On the new year, our young start-up has moved to a new location in downtown Tel Aviv. On our old location we shared a building with eclectic combination of neighbors. The list included :
1. The election campaign for Israel’s biggest workers union (They Won)
2. A Divorce lawyer
3. Women shoes store (with the funny name of “She’s Shoes”)
4. Secretive diamond cutting company (Parking full of BMW X5)
6. A leading modeling agency
Being neighborly, it gave me an opportunity to learn about various business models of non hi-tech companies.When the modeling agency first opened their offices next to us, our team was reasonably happy.Monday and Thursday were audition days, which really helped to keep morale high.Then, on one scary morning, as I came to the office, I saw a new sign on the agency door – “Talent Agency”.Naturally this was pretty scary, as I feared they are changing their business model (pun intended). When I inquired about the change I got the following insightful, unofficial explanation.
The Israeli modeling scene is very competitive. The high revenues flow to the “Top Models”, which make most of their money abroad.The “Non Top Models” have hard time. Not only they earn less than in Paris and New York, they also lose the big Israeli contracts to the “Top Models”, who come back for a quick visit.
The solution found by the agency is to re-brand the “Non top Models” as “Talents”. A “Talent” is a famous person, whose main activity is being famous. “Talents” can work on soap operas, children TV Shows, reality TV, or even start a singing & acting career. A true “Talent” usually does all the above simultaneously and needs to be very handsome.
A good talent makes a good living out of TV contracts, which are more frequent than modeling. Moreover, as the talent builds a brand for himself ( “Bad Guy”, ”Good Guy”, ”Smart”) he can get big advertisement contracts.
As a result the, agency decided to focus on very few potential top candidates, and build a modeling career for them. For most of the other, very pretty candidates, they plan a career as “Talents”. In summary, while the candidates are the same, they changed their branding, positioning and business model to align with the market.
So, top models do not need “Talent”, But “Talents” do need to be models…