TBI: The Bargain Institute?

Example #1

Achieve Your Life Goals with TBI posted on Thursday 23rd of May 2013
Get 10% Discount for Business Communication from 19.30 – 21.00 PM. More info contact our student advisor at 021-30027988. *Terms and conditions apply

Example #2

Promo Students get Students posted on Wednesday 4th of April 2012 TBI Multatuli proud to announce you our new promotion programmes for our students who recommend their friends to study @TBI Multatuli will get cash back for Rp. 150.000,– for more information please contact our student advisors @061 4555123

Example #3

Nominal Vouchernya Rp.500.000
valid until 12 Maret 2013

hanya ada 1 lembar, dan hanya dapat digunakan di TBI cabang Dago atau Jl.Riau

Example #4

Get an early bird price before June 13, 2013 for HEP program at Jalan Riau

Example #5

PROMO JUNI: Les B. Inggris mulai IDR 220K. DAFTAR SEKARANG, MASUK NANTI posted on Wednesday 5th of June 2013
Khusus untuk para pendaftar di bulan Juni, berhak mengikuti promo dengan potongan harga yang menarik serta keuntungan dapat mengikuti kelas setelah liburan. Ayo DAFTAR SEKARANG! Silahkan datang ke TBI Bogor untuk info lebih lengkap 🙂

Here are 5 random promotions which we found online from TBI from the past 12 months. They range in value from Rp 150.000 “cash back”, straight into your hand, to a whole Rp 500.000 voucher. There have been many more promos, sometimes even coinciding with major TBI intake periods.
In mid-June there was also a massive amount of giveaways going on, with many branches such as TBI Kuningan, TBI Kelapa Gading and TBI Bekasi Sun City giving away ipads, bicycles and other gimmicks. Giving away expensive prizes was never TBI’s style until recently and nor was regular discounting.

What to make of all these giveaways, discounts and bargains? Well, between the authors of this blog, we had several years working for this company and we know the culture of TBI. They were always very cheap and didn’t like giving money away. Furthermore, they used to claim that discounts were cheap and tacky and lowered the (imagined) prestige of the “TBI brand”. Cam has also suggested that it is much more likely they would go for this kind of gimmicky stuff in a situation of economic stress, when money was short or at least profits were falling. We believe that TBI had a torrid 2012, as shown by the decision to remove long-time Director (Dictator) Mariam Kartikatresni at the end of 2012. Clearly this decision was made against a background of poor sales figures.

All in all, we can see a change in the culture of TBI, with fewer pretensions in evidence. The company that once used to think it was too “premium” to have offer prizes to lure new customers has been forced by hard times to give up some of its arrogance. Perhaps now every other expat manager besides Luke and his stooge “Scotty” have now been ditched, Luke no longer has anyone else’s success to fear. Famously jealous when Mariam praised anyone besides himself, perhaps he used to block marketing measures as a way to limit the sales growth of his perceived ‘enemies’ (ie. other managers). Once Cameron’s school started booming he made it harder and harder for him to get permission to do any marketing at all, suggesting that he didn’t want anyone else to succeed. (Extensive evidence for Luke’s uncontrollable envy will be discussed in an upcoming post.)

Whatever the explanation, the distaste for discounts and gimmicky prizes that was shown in the past has been thrown aside, and cheap and cheerful is now in. Want to study at TBI? Go online and look for a discount TBI voucher which someone is trying to offload. You might just find a TBI course in the discount bin!

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