Prophet is a consultancy that helps clients unlock uncommon growth by developing new business models, reimagining brands and experiences, driving demand and customer engagement and empowering people to transform their organizations. The largest privately-owned firm of its kind, Prophet brings a unique blend of creative and strategy to identify paths to purposeful, transformative and sustainable growth. Based in San Francisco, with 15 global offices and more than 600 strategists, data analysts, marketers, digital experts and creatives, Prophet has worked with the world’s most successful companies, including AXA, CVS Health, The Home Depot, Samsung, T-Mobile, and UBS, partnering with them from ideation to in-market execution.
Electrolux, T-Mobile, UBS, Gatorade, Walmart, AXA, and GE
With over 20 years’ experience operating in China, Walmart is one of the largest hypermarket chains today with more than 400 stores across the country. Walmart’s challenge today is how to evolve its offer and experience in response to disruptive shifts in shopper behaviors, as well as staying relevant with the emergence of new online to offline (O2O) competitors that are challenging traditional retail formats.
Prophet worked with Walmart to refresh its retail experience in order to fuel Walmart’s next phase of growth.
Prophet’s research demonstrated that while Chinese consumers are digital-savvy and are open to transforming how they shop; they are still looking to “save money, live better.” This is and has always been, Walmart’s key purpose. Supported by this consumer insight, Prophet saw an opportunity to create an experience unique to Walmart’s consumer value proposition. To articulate what the Walmart brand stands for and how it stands out, we defined the brand concept “Modern Value,” which set the foundation for the rest of the design and experience.
After defining what “Modern Value” should look and feel like, our team set out to develop a retail design and identity that delivers on value, confidence and simplicity that would resonate with modern Chinese consumers. The new store experience feels contemporary without being premium and alienating. We brought more ‘warmth’ and introduced signature experience zones to appeal to families with kids. The visuals were designed to be vibrant, injecting energy into the retail experience.
The initial pilot of the “Modern Value” redesign in Shenzhen was highly successful, not only in terms of shopper feedback but also “like-for-like” store performance. The new retail experience has since been rolled out more broadly across China to new store openings and store redesigns.
AXA is one of the world’s leading insurance companies offering diverse financial services globally. To successfully grow its business in Asia, the client recognized the need to create a more consistent and human brand throughout the region.
On the back of a new global vision – from Payer to Partner – AXA partnered with Prophet to develop an Asia-specific solution that would deliver on their ambition to:
- Create a more consistent customer journey and brand experience across the region
- Develop a new customer engagement proposition that also humanizes the experience through a new digital platform
- Develop digital touchpoints to drive greater engagement with existing and potential customers.
Through deep consumer research and segmentation, Prophet partnered with AXA to create a regional well-being strategy, develop a new customer experience, and run UX & UI sprints to design a new digital product.
To bring the strategy to life, we set out to reimagine the customer experience, taking a fresh look at how to create a new insurance platform that combined insurance e-servicing, 3rd party health and wellness digital services and a new conversational chatbot and virtual concierge. Importantly, at the core of this new experience was an empathetic and human approach on well-being topics for customers, elevating the AXA brand on an experience level never attempted at the organization.
From this strategic foundation, Emma was born -- AXA’s first humanized user interface, which became the core of the brand’s new digital customer experience.
With Payer to Partner at the core of its proposition, Emma’s persona was designed to be an Empathetic Navigator, helping individuals find the solutions and content most relevant to their well-being needs. Prophet further “personified” Emma, crafting a real-life avatar, her tone of voice, and the visual expression across a full identity system.
MeUndies, the subscription-based D2C underwear and loungewear company, grew from an idea to a powerhouse brand in the eight years since its launch, having sold over 12 million pairs of underwear to-date. While the growing company had a passionate and loyal customer base, they were looking to strategically acquire new customers, while staying true to their brand values and mission of fueling authentic self-expression.
Prophet worked with the cross-functional leadership team at MeUndies to develop a holistic profile of the consumer segments in MeUndies’ addressable market across the U.S.
Through this process, we uncovered key insights about which target segments presented the largest growth potential and the best fit for the brand’s unique DNA. Prophet also discovered important findings on how to avoid alienating the existing loyal customer base.
Once the segments and targeting strategy were identified, Prophet worked alongside MeUndies to kick off a cross-functional committee to implement the insights across the brand & marketing strategy, growth/channel strategy, retention, UX/UI, product and analytics teams. Across the organization, the target persona became a focal point in all strategic, technical and metrics-driven conversations. Simultaneously, a segment-typing algorithm was applied to tag both new and existing customers with their segment designation, which then systematically enabled targeted product testing, messaging and digital touchpoint executions.
Based on the insights from the customer journey maps and segmentation, MeUndies finessed their product, marketing, and experience strategies to more effectively drive growth with target customers, resulting in a shift of media buy budget. After implementing Prophet’s work, MeUndies’ new customer acquisition accelerated in double digits year over year.
As a longstanding partner to Electrolux in their digital transformation efforts, Prophet introduced Electrolux to Innit, a San Francisco-based data food startup, as part of an annual event with Electrolux’s Digital Transformation leadership team. At the event, Electrolux was impressed with Innit’s scalable, software-based connected cooking platform. They decided to pursue a partnership to combine the data-driven world of taste and food (Innit) with physical moments of delight created by best-in-class appliances (Electrolux) that delivers an incredible cooking experience.
Prophet was brought on board as Electrolux’s ‘sparring partner,’ representing the interests of Electrolux and the target consumers’ needs in the design of the connected cooking service experience.
Over the course of seven weeks, we did the following:
- Identified consumer needs and innovation opportunities
- Brainstormed use cases
- Developed and prioritized concepts into one MVP experience
- Defined features and requirements
- Built storyboards and wireframes
- Developed a business case and partnership strategy to support implementation.
Once we developed and validated experience concepts, we gathered with all parties for a week-long workshop to finalize the technical requirements of the ideal state experience design. As part of that workshop, we collaborated with the technical teams from both Innit and Electrolux to align on the product roadmap, functional and operational requirements, and necessary delivery capabilities, for the MVP experience. We then identified revenue streams, quantified top-line impact, and provided guidance on key elements of the partnership agreement (e.g. branding, data ownership, etc.) to bring the experience to life.
The joint experience was officially announced in April 2018 at Eurocucina and will be available to consumers starting in Q1 of 2019.
For more than 145 years, DB Schenker has been supporting industry and trade in the global exchange of goods. With a commitment to continuous innovation, and in order to keep its place as the global industry leader, over the years the German logistics firm had merged and acquired numerous businesses to facilitate this success and growth. However, the mash-up of cultures resulting from this activity was impacting performance. Prophet was enlisted to develop a strategic purpose for DB Schenker that would unite is 76,000 employees around the world, guide actions and connect stakeholders.
Working with the management board and the next generation of leaders, we developed a powerful, motivating purpose statement articulating what DB Schenker stands for and their ambition to become an innovative market shaper in logistics:
‘We advance businesses and lives by shaping the way our world connects’, revolves around the contribution each DB Schenker employee makes in running the global operations of thousands of businesses and the impact that has on improving their customers’ lives. One large customer, for example, relies on hundreds of DB Schenker employees – situated worldwide – to move its products around the globe, to retail stores, and into people’s homes.
To bring the new purpose to life and drive DB Schenker’s culture transformation, Prophet also developed a set of supporting values rooted in the firm’s over 145-year-old heritage they are designed to guide how people go about doing their work and decision-making across all levels of the business.
Launched as part of DB Schenker’s global employee engagement program #weareschenker, the new purpose and values were well-received by the thousands of employees and continues to be a huge source of pride bolstering the brand and the business alike. DB Schenker is already seeing results, with public recognition from the industry, named the ‘Best Logistics Brand in Germany’, a testament to how the business utilizes their decades of experience and expertise to always provide customers with the best solution.
Shinsegae Chosun Hotel Group had ambitious plans to expand its footprint in the hotel space in Korea. Increasing luxury hotel competition and continued growth in overseas travelers seeking unique, avant-garde experiences in Seoul presented an opportunity for Shinsegae to create a new hotel brand from scratch.
With renowned French designer Jacques Garcia secured for the hotel’s internal design, our challenge was to create a unique boutique hotel concept and a compelling brand strategy to drive exceptional hospitality and food & beverage experiences in a crowded space with shifting consumer expectations around luxury.
Prophet worked closely with Shinsegae to define a winning brand portfolio that captures distinct opportunities in the Korean travel market, with clearly defined roles and relationships for each of their hospitality brands.
We began to define a distinctive hotel concept by uncovering fresh insights across three lenses: competitors, boutique difference and consumers.
The result was outstanding – we created a unique idea, hotel name and story that delivers a hospitality experience like no other: A Parisian Escape in the Heart of Seoul.
L’Escape was born.
A unique luxury hotel experience that brings 19th Century Paris to modern Korea for the first time, L’Escape opened in July 2018 to critical acclaim. Our inspiring work with L’Escape won 2 GOLD awards at the 2018 Transform Awards APAC for best brand development and best visual identity. A judge commented, “An excellent creative concept to stand out in a crowded market. Excellent execution and sophisticated attention to detail.”
Since its opening, it has drawn much fanfare and traffic on its Instagram site. Its concept and story have attracted celebrity chefs and mixologists with partnerships with brands such as Mott 32 and Maison M’O. In February 2020, L’Escape was awarded an iF design award for its website design.