A perfect (yet ridiculous) starter to introduce supermarket competitiveness. This Daily Mash mock-news-article lampoons the ironic concept of the “loyalty” card and highlights the desperate situation that the Big 4 are facing due to the unstoppable growth of the loyalty-card-less Aldi and Lidl.
It can be used as a spring board for discussions on customer loyalty, Unique Selling Points (or lack thereof), reliability of sources and strategies in the face of increasing competition.
To ensure students don’t quote the above article in their BUSS4 exam, below are some more serious ones from a reputable source!
The race to produce the best driverless car is on! Most of the automotive “big boys” are working on their versions, but it’s interesting to see the varied approaches taken by Google and Audi. Attached is a PowerPoint task that ask students to watch the 2 car “adverts” and analyse the risks and rewards of the different strategies.
Google are playing it safe, perhaps heeding the Harris Poll of 2,039 adults, in which 88 percent said they would be worried about riding in an autonomous, driverless car. Their car is round, cute, friendly and slow.
Audi have chosen another path… a much faster path! Their “piloted” car achieved speeds of 149mph and completed a lap of the Hockenheim F1 track a few seconds faster than the manned car.
Intriguing stuff that is certain to create great debate.
Have a fantastic Christmas!
A fantastic documentary for the Section A Research Theme (bullets 2, 4 & 5), that also ticks a great many boxes for the BUSS1, 2 & 3 specifications.
Channel 4’s Inside Rolls Royce charts the production of the Celestial (a one-off showpiece car that has more bling than Liberace, as well as an optional £20,000 picnic hamper!). It covers many topics within Human Resources, Operations, and Marketing, but my highlights are as follows:
- The front of house manager who checks the length of the grass
- The relentless quality control that almost breaks a man
- The marketing of the new Rolls Royce Wraith in Abu Dhabi, which includes hand selected movers-and-shakers from the city getting to test drive it around the formula 1 track
The documentary is available via this link (if you don’t have a C4 account, it takes only 2 minutes to register) and I’ve created a worksheet with 29 questions (numbers correspond to the minutes) intended to promote discussion about a brand synonymous with British excellence.
Hope it helps
Would free food make you work harder? Google think that it would, and so do many other employers. Is it true that Google have a rule that no employee should ever be more than 150 feet from a food outlet in the office? There is the story in this article, of an employee in California who practically moved into the office, sleeping in his car just outside and living on the perks and extras available in the building, which he managed to do for a full 60 weeks.read more...»
Based on the Channel 4 programme by the same name, I created this worksheet that asks students to predict the wages of various professions, and where they fall on the income distribution chart. They can then watch this short clip which gives them the answers, leading to great discussions and potential research on any of the following:
- The taboo of wages and why we struggle to make accurate predictions
- The rich-poor divide and Pareto’s Law
- The importance of education
- The determinants of wages
- Taxes and benefits
- Money and happiness
Hope it helps.
Prepare yourselves for a shock; Red Bull does NOT give you wings, and have had to pay over $13m in compensation for saying so. I would assume the latter statement caused more astonishment than the former, and so I looked into previous false advertising cases and compiled the attached game called Court Out.
There are 10 case of false advertising, students have to decide which businesses were “court out” and had to pay damages, which advertising campaigns “got away with it” and which one is an urban legend. On the final slide is Graham’s “Spectrum of Analysis” in which students must evaluate which ones they felt were the most or least culpable.
To prevent any class action law suits against me, I would say it is a relatively fun and engaging game that should promote discussion and evaluation and might help students understand the fine line between good marketing and mendacity*.
*learning not guaranteed but I hope it helps!
The dates and locations for our programme of intensive exam coaching & revision days for AQA BUSS1, BUSS2, BUSS3 and BUSS3 in Spring 2015 are now available.
To confirm your places on these highly popular days, please use these booking forms or contact Janet Cahill in the tutor2u office (email email@example.com)
To find out more about what goes on at these exam coaching & revision days, take a look at this introductory video!read more...»
The time pressures created by two long case studies often contribute to students under-performing in the AQA AS Business BUSS2 exam. Students also occasionally let themselves down through poor response structure, not answering the question set and making best use of effective application and analysis methods. This new resource from tutor2u's experienced BUSS2 team is designed to support students as they prepare for the final BUSS2 exam in May 2015 and help them maximise their performance.read more...»
As an interesting way to introduce 3 of the 4 functional areas (and illustrate to students that business studies concepts are everywhere), I used these 3 news stories about how different religions have changed their strategies this year.
Pope Francis stamps out corruption in the Vatican Bank - By refusing to “do business” with certain unscrupulous customers, the profit at the Vatican Bank has dropped from £68m euros to just £2.3m. A strong move from Il Papa, but should a church make any profit at all?
Jehovah’s Witnesses change their marketing strategy - Instead of the door-to-door approach, Jehovah’s witnesses are trying to increase awareness of (and recruitment to) their “brand” by targeting train stations and shopping centres. Will this new tactic prove successful?
Church of England vote for women bishops - Traditionalist believed that as Jesus only “employed” male apostles, only men should lead the church. A recent vote has put an end to this misogyny, but one member of the church said “This is a show for the media. It's the end of the Church as we know it”. Should the church be exempt from the Sex Discrimination Act?
The lesson has now ended. All go in peace.
As each sitting of BUSS2 is completed, it is possible to build up a useful picture of the way in which the BUSS2 specification is examined. Which topics have been examined more than once? Are there key topics which have not yet been addressed in the BUSS2 exam? Where are the calculation marks earned?
Our AQA AS Business (BUSS2) Exam Topic Tracker is a free download which can help you keep track of the exams. The link is below. We’ll update the file (the link stays the same) after each exam sitting. The latest version includes all BUSS2 sittings up to and including June 2013.
Students may find it helpful to test their BUSS2 subject knowledge and understanding by trying our BUSS2 revision quizzes. We also have a full collection of BUSS2 revision questions available for our mobile app via Zondle.
We also recommend students getting hold of a copy of our BUSS2 Revision Guide.
It's official - women are better at shopping than men. I have just finished listening to a brilliant edition of Peter Day's 'In Business' called Price Conscious, and one of the revelations was that men can be fooled into thinking they are getting a bargain simply by using red price stickers, whereas women are much more analytical about pricing and can look beyond the colour used on a label. Far be it from me to comment on this any further.....read more...»
It all started when one of my A2 students asked me today: “How do you get full marks for evaluation?” in relation to a BUSS3 Question 4 (the 34 marker)
It can be summed up in 2 words:
(Just a note that the examples given are BUSS3 related but could be applied to any evaluation question in BUSS1 or 2 also)read more...»
“If I had 8 hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend 6 hours sharpening my axe”
“The battle is won before the battle is fought”
“Time spent thinking about how to approach a particular question and ensuring the response stays focused is time well spent”
AQA Business Studies Moderator
Despite these wise words, it would appear, based on in-depth research from my classes and the 1000s of A2 students from the BUSS4 Revision workshops, that most students do not spend time planning their answers. Their reason is invariably “I don’t have time”.
To dispel this myth I did the following; I asked a student to stand at the front of the class and gave him 30 seconds to answer an on-the-spot business studies question “Analyse the benefits of operating in niche market”. After lots of nervous umming-and-ahhing, the brave students managed to score one mark before the time was up.
I then gave him 30 seconds to plan an answer to the same question. He came back strong and gave a fantastic 6 mark answer! Conclusive, empirical, irrefutable evidence (sort of) that a small amount of time invested in planning in the short term will reap great benefits in the long term.
I wish you all the very best for the next month!
Virgin Galactic is Richard Branson's dream to provide suborbital space flights to space tourists by 2015, and it provides a wealth of Business Studies concepts for AS and A2.
Firstly, the premium price of £150,000 to £250,000 (the cost of decent Rolls Royce to you or me) means it has a very specific target market; over 700 space tourists have signed up, with one third from America (the other two thirds come from over 50 different countries), most are millionaire men in their 50s and are definitely not risk-averse. Akin to Branson, many stated the moon landing of 1969 as the reason for their purchase.
In her quest for a new USP, Lady Gaga will be swapping her meat suit for a space one and be first earthling to sing live from space, ensuring that she maintains her outlandish, cutting edge image.
JLR & Virgin
These 2 iconic British brands are expanding the empire, and for BUSS4 students, the long-term partnership between JLR and Virgin, with their “shared vision of pioneering spirit, technological innovation and sense of adventure”, provides information for almost every section of the specification.
The CNBC article focuses on the technological innovations in JLRs new concept SUV.
In this short video, Richard Branson discusses his dream and vision, how JLR will aid Virgin in creating a completely new market and, to show that it’s not all about profit and pride, he hopes it will inspire future generations to pursue careers in engineering and science.
Abu Dhabi and beyond
Finally, Abu Dhabi state-controlled investment fund paid $280 million for a 32% stake in the business, in return for "regional rights to launch Virgin Galactic tourism and scientific research space flights from the United Arab Emirates capital". It sees this as an Investment opportunity to progress from an international tourism hub, to an inter-galactic one, with this article suggesting Virgin space hotels in galaxies far far away!
A quickie but a goodie for the revision of price, supply and demand.
- Get students to guess the price paid for the garages in the picture above (click here for mind blowing answer). I suggest you offer a big prize for the right answer as none will guess correctly!
- Ask them to rank the many factors that influenced it (quality, location, competition, PED and economic environment all come into play),
- Get students to read the Metro Article and get them to decide on best method to ensure that the investment is a profitable one.
Hope it helps!
This streamed revision presentation is designed to support students preparing for the customer service topic on AQA BUSS2read more...»
We have a series of streamed revision presentations on tutor2u to help students preparing for AQA BUSS2. Follow the links below to view each individual presentation.
You can also test your understanding of the BUSS2 topics covered by these presentations by trying these BUSS2 Revision Quizzes.
Don't forget you can also buy our BUSS2 Revision Guide which provides easy-to-use revision essentials for the core BUSS2 topics - just £5 from our online store.
We also run one-day intensive exam coaching and revision workshops for BUSS2. Details of the upcoming workshops can be found here.read more...»
Are you optimistically content or in long-term despair? This BBC article is a must for any students taking both Business Studies and Politics.
Pollsters Populous have created a test to tap into the mindset of voters, understanding that the traditional demographics such as age and postcode are too vague.
It segments the electorate into 6 categories and demonstrates the percentage of voters for each political party, stating that this will enable them to “craft TV ads, speeches and photo ops that appeal to the groups they need to win over."
Students can take the 3 minute test and evaluate the usefulness of this method of psychological market segmentation and suggest the messages that leaders must use to expand their voter/customer base.
Here’s a nice little example of Samsung’s customer-focus (no pun intended) and technological innovation.
Possibly inspired by 2013’s Word of the Year, Ellen DeGeneres’ most re-tweeted tweet, or just our general obsession with ourselves, the new Samsung NX mini camera has a rotating screen and is wink-activated, meaning the best selfie since the last selfie!
I talk way too much in lessons, I can’t help it. So, to reduce my word emissions, my students and I collated a handful of concise quotes from artist, sportsman, writers, leaders and businessmen on the topics below. Some are great, many are cheesy, but they make for a good display and help students find links between business studies, entrepreneurship and the other subjects they are studying.
We're all ready to go with our BUSS2 Exam Coaching Workshops for June 2014. It already looks like we already have several sold-out venues for intensive revision days dedicated to supporting students as the get ready for the BUSS2 exam on 3 June 2014. However, there are still places available in some locations - please check our online store for latest availability
Graham Prior and the BUSS2 team have been hard at work producing all-new materials for the day which focuses unrelentingly on improving exam technique for BUSS2 – which many students find is a much tougher challenge than BUSS1. And with the January resit window now closed, it is more essential than ever than BUSS2 candidates get it right first time!
Students attending the workshops will get our resource-packed workshop booklet together with a copy of tutor2u’s latest BUSS2 Revision Guide.
The outline content of the five BUSS2 exam coaching sessions is shown further below together with some screenshots from the workshop booklet.
How to book places (subject to availability)
Email Janet Cahill with your confirmed numbers , or
Order online (including private individual students / groups), orread more...»
This lesson worked as a nice way to consolidate students’ understanding of finance (and engaged the lads in the class more than ever). The Deloitte Football Money League ranks football’s top earning clubs and gives various infographics, reports and videos about their financial success. Very interesting in itself, but coupled with the fact that most of the teams listed are racking up millions in debt, it made for an interesting discussion about profit, loss, short term investment and long term success.
The PowerPoint (Football_finance_2013.ppt) is a research task and can be used as a lesson or homework. There are various extension questions and then a discussion about UEFAs Financial Fair Play (FFP) rule, which will supposedly "level the playing field" and stop the big clubs running up the kind of debts in the table below.
What do Kanye West, a Flappy Bird and American footballers have in common?
I had no idea either, but it was interesting to have a go. I saw these three news stories this week and they seemed to cover the full gamut from money, sport, culture, fashion, business and (most importantly for the students) trainers.read more...»
The operations statistics look so impressive for parcel delivery firm Yodel which delivers parcels for a host of major online retailers including Amazon, Argos, Boots and Tesco Direct.
Yodel handled over 14 million parcels in the run-up to Christmas 2013, sorting over 860,000 parcels on its busiest day. It moved to seven day a week deliveries throughout December 2013 and operated an additional 13 sites to add capacity. It delivered over 52,000 bouquets of flowers on 23 and 24 December alone.
Yodel's Chairman has been quoted as saying:
"Feedback from our clients has been extremely positive and we are delighted that our partnership approach has worked so well".
So, what went wrong with Yodel's customer service last Christmas?read more...»
This is a perfect video to test understanding of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Terry has been drafted in to increase productivity at Felcher & Sons, and does so via American-Football-style tackles for anyone deemed to be working below Terry's exacting standards.
The dates and locations for our popular programme of exam technique coaching & revision workshops to prepare AQA GCE Business Studies & AQA?Edexcel GCSE Business students for exams in May & June 2014. The details are listed below together with important information about changes in way that bookings are processed.
Please note that for summer 2014 we are taking confirmed bookings only. Places are allocated on a strictly first-confirmed basis. Once each screen capacity is filled, the event is full and no further bookings can be accepted. Our overall capacity is lower than in previous years and we fully expect each workshop to be fully booked before the Christmas break - so please contact us early to ensure that your students can attend!
A printable booking form can now be downloaded for:read more...»
I think it is always hard for students to remember which of the motivation theories is which - whose was the one with the two factors, who was that one with the lightbulbs, and who was the one with the triangle? This article about Maslow might help a bit, as it gives some interesting background on the man and his theory, and adds a bit of Application in the form of business examples for each of the five layers, and also the results of Maslow's own research into people who he viewed as 'self-actualisers'.
There is even an accompanying 30-minute programme, broadcast on Radio 4's 'Health Check' series during the summer, which includes interviews with some of those who worked with the man himself at Brandeis University outside Boston, where Maslow was founding Professor of Psychology.
The end of January modules gives us as teachers an opportunity to teach many topics within the AS and A2 specs in a holistic manner.read more...»
Collaboration and innovation are often fast-tracked by creating the right spaces for people and ideas to mingle.
This seven minute video from the Economist is deeply interesting - it looks at the Artisan's Asylum near Boston, Massachusetts in the USA which is host to a number of new hardware businesses. They are built around cheap work space, high-tech tools and crowd-sourced funding. The project has spawned some notable success stories many built around digital 3D printing - is there anything like an equivalent Maker Movement in the UK?read more...»
Setting up a business is hard enough. Setting it up in this economic climate is nearly impossible. So entrepreneurs are having to seek out some imaginative solution. With banks seemingly reluctant to lend to new and smaller businesses, start ups are having to be more imaginative in how they raise cash to get going. This Channel 4 news report looks at the growth of unregulated peer to peer lending such as Zopa, Rate Setter, Funding Circle and KickStarter.
The UK’s peer-to-peer lending market remains small in the context of total commercial bank lending but it has trebled in size in just three years. According to a new report from the Open Data Institute, "lenders have been attracted by the relatively high rate of returns available by lending in this market, given the current low yield in bank and other conventional debt instruments."
I've been teaching Business for some years now. But I don't have any qualifications in the subject (my background is Economics). So this year, I thought it'd be fun to take my Business A-level. I'm getting sponsored within school on a per-mark basis with the proceeds going to a project the school is linked with in Ghana, but besides that worthy cause it's been a real eye-opener to be there in the thick of it with the students. With one exam to go, tomorrow, I thought I'd put up some thoughts on how its gone so far...read more...»
Online Revision Clinic - Sunday 2 2013 9.00 pm (BST)
With many thousands of students busy preparing for the challenging BUSS2 exam on 4 June 2013, it is important to focus on core exam technique to make the most of the time remaining. The tutor2u BUSS2 team are once again running an online revision clinic which enables students to get last minute advice to sharpen their exam performance. The online revision clinic will be hosted here on this blog entry.
Students - in order to participate (i.e. ask a question; comment on discussion threads) you will need to be logged in using your Facebook or Twitter account when the online revision clinic goes live at 9.00 p.m. GMT on Sunday 2 June 2013.
Prior to joining in with the revision clinic, students may find it helpful to test their BUSS2 subject knowledge and understanding by trying our BUSS2 revision quizzes.
We also recommend students getting hold of a copy of our BUSS2 Revision Guide.
Before submitting your question or comment, please take a few seconds to scroll through the transcript to see if someone has already answered your point.
Also, we cannot guarantee that every comment or question will get a response - hopefully most will. So please patient.
A full, permanent transcript of this revision clinic will be available a few minutes after the revision clinic ends here on this blog URL.
Don't forget that you can follow the panelists on Twitter for further support (and for other AQA AS/A2 units) - a great place to start is the BUSS2 hashtagread more...»
Set out below are some key terms that BUSS2 students should make sure they understand ahead of the exam.read more...»
Here's a very simple, but totally unsubtle reminder for your students on the upcoming dates and times of the AS and A level exams in Business Studies for the AQA, Edexcel and OCR awarding bodies.
Follow this link to download the 'Exam Countdown' file. There you will find a small and easy to use Powerpoint file called 'Exam Countdown'.
Follow this link for a quick tutorial on how to use the resource.
Open and run the slideshow (ensuring that you have 'enabled macros'). The screen will change to a setup slide after a couple of seconds. Click on the exam that you wish to remind your student about and the countdown timer will start. The timer shows how many days, hours, minutes and seconds remain before their exam starts. There's nothing like instilling a sense of urgency!
Please note this file is fully functional. If you would like an editable version (where you can edit the times, dates and 'event') you will find one as part of the 'Super Teacher Utility Belt' resource available from our PowerPoint games-based learning site.
The FT today publishes a great report on the culture at Amazon's Rugeley distribution centre. An interesting insight into the culture of a cost focussed and highly effiecient business that is described by founder Jeff Bezos as: "Our culture is friendly and intense but if push comes to shove, we'll settle for intense."read more...»
My students know that I love the radio. Many a spare half an hour can be whiled away with a podcast of The Bottom Line (which returns on Thursday/Saturday this week), or More or Less, or Peter Day’s World of Business. And the great thing about this form of learning is that it can overlap with other tasks – there’s no opportunity cost! Listen to a business/economics podcast whilst at the gym, going for a run, doing the washing-up, whatever…
But whilst Radio 4 is well-scouted territory, but one students might not be so familiar with is NPR’s Planet Money. This show, from America’s public radio, is quite close in style to R4’s More or Less with a more of a business focus. 2 fifteen minute shows are podcasted a week.
This edition is a great place to start.
AQA BUSS2 examiners have been fond of examining the concept of competitiveness - but what does it actually mean?
Set our below are links to each of our revision quizzes for students preparing for AQA AS BUSS2 (“Managing a Business”).
Students can also improve their preparation for BUSS2 by getting hold of our AQA BUSS2 Revision Guide. A free copy of the BUSS2 revision guide is provided to all students who attend our BUSS2 Exam Coaching workshops each Spring.read more...»
Businesses are lining up to exploit the value of the 007 brand, with the latest release causing a stir both virally and in the choice of product placement.read more...»
Thousands of business students will be regular customers of Dominos but not many will be familiar with the complex, costly and vast scale of the IT system that Dominos uses as it grows the business around the world. Dominos has embraced the cloud and their US and European online businesses are growing quickly especially from mobile devices. This Financial Times video is a terrific short insight into the IT-driven nature of a business that touches millions of customers.
This is a really good example of not only supply and demand, but also price elasticity of demand.
We’ve seen that competitiveness is about advantages that enable a business to outperform its competitors. But, can competitiveness be measured and, if so, how?read more...»
Some questions for you…
• Why are Apple and Samsung performing so much better in the market place for smartphones and tablet computers than Nokia and Sony?
• Why do retailers like John Lewis Partnership and Dominos UK continue to grow and prosper when other retailers like Comet, Game Group and Clinton Cards struggle to survive?
• Why are so many people now buying from online brands such as Amazon rather than shopping on their local high streets?
• Thinking about the restaurants, cafes and other eateries near you, why so some seem to thrive whereas others are always empty and often close down?
The answer lies in the concept of competitiveness. So what does this term mean?read more...»
Having marked quite a few BUSS2 responses, it seems students have begun to get the message about application but are falling short on analysis. Frequently, they identify a relevant point but just describe it, failing to explain how or why their point is addressing the question. In the majority of questions, it is essential to explain how the course of action being described might affect business results.read more...»
Here is an interactive glossary that provides the 290 key terms covered in the AQA AS Business Studies Unit 2 (Managing a Business) specification.
As BUSS2 approaches fast, what can we learn from Januarys exam?read more...»
Students sitting AQA AS Business Studies unit BUSS2 may find this helpful. We’re running an online revision clinic for an hour on Wednesday 16 May from 9.00 p.m for an hour. Michelle Stephenson, Graham Prior and I will be there, together with some other members of the tutor2u BUSS2 team to provide some personalised support for students as they prepare for the BUSS2 exam on 21 May.
The online revision clinic is free and will appear here - on this blog entry. You will need to login using your Facebook, Twitter or OpenID account in order to participate (e.g. ask questions and/or comment)read more...»
Here is a 12 question BUSS2 key term revision quiz - in this one type in the answer, you will see the number of letters in the correct answer after each question. Good luck!read more...»
We’re now entering the third week of our AQA BUSS2 and BUSS4 revision workshops and we’ve been delighted to meet many thousands of students and teachers who are preparing for these two exams in May & June 2012. After a short break for Easter, we then reprise the BUSS2 and BUSS4 workshops at a new venue for tutor2u - the stunning Vue Cinema at Westfield Stratford - right next door to the London Olympic Park! This is the most advanced cinema in Europe and situated right in the heart of a stunning new shopping and leisure centre. It should be amazing.read more...»
Ive just returned from a busy week delivering the Tutor2u BUSS2 revision conferences (along with many others) and I am looking forward to next week when we visit Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds. However, I thought I would quickly blog about an amazing discussion I had with the students at the Bristol conference.read more...»