Tag Archives: Business

Instant Gratification in Marketing

C1 – Advanced

Humans are naturally inclined to have desires for things. In the business setting, whoever provides these desires in the best way and timely manner possible, gets ahead of the competition.

With this in mind, instant gratification can offer a wide array of benefits for digital marketers.

Get a deeper understanding of instant gratification, how it works to a company’s advantage in marketing, and ways to provide it to customers.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/235088

Discussion Questions:

1. Explain why people expect immediate responses now.

2. What are your thoughts on the ideas presented in this article?

3. What are some other ways to handle customer’s desire for instant gratification?

4. Does the company you work for use instant gratification? In what ways?

5. Do you agree that instant gratification provides benefits for businesses?

© Josh Hallett from Winter Haven, FL, USA / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Forget Office Cubicles, Try ‘Co-working’

B2 – Upper Intermediate

When you think of a workspace, the cubicles in a traditional office are probably the first thing that comes to your mind. Following Uber and Airbnb, the sharing economy has brought a new kind of work environment to the United States and the world in recent years.

It’s not a bar, nor a coffee shop. And it’s not your bedroom. It’s a so-called co-working space, where an increasing number of Americans work. WeWork is one of the providers of such environments.

https://www.voanews.com/a/co-working-new-office-style/3365475.html

Discuss:

1. What does Carl Pierre think the advantages of such a workspace are?
2. What do you think about the concept of co-working spaces?
3. What does your workspace look like?
4. Do you prefer working outdoors or in an office? Why?
5. Do you think that, in the future, all business will be conducted from a co-working space? Why or why not?
6. Do you think that, in the future, offices will become obsolete because of the Internet? Why or why not?

How to Haggle: Successful Bargaining Tips

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Bargaining or haggling is a type of negotiation in which the buyer and seller of a good or service debate the price of a transaction.  Not all purchases are open to bargaining. Typical places where bargaining is common include markets, antique shops, and second-hand car shops.

Click the link and read a few guidelines to help us get the best bargain. Answer the discussion questions that follow:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money/how-to-haggle

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is bargaining an acceptable practice in your country?
  2. In what kinds of shops is it acceptable?
  3. Do you like to bargain?
  4. What sort of things have you bargained for?
  5. What’s the best bargain you have got?
  6. What strategies did you use?
  7. Have you ever been ripped off?
  8. What is the bargaining etiquette in your country?
  9. What other negotiating do you do in your everyday life?
  10. What are some reasons people give for wanting a price reduction?

Business English – Innovation

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Innovation is the development and implementation of ideas that lead to more value for whatever business you are in.

When grocery chain Tesco wanted to expand their market share in South Korea, they came up with a brilliant idea. Because the people in South Korea work long hours they thought of an efficient way to sell their products.  Why is this shop interesting to view?

Why is this shop interesting to view? Click the link  and watch the video to find out. Be able to answer the questions that follow.

http://www.englishwithjo.com/business-english-innovation/

Discussion Questions:

  1. How was Tesco better than its competitor in terms of innovation?
  2. Do you think this innovative idea could be successfully applied in all countries?
  3. What are the most important innovations for you in your daily life?
  4. Have you ever worked for a company that has implemented any innovative ideas?
  5. Have you ever had an innovative idea? If so, did you put it into action?

Egg Freezing Perk for Female Employees

B1 – Intermediate

Apple and Facebook are among the biggest tech firms known for giving their employees, some might call, “awesome” work perks.

Recently, some companies decided they will provide financial assistance to their female staff should they opt to go for egg-freezing in their 20s or 30s.

Read more on egg freezing perk through this article:

Egg freezing Perk for Female Employees

Let’s talk!
1. What do you think of this perk?
2. What are your thoughts on this statement: “When [IVF] is done purely to protect their job, I think it’s extraordinary that women think this is liberating.”?
3. What unique perks are given to employees at your company?
4. What perks do you want your company to start giving out to its employees?
5. What do you think is the best age to start having children. Tell some reasons why.

The Firm that Starts Work at 9.06am

© via BBC

B2 – Upper intermediate

Most employees consider having flexible work hours a perk. At Pivotal Software, they require their employees to clock in at exactly 9:06 in the morning.

Curious to know why? Click on the link below to read more about this unusual work rule.

The firm that starts work at 9.06am

Discuss:

1. Why are employees at Pivotal Software required to report to work at exactly 9:06 AM?
2. What do you think of this idea?
3. Would you like such rule to be implemented in your company? Why or why not?
4. Describe your work hours and your typical work day.
5. What are the things that you do to increase your productivity at work?

In the Wine World, Does Bottle Size Matter?

C1 – Advanced

Wine has been around for as long as we can remember. And most of the time we’re after the taste. Watch the video below of a discussion about wine bottles and the issue of changing them.

Discuss:

1. According to the video, why are wine bottles changing?
2. Describe the wine the presenter and guest tasted.
3. The presenter mentioned the word “hipster”. What do you think it means?
4. What did the guest say about retailers and wine bottles?
5. What are your preferences when it comes to wine and other alcoholic beverages?

Supermarkets are not Cheating Customers

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C1 – Advanced

Consumers are always on the look out for promotions and discounts on almost every products. But are all promotional products worth your cash?

Read the article below and express your thoughts about it.

Supermarkets ‘not conning customers’

Discuss:

1. What is multi buy?
2. Do you think multi-buy packages are a good deal or is it a way to entice customers to buy more than what they really want?
3. How could supermarkets handle this situation better without causing annoyance to their customers?

The Pros and Cons of Advertising

B1 – Intermediate

Advertising is very important. It is a good way for consumers to know a product very well. Advertising also influences people’s mood and emotions. It makes people buy things they don’t need and makes them feel depressed for not being able to buy items that are in fashion.

Read the article below to know more about the good and bad in advertising.

History of Advertising – The Pros and Cons of Advertising

Discuss:

1. Why is it necessary to advertise?
2. Is there truth in advertising?
3. What kind of advertisements attract your attention?
4. Do you find advertising persuasive? Why do you buy one product over another?
5. Should alcohol or tobacco companies be allowed to advertise? Why or why not?
6. What is the most advertised product in your country?
7. What are the harmful and the beneficial effects of advertising?

Africa’s Coffee Renaissance

B2 – Upper intermediate

Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs are thinking creatively and boldly. Watch the video and read the article about two Nigerian brothers who profited on coffee.

2 brothers have tapped into Africa’s coffee renaissance

Discuss:

1. Describe the coffee business of Ngozi aynd Chijioke Dozie. What makes their coffee bar different?
2. What do the brothers hope for in the future for their business?
3. How are coffee bars fairing in your city/country?
4. Are there many start-up businesses in your city/country? Are they being supported by the local government?