Helping a 170-year-old brand gain new ground in global mobility
Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has been a well-respected professional services network and thought leader for over 170 years. But with the rapidly changing needs of global workforces, they saw a unique opportunity to offer their customers more with a dedicated global mobility brand. So we combined Vialto Partners’ vast global reach and decades of experience with the vigor and spirit of a NewCo—creating a hybrid solution that represented the best of both worlds for potential clients.
As part of the Vialto launch, we weren’t just launching a website, but a new brand tone and voice alongside it. After a comprehensive discovery phase, a key finding among Vialto’s employees and clients was the deep belief that global mobility has the power to be a force for good. With this in mind, we helped Vialto Partners shift their frame of reference from offering Global Mobility Services to Global People Solutions, reflecting on their people-centric nature.
The MVP site comprehensively positioned Vialto Partners as trusted experts, and that started with the name. The NewCo brand name needed to be forward-looking and communicate the brand’s ambition while nodding to the legacy and expertise that its past provided. The crossbar of the “A” in Vialto evokes a bridge, depicting a sense of connection and upward momentum, while the bespoke and extended typeface conveys a sense of gravitas, trust and expertise.
For the website, we laid out the Vialto story in a scannable, hierarchical way that unfolded a breadth of offerings—reassuring potential clients that although this was a new company, it was far from an unknown entity. We established a future-friendly design system to allow for growth while maintaining accessibility best practices throughout. Then we built day-one launch anticipation through commercials, sizzle and campaign videos, paid search and a variety of content across social media outlets.
With proven results from the first phase, we are currently working on their 2.0 launch and beyond. We continue to interview stakeholders to get a holistic view of what works, what needs improvement and business goals that the web experience should address.
A three-phase road map was developed to design and implement a strategic taxonomy system and to introduce languages and customized content for different global regions. Thus, further personalizing and improving the user experience for Vialto Partner’s customers.
Viewable impressions 2.5 months after launch
Increase of traffic within 3 months from launch MoM
Harnessing brand experience to help formerly incarcerated people
Resilience Education is a nonprofit organization that aims to stop incarceration cycles by improving employment outcomes and re-entry success through high-quality business education. Since 2011, the organization has graduated 500+ individuals from five correctional facilities across New York and Virginia, with early data revealing that 93% of program graduates stay out of prison for at least three years.
The nonprofit aspired to expand its program nationwide and build a new digital platform to support formerly incarcerated people on their reentry journeys. To achieve these long-term aspirations, the organization enlisted Prophet to help it develop an overarching brand strategy that codified a new vision for the organization and rethink the brand positioning, expression and onboarding experience for its new digital platform.
Over the course of several pro-bono projects, Prophet developed a holistic understanding of Resilience Education’s current state and aspirational trajectory. Prophet first interviewed Resilience Education employees, program students and graduates. The insights from these interviews were used to identify opportunities to craft a brand positioning framework highlighting the nonprofit’s purpose and vision.
After establishing the overarching brand structure and strategy, the team shifted its focus to optimizing the organization’s digital platform experience. Prophet’s team hosted a hackathon with the nonprofit to understand how it acquires and onboards mentors and mentees for its programming. The insights gathered helped the team define an optimized user journey for both audiences in their digital platform. Finally, in collaboration with verbal and design teams, Prophet crafted a refreshed brand positioning for the digital platform accompanied by refocused messaging, voice, and a reconceptualized visual identity.
The new organization-wide brand structure defined how the nonprofit’s digital and post-release initiatives work in relation to the in-facility programming. In addition, the ideation of the optimized user experience and journey for both mentors and mentees not only influenced the organization’s digital platform but was also the basis for the organization’s mentorship program development.
Follow-up interviews of formerly incarcerated users revealed how empowering their one-on-one mentorship relationships have been for their reentry journeys. Resilience Education is continuously refining the program to maximize participants’ benefits and will be launching its third pilot in early 2023.
With a robust new positioning framework, design concept and verbal identity guiding the digital platform, Resilience Education has the brand structure and strategy to support its nationwide growth goals and better serve its formerly incarcerated users’ needs.
Through Prophet’s pro-bono program, Propheteers lend their expertise to a select group of nonprofits, helping them achieve remarkable results. If you or a nonprofit you know is interested in working with us, reach out today.
“We couldn’t do what we’re trying to accomplish – bringing the highest quality business education and professional support to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students – without Prophet’s dedication and insights!”
Tierney Fairchild Executive Director and Cofounder
Designing an experience strategy to help a nonprofit enable its global expansion
Change Please is a coffee company that supports individuals that are homeless by hiring and training them to become baristas. The charity provides the living wage, housing and therapy and devotes 100% of the profits to ending homelessness.
The brand is already well-established in the U.K., with close to 60 coffee stores and plans on expanding into multiple markets as the number of trained and employed baristas continues to grow. Amid plans for global expansion, the charity was intent on finding the best path to uncommon growth at a pivotal moment.
It needed help creating design assets that would drive the brand forward and an experience strategy that is unique and consistent.
Prophet and Change Please used co-creation workshops to brainstorm and collaborate on ways the charity could bring its unique heritage to life, using fun and informal visual story representations.
We focused on new approaches for core journey phases for digital and offline touchpoints. This included a unique unboxing experience to help customers learn about the mission at home. We also created an iconographic narrative of the brand story using a tangible and engaging journey map to use in its cafes.
Our holistic playbook includes 40 concepts to improve the overall brand and experience. We focused primarily on three core areas: design updates and advice, social media guidance and experience ideation.
Change Please is testing these new experiences in stores and across digital touchpoints. It is rolling out the design assets in cafes across the U.K., as well as incorporating Prophet’s concepts into global growth efforts. Most importantly, people are learning more about this ambitious organization wherever they drink their coffee.
Through Prophet’s pro-bono program, Propheteers lend their expertise to a select group of nonprofits, helping them achieve remarkable results. If you or a nonprofit you know is interested in working with us, reach out today.
Putting customers at the center of an organization’s transformation
A large, US financial services company was seeing declining growth in customer acquisition and revenue. Facing key market forces – including shifting consumer behaviors toward greater collaboration and personalization, new threats from fintech entrants and intense competition for top talent – the C-Suite and Board of Directors decided to embark on a complete transformation of the business.
Prophet partnered with the company’s CEO, Chief Growth Officer and leadership team to design a transformation agenda that answered a series of strategic questions around:
Developing the organization’s purpose-based strategy
Prioritizing key markets and target customers
Aligning on key products, services and experiences to develop
Building the culture and capabilities required to support the transformation
Prophet then created a multi-year, enterprise-wide roadmap that detailed the initiatives necessary to transform multiple parts of the business in parallel. A Transformation Management Office (TMO) was established to enable and accelerate the company’s three-year transformation, largely through quarterly alignment and funding cycles.
While helping manage the transformation, Prophet brought multi-disciplinary teams to help execute the work across business value drivers: Brand & Marketing, People & Organization, Customer Experience, Products & Services, Sales & Distribution, Data & Analytics. Along the way, Prophet has partnered to build new capabilities and codify processes so the organization can keep transformation momentum in the years to come.
Prophet successfully launched a new brand that established the financial services provider as a leader in the industry. We helped develop a new employee value proposition to recruit top advisors and a new variable annuity product to grow its existing business. Prophet also introduced new revenue streams by helping expand its mutual funds’ presence on third-party platforms and creating a new managed account product – all while targeting and acquiring new buyer segments.
A year into the customer-centric transformation, Prophet is helping drive results such as +5% market awareness, +8% in new business revenue and a 20X increase in new leads.
Defining the customer and sales experience for a new kind of real estate developer
When we kicked off our partnership with Ora Developers, an Egyptian property developer, it was a new player in a highly established and competitive Egyptian real estate market. Backed by Egypt’s premier entrepreneur, Naguib Sawiris, Ora wanted to leverage its global property development expertise and challenger mindset to disrupt a market of brands delivering identical customer journeys, visual identities and value propositions.
Prophet was enlisted to transform Ora’s approach to customer experience and sales, enabling it to offer regional customers an experience with a developer that they had never had before.
Prophet helped Ora re-think the sales-first model that was prevailing amongst competitors, adopting instead a customer-first approach to stand out and win loyal customers and their referrals. We designed a new customer journey, a differentiating internal visual brand and style for Ora’s CX team and internal training materials – all of which helped to socialize and educate Ora teams while supporting the overall ambition to position Ora as a transparent and trusted partner for its customers.
We also created a number of customer-facing initiatives designed to delight and surprise Ora’s customers, showing them that Ora was a new kind of real estate developer for Egypt.
By joining forces with Ora at a very nascent stage, the Prophet team was able to shape the company into a customer-first organization from its very core. With scalable solutions, Ora put this new strategy to work across its real estate projects as it continues to grow its business.
“The strategy and artwork [Prophet] created were exceptional and helped us to grow our relationships with customers, acquire new leads and unify our business around a core customer-first culture.”
Designing a portal experience to expedite royalty payments to music rightsholders
If there’s one industry that’s been at the front lines of digital transformation, it’s the music industry. Today, digital streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play put an entire universe of music at listeners’ fingertips but those innovations have also left music makers behind, exacerbating challenges in compensating music rightsholders.
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), a non-profit organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office following the historic Music Modernization Act (MMA) of 2018, ensures that songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers receive their mechanical royalties from streaming and download services. To deliver on their promise of paying royalties accurately and expeditiously, the MMA and the MLC partnered with Prophet to design its user portal experience – engaging rightsholders and, for the first time in history, enabling them to manage their musical works within the MLC’s database.
To ensure that we were meeting the needs of those target audiences, we took a human-centered design approach from the start. We conducted primary ethnographic research with future users that represented the diversity of the MLC’s membership, which included in-depth interviews with publishers and self-administered songwriters across multiple genres and geographies, to understand their daily routines, attitudes and work styles. We also conducted teardowns of tools that MLC members use every day to understand what design elements members preferred and determine what “great” looked from a real user’s perspective.
With those insights, we worked with the MLC to prototype and test different experience concepts. Much like music, experience design is a collaborative and creative process, so we engaged publishers and songwriters early and iteratively to “jam” on portal page designs and workflows, incorporating their feedback throughout our design process to create an experience that was as intuitive and seamless as possible.
As MVP design progressed, our team worked closely with the MLC’s development partner to bring the portal to life. Operating as an integrated team of designers, web developers and platform administrators, we created key portal features over multiple sprints and developed a living design pattern library to equip the MLC with a strong foundation for future releases.
The MLC launched its portal in September 2020 to high praise for its design and usability. Since its launch, the MLC has registered thousands of users and now distributes tens of millions of dollars in mechanical royalties to its members every month. It has also built a strong team behind the portal, focused every day on optimizing the portal experience and adding and enhancing features that help its members “play their part.”
“Prophet shared our vision from the very start, dedicating time and acute attention to detail to develop a resource that sits at the heart of the MLC’s work and is crucial to serving our members and fulfilling our mission.”
Richard Thompson CTO, The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)
Helping CVS Kidney Care transform to disrupt the renal care industry
Nine out of 10 adults in America with chronic kidney disease don’t even know they have it. And for the half a million U.S. patients on dialysis, the vast majority receive treatment in clinics. That means three times a week, four hours a day, away from home. Treatment is physically and emotionally taxing for patients and staying employed is challenging, if not impossible.
CVS Kidney Care knew there was a better way. The business saw an opportunity to transform kidney care in America, delivering a better experience for patients and their caregivers, better clinical outcomes, and an improved cost of care. But to truly disrupt this well-established industry, CVS Kidney Care needed differentiated strategies and high-performing teams that could keep pace with true make-market innovation.
Prophet partnered with CVS Kidney Care using the firm’s Human-Centered Transformation Model™, to develop the broad range of capabilities required to be a real disruptive business. The transformation work included customer-centric product management and a creative commercialization capability that could rapidly build and iterate a compelling ecosystem of partnerships, combined with an agile operations organization. All this was also supported by a passionate, make-market culture. Fully integrated Prophet and CVS Kidney Care teams (or “Pods”) worked together, running in two-week agile sprints to break down silos, focus on the patient, caregiver and provider priorities, and dramatically accelerate progress towards seizing CVS Kidney Care’s key opportunities. Together, we collaborated on:
Clarifying the value proposition, commercialization and market entry strategies across CVS Kidney Care products and services
Identifying the talent, skills and experience required to scale the business
Transferring core skills in creative problem solving, innovation and product development
Defining a “Culture of Courage” and mobilizing the organization to live the behaviors of a bold market-making CVS Kidney Care team
Within the first year of its transformation, CVS Kidney Care has made clear progress on business outcomes and created a more engaged and productive team. The organization has improved business performance and has a clear growth trajectory. Cultural change is finding traction, and engagement scores within the CVS Kidney Care team have improved significantly. Most importantly, the entire organization is more committed than ever to transforming kidney care for patients and their caregivers.
Additionally, our work received recognition in the 2022 North America Transform Awards, earning Gold for the Best Development of a New Brand Within an Existing Brand Portfolio category.
“As a loyal Prophet customer, I highly recommend that everyone consider using their Human-Centered Transformation Model when seeking to accelerate organizational transformation and drive uncommon growth. There’s honestly no way we could have moved at this pace and achieved these results without a partner as deeply dedicated to truly building our own organizational capabilities. Trust me when I say, it works! – Lisa Rometty, President CVS Kidney Care
“There’s honestly no way we could have moved at this pace and achieved these results without a partner as deeply dedicated to truly building our own organizational capabilities. Trust me when I say, it works!”
Enhancing Digital Communications in the Fight To End Hunger
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s mission is “Leading the fight to end hunger, in partnership with our community and in service of our neighbors in need.” To do so, they distribute food directly to low-income people at community sites and make food available for other nonprofit organizations serving the ill, needy and infants. This team distributed 40 million pounds of food between March 2020 and February 2021.
Food Bank asked us to help with its newsletter communication. The original printed newsletter was titled “Bread Connection” and dated back to the early 90s. Though minor layout changes were made through the years, the digital newsletter had an outdated layout with too much text and no audience focus. Additionally, articles were comprised of a too wide range of content including event updates, program statistics and stories about the brand’s service.
Prophet helped Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano define a targeted messaging approach, a topic framework and target audience for the print newsletter. After desk research and gathering employee feedback, the new title “At the Table” was selected. It reflects the coming together of families to share stories and inviting the donor to have “a place at the table” while staying connected to what’s happening.
The design of the printed newsletter was modernized to resemble a magazine’s balance between photos and white space. The digital newsletter audience was defined with help of a persona– Amy, a mom who wanted a hopeful, actionable, engaging email that could be applied to her life hassle-free. The digital issue was rebranded as “Refresh” and was given a design rework and new functionality (mobile responsiveness).
Today, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano sends its newsletters to donors who have given any gift within last three years as well as volunteers who have served hours within last two years. With a clearer focus, the Food Bank team found it easier to create purposeful, written content an impactful newsletter when developing each newsletter.
It saw an increase of about $3,000 in donations directly related to the printed newsletter in the first year, trackable from paper remit envelopes in each edition.
Its digital newsletter saw 82% of their active list, which currently has 22,395 subscribers, open at least one newsletter in the past year.
“Prophet’s rework of our newsletters was a gamechanger in our offline and online communication with donors and volunteers.”
Expanding Marriott Bonvoy® to drive engagement with families
Marriott International, already a leading brand for business travel, is dedicated to improving its reputation as a family-friendly destination in APAC. It’s expanding its Marriott Bonvoy® offers to include explorations and experiences that kids dream about.
And while reaching parents is important, driving engagement with kids is essential. Prophet had previously worked with Marriott to create its successful M Passport program, which lets kids collect stamps and stickers at resorts and urban properties and then trade them for perks like ice cream and local souvenirs. Marriott wanted to find additional ways to connect with its youngest guests, creating brand-led experiences that would work across the entire portfolio. Besides building on family-friendly amenities, such as guaranteed adjoining rooms and early check-ins, it wanted to make kids jump for joy.
Nothing is as welcoming as a familiar face. So Prophet teamed up with the beloved children’s book series, Mr. MenTM & Little MissTM (MMLM), to further Marriott’s mission of raising adventurous world travelers. While the series includes more than 90 characters, we focused on finding the 10 that best align with Marriott’s values, including Mr. Brave and Little Miss Curious.
Prophet created a story behind each of the ten characters, introducing them to children even before arriving at the hotel. To bring the joys of travel to life with age-appropriate messages, we used plenty of digital activations meant to delight. Kids could add MMLM stickers to their WhatsApp messages, for example. And once they arrived on the property, they could create personalized e-post cards from the MMLM characters and find ideas for future family vacations. Besides offering fun and engagement for kids, the activation also created a cohesive visual system aimed at parents, helping them see Marriott as a welcoming place for family-friendly adventures.
Toys are an essential part of the experience, too. Families could collect the 10 customized MMLM plush dolls. And in some locations, Marriott offered families an exclusive thrill, meeting MMLM Author and Illustrator Adam Hargreaves.
The Marriott Bonvoy® and Mr. MenTM & Little MissTM collaboration launched in the summer of 2019, encompassing more than 450 hotels and resorts throughout the region. And it offered a consistent experience for kids across all 13 Marriott brands.
Beyond driving engagement with families, the initiative provided opportunities for participating hotels and resorts to give families a warmer welcome as it expands into this important market. Besides raising incremental revenue, it also builds loyalty across the portfolio and supports key destinations, even as it helps parents raise the next generation of brave, curious and adventurous travelers.
Developing a revamped direct marketing strategy to drive sales and ROI
The client, a major investment advisory firm, had a history of successfully executing aggressive direct marketing tactics. In fact, nearly all of its customers were acquired through direct advertising.
While the company was experiencing steady growth, it had an ambitious goal of doubling its assets under management within just a few years. To achieve this, the organization needed help attracting new client profiles and successfully moving prospects through the marketing funnel.
Through qualitative and quantitative consumer research of prospects in four countries, our team of financial services experts partnered with the investment advisory company to gain a deep understanding of the existing prospect journey and identify the conversion gaps on the way to becoming a paying customer.
By taking a digital approach, we uncovered that our client could:
Better reach prospects with varying degrees of familiarity with the company
Add interventions at key decision points of hiring a financial advisor
Develop engaging direct marketing content
To bring the strategy to life, Prophet helped the client create an activation roadmap to illustrate how to convert prospects by focusing on both short-term ‘Quick Wins’ and longer-term initiatives. The roadmap is supported by a ‘test and learn’ pilot plan outlining specific processes, KPIs and resources needed to measure impact.
Our project had a few key impacts on our client’s business. First, we transformed their view of the prospect journey. We helped the team of leaders see that the route from prospect to the client is dynamic, but it can be directed at key inflection points. Second, we demonstrated that a broader range of prospects could be converted into clients through our new view of the prospect journey and our market research analysis. As a result, our client changed their view of who qualifies as a ‘qualified prospect.’ Finally, our actionable activation roadmap accelerated the client’s direct marketing efforts and propelled it toward achieving its ambitious growth goal.
As a result of our project, our client observed a direct lift in sales and better ROI on direct marketing spending.
Creating a customer experience that brings families together
To win over leisure travelers in Asia, Sheraton wanted to offer an enriched experience specifically built for families. To do so, they developed Side by Side, a uniquely branded program, with dedicated activities & experiences that celebrate the gathering of families.
The Prophet team supported Sheraton with the development of the Side by Side proposition and brand, including the development of the activity programming, a Chinese name for the program and visual assets – all of which assembled into a proof of concept (POC) toolkit to bring the program to life.
We conducted a co-creation workshop with Hotel GMs to develop a set of signature activities that multi-generational families could enjoy together. We then developed a distinct visual system, in keeping with the Sheraton brand, along with a detailed activity calendar and activation assets to guide the program piloting in four initial resorts.
Staying true to Sheraton’s positioning “The World’s Gathering Place,” we designed a visual identity system for the Side by Side program to convey the message of “togetherness” in a warm, fun, and modern way. The wordmark is paired with the symbol of holding hands, illustrating a universal gesture of gathering in an abstract form. While staying consistent with Sheraton’s master brand look and feel, Prophet’s creative team infused playful and fun elements into the Side by Side family program through a collection of simple line icons and graphic elements.
The Side by Side program will be rolling out to all Sheraton properties Asia-wide after a successful proof-of-concept launch in 2020.
Modernizing customer engagement through digital selling
Our client, a large global manufacturer, sells a wide range of materials used in consumer products, medical devices and more. As a top-200 private U.S. business, this company had achieved a great deal of success by driving product innovation founded on scientific excellence.
Although the company’s seasoned team of field sales representatives had historically driven solid performance results, the global health crisis (COVID-19) severely impacted its access to key buyers.
The business was in urgent need of a new approach to selling and hired Prophet to modernize its digital experience and the engagement capabilities of its salesforce.
As Prophet’s team of Marketing & Sales consultants dug into the issues facing this organization, they uncovered that by taking a digital-minded approach, our client could:
Better reach its core target audiences
Develop content that was more engaging to its customers
Leverage engagement data to inform offline sales interactions
More efficiently orchestrate the sales process
To get started, our team focused on how sales and marketing could partner to improve its digital selling capability through digitally-powered content, stronger messaging effectiveness and the use of data and platforms to improve the sales experience.
Prophet delivered a compelling business case for change and proved the value of evolving its digital selling capacity against a defined set of use cases with pre-post-defined outcomes. The business case was supported by a new operating model which detailed the requirements for developing, maintaining and optimizing the proposed new digital selling capabilities. Our consultants partnered with the client’s marketing, sales and customer experience teams to roll out the new digital selling capability, including new digital tools for frontline sales teams.
Our work for this client extended beyond strategy to provide a detailed, sustainable operating model to deploy and sustain its digital selling transformation. We helped to accelerate this client’s vision, maximize its investment and ease the implementation of its new digital selling capabilities.
Following this project, this manufacturer observed a direct lift in sales, improved customer satisfaction and increased sales associate productivity.