CASE STUDY

Ulta Beauty

Transforming a leading beauty retailer’s marketing department 

Challenge

National beauty retailer Ulta sought to recalibrate its marketing model to shift from product and category-focused operations to a more integrated approach, keeping customers at the center. The organization needed to balance master brand-building marketing with efforts to generate demand for the brands it sells. The evolving market and consumer dynamics create nuanced pressure to quickly adapt to meet customer wants and needs.

Solutions

Prophet designed a marketing operating model focused on supporting agility and efficiency. This approach also allowed the brand to prioritize improved communications and increased collaboration.  

First, our teams worked with Ulta to define a future-state vision across the organization, inspiring teams, providing clarity and ensuring active ownership. We then designed integrated, streamlined processes for market planning, prioritization and briefing to support the model we had created. Lastly, we implemented a new operations function to support a centralized view of the market. This helped drive the new planning and prioritization process, reducing the burden on Ulta’s functional teams. 

Results

The new marketing operating model enabled Ulta to become an integrated, customer-centric marketing organization. The new system has led to improved communications, increased collaboration and boosted productivity across the organization.

Impact

14

processes documented

144

key employee pain points addressed

“Prophet pushed us to think differently about our organizational structure and what would serve us best, both for the short and long-term. Today, we have greater synergy and efficiency across our growing marketing organization which benefits our teams, brand partners and ultimately our guests.”

Karla Davis
Vice President of Marketing

CASE STUDY

Consumer Electronics Retailer

A consumer electronics retailer finds new growth territory through convergence

Challenge

For years, consumer electronics retailers focused their digital transformation efforts on individual product transactions and omnichannel retailing to drive revenue. Yet with digital commerce, companies offering greater transparency and choice to customers, and supply chain innovations enhancing accessibility of products, it has become nearly impossible for traditional retailers to compete on product assortment, channel mix or price. As a result, our client was experiencing declining margins for several consecutive quarters.

Solutions

To unlock uncommon growth, our client needed to converge transformation efforts around a whole new purpose and way of doing business that took into account the needs, behaviors and expectations of customers today. Through an iterative ideation process, Prophet uncovered loyalty-driving experiences that helped them reimagine their purpose and establish a new relationship with their customers and employees as not just a place to transact but a place to get great customer service.  To test our hypotheses, we engaged in service design processes that were rapid, iterative and collaborative, focusing on key experiences and pivoting based on customer feedback.

Results

We prototyped new formats, built an MVP of a platform service for customer support, and detailed an operational blueprint that could be piloted at the enterprise level. In addition to a new value proposition, we also build a website to socialize the tools and visual mock-ups that would help bring everyone from the C-suite to sales teams on board.

CASE STUDY

GARDENA

Growing a brand through a customer-centric transformation

Challenge

After years of steady growth, GARDENA – a brand of the Husqvarna group – is the leading pioneer of high-quality garden tools in Europe and is represented in more than 80 countries all over the world.

While its focus on engineering-driven innovation and revolutionary design is an immense asset, GARDENA realized that it needed to deepen connections with current and future customers to continue its success story. Prophet was tasked with transforming GARDENA into a customer-centric organization, with a focus on evolving its approach to marketing and go-to-market strategy.

Solutions

Collaborating with marketing teams across key regions, Prophet established a uniform approach for GARDENA’s marketing community to think beyond product launches and selling. Prophet encouraged the adoption of an ‘always-on,’ customer-centric mindset that focused deeply on customer retention and value creation.

We instilled processes and systems, supported by easy-to-use tools and templates, to drive marketing effectiveness. The initiatives laddered up to GARDENA’s goals and were tracked to prove maximum efficiencies.

Together, with the marketing leadership, we defined the capabilities and operating model required to deliver against GARDENA’s customer-centric targets. The new operating model was designed to align capabilities along the entire consumer journey, emphasize digital effectiveness and ensure that a consistent, purpose-led brand directs the activation across traditional and digital channels. The target result was a seamless omnichannel customer experience.

A learning program was also developed to ensure the marketing community was inspired and empowered with the right skill set to make GARDENA’s ambition a reality.

Results

Prophet positioned GARDENA to become the world-class, customer-centric organization it aspired to be. A strong customer-centric mindset has now become part of the organizational DNA. The new marketing KPIs, metrics and purposeful processes deployed are boosting consumer engagement and powering a more digitally savvy GARDENA brand.

Staying in pole position requires continuous transformation. Thus, Prophet will continue its journey with GARDENA with ongoing learning programs designed to upskill its full marketing function. Additionally, Prophet will continue to build the long-term brand strategy roadmap for the business to keep customer-centricity firmly at its core.

CASE STUDY

Colgate

Rejuvenating Colgate’s brand positioning to drive growth in China

Challenge

Colgate is a global leader in oral care with more than 40% share of the global toothpaste market. Having entered China in 1992, Colgate has become a household name with its slogan “No Cavities” widely known by Chinese consumers.

With the rise of China’s new middle class, the premiumisation trend has been growing in prominence in the personal care category. At the same time, the post-90s and 2000s generations have become the driving force of the category’s growth. Niche brands are increasingly sought after, while leading domestic brands are also gaining momentum. The Colgate brand was losing its vitality and appeal with young consumers in China.

Despite having a clear global brand mission “Everyone Deserves a Future They Can Smile About,” Colgate needed a better way to connect with China’s young consumers. To achieve this ambition, Colgate worked closely with Prophet to rejuvenate the brand with a distinct and vibrant positioning, anchored deep in China’s cultural and consumer insights.

Solutions

In just two months, we conducted comprehensive consumer research to gain an in-depth understanding of China’s new middle-class and the evolving needs of young consumers. Our insights showed that the new generation of Chinese consumers care more about the present and focus on near-term goals that move their life forward. However, for reasons such as lack of confidence, they often don’t take action against those goals.

Based on this key insight, Prophet worked with the Colgate team to dive deeper and define the positive role that Colgate can play in consumers’ lives. We developed the positioning, “Smile and Go for It” (放开笑放手做) – a proposition rooted in consumers’ desire to define a more passionate life, while anchoring on Colgate’s brand essence of smiling. It encourages consumers to smile with confidence and take action to pursue their dreams and goals, no matter how big or small, and to live out the life they want.

With the positioning identified, Prophet then facilitated workshops with Colgate’s marketing, innovation, e-commerce and design teams to develop the brand activation roadmap. Moreover, Prophet helped Colgate leverage the micro-segmentation work conducted by Tmall. By providing strategic analysis of the segmentation and identifying high-value customer groups, we were able to help the client determine the most relevant product innovations to bring to market. In addition, in order to strengthen the understanding of Colgate’s new brand positioning across internal and external stakeholders, we developed brand guidelines and provided guidance for Colgate’s communication with ad and media agencies.

Results

In July 2019, Colgate launched the “Smile and Go for It” campaign to activate its new brand positioning. Through a series of targeted marketing initiatives, Colgate built aspirational connections with diverse consumer groups who share different passions using film, TV, music, talk shows, workplace, beauty and ACGN (Animation, Comic, Game, Novel), encouraging them to tell their own “Smile and Go for It” stories. In only two months, Colgate’s campaign discussion on Weibo (a Chinese social media platform) had exceeded 420 million views.

Colgate has continued to draw inspiration from the brand positioning developed by Prophet, as well as the reset portfolio strategy, to carry out product innovations. In 2020, Colgate launched a new anti-aging toothpaste, an industry-leading move that created a new premium subcategory. At the same time, Colgate continued to reinforce its effort in building emotional resonance with young consumers. A recent initiative was its partnership with the top reality TV show “CHUANG 2020” as well as Chinese pop icon Wang Yibo.

Colgate’s brand rejuvenation has seen monumental success, with its top-of-mind awareness among 18- to 29- year-olds increasing from 13% in 2019 to 17% in Q2 2020. Once again, Colgate is a key player and driving significant business growth in China.

“With a thorough understanding of the challenges we faced, Prophet unpacked the tension and passions of Chinese consumers. Through a meticulous validation process, they crafted a positioning that’s true to both the Colgate brand and Chinese consumers. In addition, they were very good at navigating multinational companies, and bridged that understanding to drive maximum impact.”  -Vicky Hu, Marketing Director, China Brand Marketing – Core Brands

“Through a meticulous validation process, Prophet crafted a positioning that’s true to both the Colgate brand and Chinese consumers to drive maximum impact.”

Vicky Hu
Marketing Director, China Brand Marketing – Core Brands

Impact

4%

percent increase in brand awareness amongst targets

CASE STUDY

MeUndies

Applying consumer insights to fuel the next wave of growth

Challenge

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.

Solutions

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 to 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.

Results

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 the media buy budget. After implementing Prophet’s work, MeUndies’ new customer acquisition accelerated in double digits year over year.

CASE STUDY

Samsung

Fusing insights & design to supercharge sales

Challenge

Innovation has always been the core driving force at Samsung – ensuring the brand not only keeps its spot as the market leader in technology and sales but also continues to push boundaries as a visionary pioneer of IoT, AI and 5G powered products and ecosystems.

Samsung’s annual EU Forum, its flagship event in the region, brings retail partners together to showcase its newest smart products and thought leadership. Each year, Prophet develops the strategic direction and supporting material for this high-profile event. In particular, the Prophet team was tasked to highlight the strides Samsung had made over the past year, better understanding what convinces or stops real people from getting on board with smart technology and showing how Samsung’s superior connected products cater to these needs to make life that little bit simpler.

Solutions

Prophet developed the storyline for the three-day event around the theme ‘Reinvent Convention.’ As well as developing the agenda and session content, Prophet fused insights and creativity to create and design a highly visual, 80-page print and digital magazine filled with Samsung’s valuable thought leadership. The magazine included cutting-edge trends, real consumer stories documenting how people actually live with their tech day-to-day and expert interviews on the future of technology.

Merging the impactful with the playful, bold magazine design was reflective of breaking boundaries, challenging conventions and re-inventing for the better.

Results

As the tech industry gets even more crowded it’s important for Samsung to consistently demonstrate leadership in the space. Enhancing Samsung’s reputation, the magazine has become a key asset for the business that not only inspires the uptake of innovative, user-centric Samsung products and services from retailers but also improves business processes by continuing to work as an effective tool to engage decision-makers and guide sales conversations.

Having now driven the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions, the impact and reach of the thought leadership continues to grow. Beyond the EU Forums and other European events throughout the year, the magazine is also used extensively within the organization to educate and inspire Samsung employees.

CASE STUDY

COLMO

Designing a simply extraordinary brand of smart home appliances

Challenge

Midea Group approached Prophet to create a new premium home appliance brand for an upcoming range of smart, connected kitchen products. Planned as a standalone brand, the opportunity was open to create a new name, strategy, story and visual look and feel.

Solutions

Prophet defined the essence of the brand as ‘Simply Extraordinary,’ a big idea that captured the philosophy of highly crafted products that are effortlessly simple in delivering an extraordinary user experience.

With this idea in mind, Prophet created the name ‘COLMO’, derived from the Italian for ‘summit’ or ‘crown’ to highlight the ambitions and quality of the brand and to add some international, European flavor.

The visual identity is also born from this idea, with an abstract crown symbol and elegant matching wordmark. Color is used sparingly to create a modern, sophisticated look with contemporary iconography and typography to support product descriptions and features.

Results

COLMO was unveiled in October 2018 on Mont Blanc and launched its first range of beautifully designed, award-winning products in December. It was launched at AWE 2019 (Appliance and Electronics World Expo) in Shanghai, showcasing a full new range of 13 Kitchen appliances.

Our work with COLMO won four awards at Transform Awards Asia-Pacific 2019, including Gold for ‘best visual identity’, Silver for ‘best strategic or creative development of a new brand’, Bronze for ‘best naming strategy’, and a Highly Commended award for ‘best creative strategy’.

CASE STUDY

Electrolux TasteOS

Creating digital product and service design for a best-in-class experience

Challenge

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 deliver 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.

Solutions

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.

First, we immersed in the core consumer insights, using existing insights and collaborative workshops to identify unmet needs and pain points across the cooking journey. From there, we turned to competitive analysis, surveying established and new players in the market and identifying where consumer needs overlapped with white space to prioritize innovation opportunities.

Armed with insights on consumer pain points and market opportunities, we brainstormed a series of specific use cases detailing the actions, interactions, and steps consumers want or need to take as part of the connected cooking experience. Armed with these use cases, we identified overlap and ways they might come together into distinct value propositions, bringing to light the offering from both Innit and Electrolux. This resulted in three core concepts, each with its own set of features and front-end requirement considerations.

We then developed sketches, wireframes, and full storyboards that detailed each concept. Two consumer co-creation sessions helped validate and refine our initial thinking around unmet needs and potential solutions in the cooking space.

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.

Results

The joint experience was officially announced in April 2018 at Eurocucina and will be available to consumers starting in Q1 of 2019.

CASE STUDY

Electrolux

Creating an integrated and engaging customer experience

Challenge

Savvy, digitally-enabled consumers expect great brand experiences online, in-store and after purchase. Electrolux, a global leader in household and professional appliances, realized the need for an integrated and engaging branded customer experience that would leapfrog the competition, and to do this, they needed a digital transformation.

Solutions

Electrolux leaders partnered with Prophet to map the consumer experience and seamlessly integrate and activate the brand’s digital and physical shopping experience touchpoints.

With a focus on the consumer, experience teams worked across business sectors and geographies to examine the consumer experience throughout the purchase cycle and identify key needs and pain points. With so many different opportunities, brands and geographies to explore, the main challenge was applying a razor-sharp lens to the channels (e.g., mobile, retail, etc.) and identifying signature touchpoints to create a multi-year, step-by-step customer experience roadmap to drive transformation and business impact.

Creating a culture of experience innovation was also a priority. To empower and energize the delivery of the experience, Prophet worked with the CMO, CEO and sector business leaders at Electrolux to deliver a unique growth leadership development program for the top 350 brands, experience and product innovators across the company. The program provides experiential learning and access to capabilities/ knowledge from across the organization in exciting formats that engage their leaders and build ambassadors for the transformation to a consumer-driven company.

Results

After Electrolux put the customer first, shopper experiences improved and the organization mobilized around a clear and common consumer vision.

As a result, The Electrolux Group delivered its ninth consecutive quarter of organic growth. The organization has produced a step-change in the number of products and experience innovations that exceed new, aggressive standards for meeting consumers’ needs.

CASE STUDY

Electrolux

Developing a demand-driven business growth strategy

Challenge

Electrolux, a global leader in household and professional appliances, set out to leapfrog competitors through a demand-driving business growth strategy. They viewed the emergence of digitally-enabled shoppers, the growth in new retail formats and the surge in consumer buying power in emerging markets as a unique opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

Solutions

Electrolux leaders partnered with Prophet to drive demand among targeted consumers through offer innovation, improvements to the shopping experience, new digital marketing tools and post-purchase experience upgrades. Working across business sectors and geographies, growth teams started clarifying the growth agenda and uncovering insights into the key drivers of consumer demand for offers and experiences. Global and sector teams developed multi-year, step-by-step roadmaps for innovation, digital marketing, consumer shopping experiences, post-purchase experiences and internal talent development. Individual sectors are now implementing several of these programs, piloting initiatives in new capability areas and rolling out focused new product launch programs.

The transformation includes building internal capabilities as well as launching programs in-market. Prophet worked with Electrolux’s CMO, CEO and sector business leaders to deliver a unique growth leadership development program for the top 350 brand, experience and product innovators across the company. They have become ambassadors for the transformation of Electrolux to a consumer-driven company.

Results

In the quarter after activation, the company delivered its ninth consecutive period of organic growth. The organization has produced a step-change in the number of products and experience innovations that exceed new, aggressive standards for meeting consumers’ needs; resulting in North America sales growth of 1.1%, and margin increases of 4.3%.

Impact

9

consecutive quarters of growth

1.1%

North America sales growth

4.3%

increase in margins

CASE STUDY

Electrolux

Refreshing a global icon and modernizing the brand

Challenge

Electrolux is on a journey to become a world-class consumer marketing company – but the brand’s visual identity felt out of date and undifferentiated. Electrolux worked with Prophet to create a visual platform that modernizes the brand and stands out in the market.

Solutions

Equipped with a deep understanding of Electrolux’s consumers, resulting from a long-standing partnership, Prophet worked with Electrolux’s team to build a brand identity that would appeal to consumers on an emotional level. A key insight led to the idea; consumers want to see the benefit of a product not just the features – a beautifully poached egg, a pile of soft, fluffy towels or a perfectly crisp white shirt.

Each aspect of the identity was modernized. The logo was stripped of superfluous shapes and the tagline, maximizing its visibility and impact. The font was updated to a custom, modern sans serif, echoing the shapes in their iconic brand symbol. The symbol was given a new lease on life, creating stopping power wherever it is encountered. The letters in the logo were extended into a custom brand typeface, creating a look that is distinctive in appearance on anything from billboards to product stickers. Their core color blue was darkened to have a more premium and modern appeal supported by a palette of bold, vivid colors that will stand out in busy retail environments.

Results

The new visual identity has been embraced by all corners of the organization and will change the way customers interact with Electrolux – in-store, online, on packaging and through mobile devices.

Read more about Electrolux’s redesign in Design Week, Creative Blog and Little Black Book. In the period after activation, Electrolux saw sales in North America grow by 2.2%, and margins increase by 3.9%.

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