2014 has been a terrible year for TBI Jakarta. They have been badly damaged by the arrival of a cashed-up new competitor at FX Mall, a posh mall on Jalan Sudirman, in the second half of 2013. While Wall Street long ago eclipsed The Brutish Institute in the capital, chalking up 8000 enrolments in the capital to TBI’s, er, 1300, it was pricey, which offered some respite. There were some customers who couldn’t afford Wall Street’s prices who opted for TBI instead.
But the new competitor at FX Mall offers the same type blended-learning experience of Wall Street at a modest discount, and monthly payment options exist, which further broadens the customer pool. The arrival of a second, clearly-superior option for adult learners in Jakarta has really got the TBI amateurs worried. Typically, they started trying to imitate the FX school, finally offering a pitiful “online” learning experience- more on this soon- and completely imitating the FX school by issuing inspirational tweets and language tips daily.
TBI- A Pale Imitation of the Professionals
As so often in the history of TBI, they imitate other companies and try and keep up appearances. A popular new Adult Centre opens at FX, rapidly gaining 37,000 likes on Facebook. This professional school regularly starts tweeting language tips and idioms. Furthermore, they offer online learning, offering more flexibility in when and where you study. So what does TBI do? They start imitating the professionals, and from November 2013 to March 2014, they were vastly more productive on Twitter, tweeting away daily, trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Blind Fear at TBI
It all comes down to motivation. What is the reason they suddenly started tweeting? Was it that they suddenly saw the light and made a resolution to be a more professional and caring educator? Surely not. This was no “road to Damascus” moment. What was really happening was that they were losing customers to the Adult Centre and their reputation had taken yet another hit to the body. What motivated them was fear and falling sales. There was nothing sincere in their reformation. Their decision to change their slothful ways and start tweeting more regularly was once again “crisis management”, showing them to be out of their depth.
The TBI Tweeter Stops Tweeting
The ultimate proof of a reformed character is time. Will these changes prove permanent or will the person / company eventually revert to type? We were not believers in the new productive TBI. After all, this is the school that hasn’t opened a single school in 3 and a half years, despite a lot of boasting that TBI was going to open a slew of new schools in 2012. None have yet arrived, and it’s July 2014. Their promises aren’t worth the paper they are written on; they are basically just hot air.
So it has proven with the TBI Tweeter machine. They were tweeting busily all through February and March 2014 but then on March 27th, they got lazy again. The slothful, unproductive TBI suddenly returned. They went a whole week without a tweet, re-appearing on April 3 after a full week “vacation”. And then they went a whole month without a tweet, next tweeting 31 days later on May 4. Whereas,the FX Adult Centre didn’t miss a beat, TBI fell off the wagon, like a drunk going back to the booze. The old bone-idle TBI had returned.
Then they waited a whole 2 months without a tweet, not bothering again to July 7th, 2014, a full 63 days later. 63 days without a tweet! The TBI reformation was dead. The tweeter had fallen off his twig. Their “reformation” had proven illusory, and the lazy, under-achiever had reverted to type. Are you surprised really?