Understanding the Challenge > 1

As part of our ‘Understanding the Challenge' initiative, all of the internal team have committed to working on a number of our live campaigns over the course of this summer. The ambition for the project is to gain greater understanding and empathy for the challenges faced by our Mashers in the field and as a result of this new experience, gain greater insight which we hope will further fuel the innovation aspirations of the business for 2009.

As part of our ‘Understanding the Challenge’ initiative, all of the internal team have committed to working on a number of our live campaigns over the course of this summer. The ambition for the project is to gain greater understanding and empathy for the challenges faced by our Mashers in the field and as a result of this new experience, gain greater insight which we hope will further fuel the innovation aspirations of the business for 2009.

We are continuously hunting for ways to improve and refine the staffing process and believe that this initiative will effectively aid us in this endeavour.

Understanding the Challenge 1 > Our first person to jump at the challenge was our very own Talent Manager, Gregorious the Gentle.

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We conducted a quick interview with him post activity;

What was it like being down in the trenches?

I really enjoyed it. I think I got lucky in a way with the job I was given. Being in a positive environment like John Lewis in Kingston certainly beats leafletting in the rain on a dodgy street corner!

What was the biggest surprise for you?

Many ‘Mashers’ feed back to me that working alone is the kind of job they would rather avoid and I can completely understand after this experience. I’m the kind of person who thrives on being around people; be it colleagues, peers etc so working alone was a whole new concept for me. I suppose the biggest surprise to me was how easy it was to speak to people and how many responses I got and yet how few sales I was able to conclude on! (am not bitter…honest!!)

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What was the hardest part of the job?

This was a Sales Job – no question. I couldn’t have had more conversations with consumers or demonstrated the coffee machine more in the time but it was such a complex challenge convincing the shoppers to buy a machine there and then.


What insight have you gained as a result of this?

I suppose I’ve realised the importance of practicing what we preach. The need to be on-brand in terms of appearance, punctuality, product knowledge, demeanour and attitude really couldn’t be more apparent in an environment like John Lewis where ALL the employees are employed on their ability to retain absolute standards on all these alements too.


Would you do it again!?

Absolutely. I honestly got a real buzz from it and was intrigued to see and sense the various consumer responses to what was an amazing brand and coffee machine. Consumer behaviour and psychologies have always interested me and this provided great insight into the various behaviours. Who knows, next time I might actually sell a few more…

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Posted by

Chris Wareham