What's your job about?
Foodstuffs is made up of two regional co-operative (Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island), both proudly 100% New Zealand owned and operated organisations. From early, humble beginnings in 1922, Foodstuffs has grown to be come New Zealand’s largest grocery retailer, and one of the country’s largest organisations. Our most well-known brands include PAK’nSAVE, New World Four Square as well as our Private Label brand Pams.
I work in our national Marketing and Customer Experience team, formally known as Foodstuffs New Zealand. We have a really awesome and unique role in the business where we serve both regional co-operatives as their marketing team. Within Marketing & Customer Experience, we pride ourselves on building New Zealand’s most preferred grocery retail brands by delivering all aspects of marketing including brand & marketing programs, customer experience, PR, insights, content, loyalty and personalised experiences – I work within the Customer Experience & Personalisation team.
We support our owner co-operatives to thrive sustainably by putting the customer at the centre of everything we do. We have built a reputation for building some of New Zealand’s most loved brands. Each of our brands has a meaningful purpose in the lives of our customers while connecting through unique and relevant personalities.
My day to day lives and breathes customer! Working in the customer experience team, my role as a customer experiencer designer involves bringing our brands to life through experience strategy and design, challenging the way we do things in the business to ensure we are giving our customers what they want, and staying as close to customers as possible by working closely with our insights team to test and bring exciting ideas to life through our brands! The best way to think about customer experience, is that if Marketing makes promises to customers, the Customer Experience keeps those promises.
What's your background?
I grew up in Mt Roskill, and let’s just say, school wasn’t for me at all! I did about 1 month of Year 13, and I distinctively remember my Mum calling me and saying “Monique, this really isn’t working is it”. I was really determined to go to uni, so I explored other avenues. Turns out, AUT do certificates where you don’t need University Entrance. So, I left school and completed a Certificate of Social Sciences (kind of psychology based), and then from there went onto my Bachelor of Business. I absolutely loved uni, the autonomy and the people, and really flourished there – I was a completely different person! I also worked the day I legally could – my first job was at Maccas flipping burgers before moving onto the McCafe as a barista. From there I moved onto Glassons and became a part time manager at 17, worked at a call centre for Nespresso, before uni offered me an awesome opportunity to teach the first year marketing paper studios as a Teaching Assistant – a job I still do part time to this day alongside my main job at Foodies!
Could someone with a different background do your job?
I would say so; I think anything is possible! I also believe if you want something bad enough, and put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Key skills in customer experience would include being really good with people, a good planner, creative, open minded, inquisitive, good at synthesising information and being a team player to name a few!
What's the coolest thing about your job?
Coolest thing about my job is the people I work with, and the opportunities!! When I say people – I mean they are great. My team are incredible and are people I get along with in general. In terms of the opportunities – I get to go out of my comfort zone a lot. An example would be that last year I was part of Foodstuffs first ever shadow leadership group, where 9 of us were a shadow board to the Foodstuffs board and reviewed all kinds of board papers and did all sorts of adhoc projects – we even ran our own event!
What are the limitations of your job?
I would say it is definitely a very fast paced environment – something you working on may become quickly redundant - but with that we are also a very supportive environment which understands the frustration that can come with that. FMCG retail changes rapidly day by day and influences such as pandemics, changing consumer trends and different events can really impact the work we do – but it is also something I love.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...