We had a wrong assumption that what worked for one centre would work for another one.
The original centre had an excellent location, right in the centre of a cluster of branded language centres and enrichment centres. No competitors were in that cluster. It received many walk-in enquiries from parents while they were waiting for their children, and that, combined with solid teaching by Steve, Bruce and Chad, made it a thriving business.
However, the second centre we chose wasn’t like the original one at all. It was isolated, situated on the third floor. There was virtually no walk-in. Even the centre location was hard to find, even though it was right in the middle of a heartland.
We did not consider factors like how the environment, audience, location are different for each centre. And we fell into the assumption that since the original centre did not need to do much marketing, therefore the second centre also could play along the same strategies.
When it came to branding and marketing, we had no clear notion of our positioning and our USP. We couldn’t think beyond the claim that we were attentive teachers, and we taught in small groups.
Being amateur businessmen, our team believed that advertising and marketing was not necessary, only doing a good job and word of mouth was sufficient. We viewed advertising and marketing as an expense, because the original centre had the good fortune of doing well without investing in them.