Introducing this year’s WDS Awards winners
In any business, great people should be celebrated and rewarded.
That’s why, every year, we host our annual WDS Achievement Awards: an event that brings together our UK and Iceland teams to praise and recognise those who have gone above and beyond, and to keep our brand ambassadors motivated and hungry for success.
Without the dedication and hard work of our teams, Costco vendors’ in-store sampling and demo campaigns wouldn’t be the much-loved, successful events that they are today.
This year’s awards – our fifth annual event – took place on May 9th. Read on to discover our 2019 winners – and for an interview with our newly crowned 2019 Brand Ambassador of the Year.
The 2019 WDS Awards winners
National Brand Ambassador of the Year
Our biggest individual award, presented to the brand ambassador who has shone through the most as a result of their outstanding demonstration and sales skills
Sally Marsh (Cardiff)
Region Brand Ambassador of the Year
This prestigious award is given to the brand ambassador who is consistently at the top of their game, displaying demonstration and sales skills that truly are first class.
South: Sally Marsh (Cardiff)
North: Phil Parker (Coventry)
Region Warehouse of the Year
Our regional award for the teams that consistently provide a truly first class demonstration service – to Costco, its members and its vendors.
National Warehouse of the Year
Our top team award. This one goes to the team we’ve judged to be most consistent in their outstanding level of demonstration service throughout the year to Costco, and its members and vendors.
Footfall group sales
This award is presented to the team that has achieved the highest sales compared with their targets. Some warehouses are bigger than others, of course, so we give out three awards based on the size of the warehouse they work in.
Watford, Croydon and Cardiff
Most Improved Warehouse
Turning a challenging warehouse into a flourishing one is tough: a mammoth task that fully deserves celebrating. And this year, we recognised two different teams – one north, one south – who have transformed the performance of their warehouses.
Most Efficient Warehouse
Again split by region, this award is presented to the warehouses that have managed to create that perfect balance between price and quality, delivering the most cost-effective demonstration solutions.
South: Chingford, Bristol and Cardiff
North: Glasgow, Oldham and Sheffield
Huge congratulations to all this year’s winners!
Interview with National Brand Ambassador of the Year, Sally Marsh
What does it take to be crowned National Brand Ambassador of the Year?
While exceeding targets and demonstrating commitment are key, our top brand ambassadors bring a wealth of other qualities to the role, too.
We caught up with this year’s winner, Sally Marsh from the Cardiff warehouse, to find out how she approaches her role, why her job is so important, and how it feels to have won.
WDS: What skills does an excellent brand ambassador need?
Sally Marsh: It’s so important that you believe in what you’re selling. You need to be good at engaging with people: if you’re naturally pleasant and personable, it’s a great role.
It’s one that’s physically demanding too, though – and one that’s best suited to those who are patient and persuasive. It’s not a job that’s suitable for everyone.
WDS: What skills has being a brand ambassador taught you?
SM: I don’t have any previous experience in sales. I think it’s made me appreciate members of the general public more. I started from a blank slate, but it’s made me realise that there are certain qualities – like patience, the ability to work in a team and confidence with people – that I didn’t necessarily know I had.
WDS: What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
SM: Winning people over! There’s a great sense of satisfaction when you manage to convert people who aren’t initially interested in anything, and then go on to purchase products.
WDS: What are your top three tips for our other brand ambassadors?
SM: Firstly, don’t give up. Secondly, make people excited about what you’re promoting – it’s a must-have. And thirdly, engage with people and get to know the Costco members. I’ve been working there for 10 years and have built up a lot of rapport with the customers : it’s so important to always be warm and friendly.
WDS: Why is sampling so effective for brands in Costco?
SM: Because it’s a great way of introducing many members to products that they wouldn’t otherwise have taken any notice of. It’s a big part of growing sales in Costco – members love sampling!
WDS: How do you feel to have been crowned 2019’s National Brand Ambassador of the Year?
SM: Privileged. There are so many dynamic brand ambassadors at WDS, and it’s an honour to have been chosen. At the awards night, it felt very much like a family-run company, and having not won many awards in my life, it felt very special indeed.
A huge thank you to Sally for answering our questions – and a massive well done to our entire brand ambassador team. While the awards highlight the ambassadors who are at the pinnacle of their game, every single member of our warehouse teams across the UK is absolutely vital to the success of our clients’ sampling and demonstration campaigns. Without them, we’d be truly lost.
Congratulations to all the winning teams and individuals from this year’s awards, and a huge thanks to ALL our brand ambassadors doing a fantastic job across the UK and beyond. We’re looking forward to next year already!