As a former psychology student, Zuzana Nikodemova has a keener interest than most in how Taggstar’s technology works. She joined the company as a Sales Development Representative in April 2023, her second job since graduating. She previously spent eight months working as a SEN (special education needs) assistant at a London primary school.
“It’s a big change for me. I’m a fairly fresh graduate (after studying in London at UCL) and just came out of university last year. I was looking to switch to a new role and was looking at sales as I believed it would help me to develop some of the core skills I will need for the future.”
And although it’s been a learning curve, she says the support she’s found has been invaluable. “It’s been a change of trajectory for me, but it’s been really good so far, and everyone at Taggstar has been really supportive. They’ve helped me onboard, and I have a lot to learn from them,” she says.
The culture of the Taggstar HQ office is also appealing, she says. “The office has a really good vibe, and even on a bad day, the team are able to pick me up and show me it’s ok to have a bad day and just to keep going. Taggstar is a really good place to be because of the culture and the product, so I can develop these desired skills in a great environment.”
But it’s her psychology background that drives her most. “I really believe in the Taggstar product, which is why I joined and why the job interested me in the first place when I was looking for new opportunities,” she says. “I studied psychology, which is very interconnected to the Taggstar product as well as to sales in general, so I feel l sort of stayed within my interests and my field.”
“The product is based around the idea that when people are uncertain, the fundamental wiring of humans is that when they face uncertainty, they will look to others for guidance in making their own decisions. Our technology helps the end consumers as well as the retailers because it gives the relevant information people need to make decisions when they are uncertain. For businesses, there is an increase in conversion and revenue, so it’s a dual pathway of mutual benefit, and that’s what I really love about the product.”
Her enthusiasm is obvious: “I love to talk about this particular part of the theory of why Taggstar works. That’s one of my favourite things because I appreciate that it does work and that it’s robust not only in the numbers that we are delivering for retailers but also in the psychological science.”
She says she loves it when a conversation she’s begun with a potential client moves further, and she can see she’s helping a customer overcome a problem. “Once you break the ice and you can identify ‘we can help you with this, this and this’, and the retailer themselves starts to see how you can add value to them, then that is very rewarding.”
Finding her happy place
Outside of work, Zuzana, who grew up in the mountains of Slovakia, says she loves to hike and do yoga. “I’m an outdoor enthusiast and try to spend as much of my free time as possible outside, and I love hiking. Nature is my happy place,” she says.
As well as Slovakia, she’s also hiked in the heights of Switzerland, Italy and Peru. “Those were some of the biggest hikes I’ve done so far in quite big altitude, so that was straining but fun at the same time and the views were definitely worth it. Whenever I can, I go. Within the UK, I don’t really like to call the UK trips hiking because it’s not really mountains it’s more like a walk, but I’ve been to the Peak District, Lake District and Wales.”
She also has a rather unusual talent. “I grew up in a very rural environment, and my family used to have a pet goat and a couple of sheep, so as a relatively young child, I learnt how to milk a goat and how to make different products from the milk, including cheese and yoghurts. Maybe when I retire will get myself another pet goat,” she laughs.
In October, she’s off to achieve another ambition with a diving holiday in Indonesia. “This is a long-lasting dream of mine, so I’m really excited to go and explore some of the underwater nature rather than the mountains.”
“A more long-term dream is to have my own little campervan. Where Covid really popularised people converting their own vans, I was caught up with that but only on a theoretical basis so far. If I could make that true one day, then I would go on a massive road trip in Europe,” she says.