Fizz Academy, one year on
Fizz Academy is a year old! And while your baby’s first birthday is always a cause for celebration, in business it’s the time to look back, reflect and review. Why did we put the programme into play in the first place? Have we achieved all that we set out to achieve? But first, just in case you’re wondering whose party you’re at…
What is Fizz Academy?
Costco is home to an enormous range of products and brands. That means our teams need to possess a wide range of specialist knowledge and skills in order to bring these products to life for consumers. Fizz Academy delivers training services for our brand ambassadors working for Costco’s vendors. This includes everything from food safety and other compliance training through to soft-selling skills and the art of conversational selling. So, our courses ensure our teams hit-the-ground running when it comes to driving sales and awareness for brands in Costco – and beyond.
Why did we launch Fizz Academy?
We have over 30 years of experience in the industry: we know in-store demos upside down and inside out, and we’re used to adapting our approach to new products as and when required we adopt them. In-house, we run training in these areas day in and day out. We also take feedback from brands, retailers and consumers on what works and what doesn’t, and layer it on top of the challenges and the everyday experiences of doing it ourselves.
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We understand the challenges that vendors face because we’ve seen it all over the years. And because we’ve been at this for so long, we know that there’s an industry-wide problem with poorly-trained brand ambassadors. This can mean that the demo experience isn’t honed and targeted to achieve everything it’s capable of achieving. The rules around product demonstrations are also tighter too: compliance standards have become more strict and penalties more severe.
With all of this knowledge and experience, and a clear need out there in the industry, we decided it was too good not to share. So we set up the Fizz Academy.
What have we achieved?
Over the last twelve months we’ve set up a wide range of courses, both standard and bespoke. We run courses on food safety and health & safety, as well as manual handling & risk assessment certification schemes. We also deliver customised workshops on the soft skills of customer experience, including advanced sales techniques and customer communication.
We’ve built our range of delivery methods into a proper process, with vendor training passed down through our development specialist to regional managers to brand ambassadors — and at any point, we can bring any of those people directly into contact if that’s what it takes to get the lessons learned, through small group training off-site, large group training in classrooms, or one-to-one training from regional managers and trainers. We’ve even delivered remote training, with live sessions over video conferences or pre-recorded video training followed by a sign-off from our team.
To date, we’ve run 93 courses. 505 candidates have attended. 97% of them have passed, and have gone on to deliver a better product demo for it.
We’re proud of all of them. And we’re going to keep on delivering high-quality training through to our next birthday – and beyond.