show but what can ordinary (i.e. not celebrity) business folk learn from Mary’s latest exploits?
Mary does her market research by agreeing with a high end French lingerie manufacturer that “people these days buy less but pay more for quality” and by guilt tripping shoppers in the high street into admitting they would pay more for British made knickers. Really? Most of them had no idea where the knickers they were wearing came from so maybe when the cameras aren’t running it’s not such an issue for them.
Hiring the right staff
A snaking line of 400 applicants is reduced to eight apprentices but not before covering the usual sob-stories that seem to be compulsory on all reality TV shows.
Despite the huge number of people to choose from, Mary insists on taking on one girl who has neither the right attitude not the skills to do the job.
Now, conflict makes for good TV but it doesn’t make for good business and I suspect in following shows there will be showdowns and shouting with echoes of other shows where a misfit is made a scapegoat for the sake of TV drama with nor thought for their subsequent welfare.
For me, employing people should be about doing what’s right for both the business and the employee and not about exploitation, whether it’s for profit or TV ratings.
The supply chain
Having got her workforce set up Mary then apparently realises that she doesn’t have the British made lace she needs to produce the knickers. The TV audience is treated to a dash around Nottingham as Mary hunts down the only manufacturer of stretch lace left in Britain and gets him to agree to supply her enterprise.
A preview of next week’s show hints that this arrangement is doomed. Maybe in the real world the supply chain would take a higher priority ….
Leaving aside the manipulation that is necessary to make a good TV show, is this idea cynically exploiting a deep seated desire to revive British manufacturing? Is Mary paving a road for those less famous to follow? If her knickers didn’t have this huge TV exposure that no normal manufacturer could afford, would they ever get to market? What do you think?
More next week as Mary settles on a name for her knickers, sorts out the branding and chooses a model bum to show them off.
Related post: Will Kinky Knickers become a viable business?
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