Why do we distribute FREE KOI, Breakfast sets outside schools & award iPads, Air-Tickets to exotic destinations to students
Are we crazy?
You’ve probably heard about us from IG or from your friends who have received a free drink during our giveaway campaigns, or even read news articles featuring us - and the first thought that comes to your head is “are these people crazy”.
More thoughts on this
“What is this? A marketing gimmick?”
“Do they really think people will just sign up for tuition from a free drink? They must be out of their minds right?”
Well, let me explain.
The background of Economics at Tuitiongenius classes
I’m Mr Eugene Toh here, and I started giving tuition to students in 2007. When I first started offering group tuition, the classes were mostly held at my home - and I had this thought
“These JC students have a terrible life - they have to do school, CCA and during weekday nights / weekends, they still need to endure through tuition”
And with this in mind - I sought to change the perception of ‘tuition’ for students coming to my place for classes.
I wanted students to feel like they are right at home, and that tuition can be fun, it can be enjoyable, stressful. Remove all the dread that comes with having to attend tuition.
First of all I told students that my fridge is their fridge, my sofa is their sofa & my home is their home.
I started stocking up my fridge with chilled drinks like Ribena, and I made a weekly trip to Candy Empire to stock up my home with really cool treats.
Of course - at the same time, I ensured that my tuition programme was really student-centric - provide them with what they needed to do well, by helping them understand complex economics concepts by distilling it for them & drilling them on writing essays & providing feedback on how they can improve their case study answers.
Over time - my student following grew. Why?
1. My tuition programme worked - and was producing results. Students were doing well in school and at the A Levels. So much that my students were starting to get ‘threats’
2. Students had the assurance that support is there when they need it most and that their tutor will always be there to address their queries and doubts.
Why do we give out free KOI & breakfast sets outside schools?
Giving out free KOI & breakfast sets outside schools IS indeed a marketing gimmick. There’s no doubt about that. We do that to gain continual exposure to our brand so that students are reminded of our brand “Economics at Tuitiongenius”
The tuition industry is a tough one to navigate. In 2007 when I first started teaching Economics tuition, my website was consistently ranked top 2 when you do a Google search for “economics tuition”. I spent $0 on Google ads back then.
Today, there are many Economics tuition providers out there. While we are still ranked the top 5 when you do a search, competition is a lot stiffer!
However - why specifically do we choose to give out free KOI in the afternoons & breakfast sets in the mornings?
There is a reason for that. Our KOI/breakfast giveaways is an extension of the ‘care’ philosophy, and the fact that our programme is student-centric.
Isn’t it refreshing to get a free cup of KOI bubble tea outside your school on a hot sunny day? Heck I mean, if there was a KOI store right outside your JC, I’m sure the store will be making big bucks. It isn’t so much that the fact that we are giving you the bubble tea for FREE but it is more of the case that we are delivering something that you WANT but don’t quite have the time to travel down to buy (sounds like tuition isn’t it?). And, when I was a JC student, I always enjoyed having breakfast before school - but the breakfast options at school canteens was alway ridiculously limited. That’s why we deliver Macdonald’s breakfasts to you early in the morning - bringing you that smile to your face when you munch on a Sausage McMuffin & enjoy a free hot drink.
Today, plenty of centres provide a pantry section at the centres offering free-flow of drinks & snacks, many centres also give out free foolscap pads at the start of the academic year. However, do you know that we have always been the first in the industry to do so? Most centres just follow suit and ‘catch on’ thinking that it is a good idea.
That is not a bad thing when we consider that competition brings about better consumer welfare - which benefits you as a student.
End of the day - we know why we do what we do - and it’s mostly because we do think about and care about our students.
Why do we award our students iPads, USS tickets, GV Movie Vouchers, iPhones & Air Tickets to exotic destinations?
Wow - for this we were featured left right centre up down all over the news. Yes we are that crazy centre that gives out fantastically fabulous free stuff that students will drool over.
Again, let me explain.
In my classes, I conduct periodic reviews of my students understanding of the subject matter taught in the preceding 3 months. For JC1s, we hold a test in June & in September. For JC2s, we hold 3 quarterly tests, in March, June & September. Why?
To help my students do the best they can - I need to know where they stand, both in their understanding of content as well as their ability to write essays (H2) and their ability to answer case study questions aptly (H1 & H2). These tests, help me as a tutor, understand where my students stand. I will then make recommendations to them on how to improve, and if push comes to shove, I’ll force them to come for one-to-one consultations which are btw, free of charge - to help them improve.
I need my students to take these tests seriously. I mean, come on - do you know how tough is it to administer a test DURING tuition? There’s like literally no stakes when it comes to a tuition test. It’s not like the test affects your report book or your CA or whatsoever. So who is going to take tuition tests seriously? Mostly nobody.
But - for the quarterly tests to be a form of reliable assessment for me to gauge my students’ abilities - I need them to take the tests seriously.
The economist in me decided to provide incentives. The incentives need to be powerful enough to get every student to try their best. Indeed - it has been working.
Thus - these awards of iPads, air tickets, movie vouchers etc - they are NOT marketing gimmicks & is merely a tool for me to ensure that I can do my best for my students as a tutor.
Well - that is a very long post explaining why we do the crazy things we do. It turns out, we might not be as crazy as you think after all :)
PS: If you think that you are ready to finally make the effort to improve your economics, visit us at www.tuitiongenius.com and join us today!