Ike’s one of Blue Square’s superstars (in fact, he’s one of many). He’s been with us nine years, learning, developing and carving out a career that has seen him build relationships with our channel partners, test and demo new tech before its on sale and even visit South Korea to represent the UK’s field team. It’s this experience that led us to chat to him and find out more about his role, what he loves about it – and what he feels are the essential ingredients to success.

Ike, why did you join Blue Square, and what is it that’s made you stay?

Well back in mid-2014, I worked for one of Samsung’s competitors, as an Area Sales Manager looking after multiple stores across West / North London. I always find myself wanting to be in an innovative environment so when Android started making headlines about cool things they can do better than competitors, I knew Samsung would be a winner for customers wanting to switch to Android.

Blue Square offered a training environment similar to my previous work with the potential to learn more, engage with more people in the field and be hands-on with new products. That’s what made me want to join.

Fast forward nine years and I’m still here. I’ve stayed all these years simply because Samsung always innovates. They’re exciting and break barriers, like with their foldable devices. No day in my role is ever the same, from store teams asking for more training to regional managers wanting me to join their regional meetings to showcase our products. Each channel I engage with has something unique, creating new challenges daily and allowing me to learn and problem-solve so I never get bored.

And, how’s your role changed over the years?

It’s changed a lot. I remember my first training in stores (Staines & Woking), rocking up with no product to demo but a tablet or laptop loaded with a new product deck to show and train staff. The looks on the staff’s faces when I took them through the slides of what’s new and the specs of each product were so engaging.

Looking back now, I can see key changes that have evolved for in-store training:

  • I have the new products ahead of launch – not just slides
  • I’ve been trained by the training team and am able to properly demo and showcase the new products
  • I have all the answers needed before booking training with a store team and confidence in what I’m relaying back

We used to spend a lot of training on the specs of the products (tech-y part). However, the business has moved to talking about the benefits and what products can be bundled together to work simultaneously, especially the more eco-friendly products.

Another change that’s been a benefit is that channels have Elites in stores, making it possible to reach out to every member of the store. Elite staff can share key benefits for customers through the content we share and is readily available to them such as Backstage quizzes, knowledge on product demos and key deals.

Qlik data is also readily available – helps spot stores with challenges and provides opportunities to set up plans to drive performance where needed.

Given everything you’ve spoken about, do you think you can pinpoint one memorable moment that’s had a lasting impression on you?

Yes, in 2019 I got a call to attend a meeting in central London and was delighted to find out the meeting was about a selection of the field team representing the UK in South Korea for the first-ever Superstars event.

Two weeks later, I touched down in South Korea with seven amazing team members and what an event it was! It involved global superstars all in one place, with over 900 superstars from the US, Europe, to Asia and African countries for a week packed with events.

The main purpose of the event was to meet people, reward hard work, share common goals, learn about Samsung’s history, the culture, what motivated the company’s success and to inspire every member of staff to emulate the passion and hard work in what we do daily.

Being on stage with the CEO, finance director and other key personnel was a once in a lifetime reward already. DJ Koh and his team put up a rap song performance that was amazing. The culture of hard work, the museum and Samsung City will truly make you believe that through hard work, belief and teamwork, we’ll always excel together. This feeling’s been with me since that day.

And, how about your plans for the future – are there any specific goals or aspirations that are a must-do for you?

Well, I work with Blue Square’s ETHIC values at the forefront of what I do.

My favourite part of work is working as a team so I’d love to be more involved with my teams, in and outside of work. Together as a team and working closely with my manager, an amazing goal to reach would be to make our region a leader across all KPIs. To do so I want to continue looking at regional performances and highlighting key areas in need of improvement or new ways of achieving better performance. Then extending this across different regions with other channel teams to explore new trends and share knowledge and innovative opportunities for a national drive.

Thanks so much for this Ike. One last thing, what advice would you give anyone wanting to join Blue Square?

Understand the role, the business and the products, aim to make a huge impact in stores, work as a team and be happy to help.

Support your team and extend to other regions when you have your territory under control, this way you can work across multiple regions and make a bigger impact.

Don’t expect success overnight without mapping out a path to get there – you need to understand the customers and challenges for each store.

Be supportive and nominate anyone you see going beyond their usual task for an ETHIC VIP award.

Be open, share your ideas and don’t think they’re bad, it could be the next innovation in waiting.

If you do the above, you’ll be a SUPER STAR in the making! ?

If you’d like to join our dream team, take a look at our current roles here.

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