I learnt about the language school Vaughan Systems (from now on “VS”) a few years ago, when I was exploring my options to improve my English, and I have found this company fascinating ever since. Why do I think that? Actually VS is a company with more than 300 teachers giving 350,000 hours of English lessons a year and I see that it has had a very intelligent marketing strategy from its beginnings, growing and adapting to the changes of its market.
I can not say what is interesting to me about VS without speaking a little about its founder, Richard Vaughan. He is an entrepreneurial American (Texas) who has lived in Spain since 1974. This English teacher, graduated in Spanish Language and Literature and Philosophy from the University of Texas, created his own company (Vaughan Systems) in 1977. In its first 25 years the company has only focused on the corporate training segment.
I don’t believe that today there are many companies in Europe offering as many different kind of English courses as VS does, adapting to all needs and profiles. It is never the cheapest. Its courses are usually a little expensive but its brand image of high quality and reliability compensates this point.
Its crown jewel is Vaughan Town. In this residential course, students speak one-to-one with English native speakers from all over the world in full-time 6 days without leaving Spain.
VS has developed its own learning method (the Vaughan method), tailored to the idiosyncrasy of Spanish students learning this language and has published a large quantity of books based on it. They are sold in book shops throughout Spain, on Vaughan Online Shop and some of the self-study collections have been sold associated with one of the most important national newspapers in Spain (El Mundo).
The company has also a radio station (Vaughan Radio) and a TV channel (Vaughan TV) where its teachers give English lessons in a nice and fun way. These media are an excellent tool to support the company’s brand image, not only because it makes people aware of its learning method and generates confidence in it but also because they only contain self-advertising. Unfortunately, they are no accessible in all Spain but it is possible to follow them on internet.
The company has taken perfect advantage of the IT: among other things, it is present on the social networks, has software for mobiles and tablets to follow its programs and to take its courses and has a distribution list through which free lessons are e-mailed weekly.
One more thing, the majority of the people recruited by VS as teachers never worked as such before: they had professional experience working for companies in other non-related sectors. This is another piece of the perfect puzzle that this company is.
I see Richard Vaughan as a visionary and an innovator who has always been ahead of his competitors thanks to his understanding of the Spanish market and of the way in which the media works to help convey and reinforce the brand image, making a strong investment in it. I think he has a brilliant business mentality and has chosen wisely his advisers.
Everything in this company fits in perfectly: they choose excellent teachers (well paid to keep them), it has a large quantity of all kinds of high-quality courses, it offers very professional advice to choose the product tailored to your needs, it has developed its own teaching method, it edits its own books, it advertises through its own media and generates news to feature in Spanish newspapers, social media, etc.
Don’t you think that VS is a good example of an excellent marketing strategy?