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Beautiful furniture, K Bars and Raro

Updated: Apr 9

by Anna Le Quesne, Insights and Marketing Specialist - March 2024

Wow, I've been involved with so many great projects since I started with WLB, not always the most exciting places though....until now! Ange and I are currently in Rarotonga as we've just started work with Vodafone Cook Islands.

From the projects I've completed so far, I'm sorry to say that I have a fave, (but please don't tell my two kids I have favourites!)…..! Drum roll……

… my passion project has been Hawthorne Group because interior design, retail and stunning furniture are right up my alley, and I have Hawthorne furniture throughout my home!

Interestingly, Ange worked with Hawthorne about 8 years ago, in fact, they were guinea pigs for the Depth Sounder methodology. It was pretty neat to hear that Julian has referred back to their earlier work often over the years.

Ange was known by the Hawthorne team for her penchant for eating at Neds Roasts….

And turns out I loved this project just as much as the Neds Roast Pork Sandwich that of course we had to have. 

Just like old times, always got to roast-it in Drury!

On our way up to Drury Ange and I discovered our mutual love of Toffee Milks and K Bars, so what did we do when we got there with time up our sleeve??  We went dairy hopping to find our old faves of course!

The saddest insight I have uncovered so far at WLB is that they no longer make K Bars and Toffee Milks in NZ! 

But luckily the workshop was awesome, and I came out happy again!

I coined the term ‘Brain Yoga’ whilst working at What Lies Beneath, to describe the insights part of the methodology. The Hawthorne project certainly required me to bend and stretch my brain. 

The sheer size of the Hawthorne Depth Sounder, and the fact their customers love to talk, made this project a biggy! 

There were so many valuable insights to sink our teeth into and find clarity on. Meeting the diverse needs and expectations of different customer sectors is certainly a challenge for many of our customers, but it is so rewarding to boil all the findings down into a clear one-page action plan.

I loved how willing and eager the Hawthorne team were to listen to the feedback with open minds and fresh eyes and then focus on solutions.

I checked in with Julian Frizzell, the GM of Hawthorne Group today. It was awesome to hear that they are well on their way through the action plan and implementing helpful changes. 

They were able to use the WLB insights immediately with Julian noting, “the feedback provided much-needed clarity so we could be confident with how to best communicate with our customers. The entire team loved being part of the workshop process”. 

Well, Julian the world is a mirror, and our team loved this project too!

And just when I thought the day couldn't get any gastronomically better, we stopped at Mission Dumplings in Ngaruawahia for dinner. Just so happens that our colleague Chantelle's hubby owns it - and it's sooooo good.

You have to be in the know to find Mission Dumplings, and now you are.

We'll share more about our Cook Islands work in the next newsletter, but a wee piece of trivia...did you know the drink Raro originated in Rarotonga?! Well, now you do.

Aere Ra (Rarotongan for goodbye)...Anna



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