DavidsTea is a Canadian brand and a top retailer in the specialty tea and tea accessory market. Since its opening in 2008, DavidsTea has taken North America by storm opening over 240 stores. We interviewed Joanne Branker who has been their National Operations Manager since April 2018 to discover more about her perspective on ecommerce business essentials.
Before doing so, we wanted to know more about Joanne herself. With a passion for what she does, we were curious to find out where Branker sees herself in the next 10 years. She said that she will, “continue to be a student of life.” She believes in, “putting yourself in a situation where you can continue to learn and experience different things that help you grow personally and professionally”.
Branker’s prediction for the next 5 years for retail is an elevated focus on client journey, “continuous focus on the client and their journey will be the future of these spaces.” She also pointed out that because mall traffic has been declining over the years, they must ensure that their clients who come in leave happy. Branker believes that the customer journey is so important that it can affect how you feel when drinking the tea itself. She also noted that retailers can differentiate themselves from their competition through paying close attention to their employee experience. By attracting the right employees, we, “foster an environment for learning, curiosity and growth. It is also important that everyone on the team has access to the information that empowers them to do their job.” In this way, by having happy and knowledgeable employees, the customer experience will be improved through because they are dedicated to their work and have a great understanding of the product.
Lastly, Branker’s 3 pieces of advice for someone who is young and would want to join retail are:
“Be a kind leader”
Leading with kindness can improve your interactions and create a safer environment. This will also help you create a team atmosphere formulated for growth.
“Learn the difference between leading and managing”
One should always lead by example because leading is dependent on the image you portray. This will help you inspire and guide a team. Leading includes having a long-term focus and a long-range view for innovation.
“Listen and be present in the moment”
In an age of distraction, it is extremely important to listen to those around you. This creates a community that supports you unconditionally.
Branker left us with parting words, as she emphasized that, “it is so important that the leaders empower every team to offer their unique and memorable experiences to all clients. I cannot stress enough how vital it is that all experiences are extraordinary. Growth is truly cultivated in the corporate culture that trickles down to the customers.” It is clear that Branker’s expertise in leadership has enabled her to build a team that functions in sincerity, helping her augment the success of their prodigious brand.