Tis the season of coming together. A time to reflect and remember the things that we’re thankful for, from family and friends to the little things that make life easier. As you would imagine, we at Prophet believe brand plays a large role in the things we’re thankful for in life. Whether they allow us to work the way we want, express ourselves with a sense of fashion or provide us ease and access in the places we need it most, some brands are essential to living the lives we love. At Prophet, when we’re not helping brands grow and innovate, we’re growing our families and following our passions. So, we wanted to know what brands inspire Propheteers as we follow our unique paths both at work and at home. Through an internal poll, we compiled a list of brands we’re thankful for. Read below and let us know: What brands are you thankful for? …Continue reading
Engaging Consumers & Reducing Costs
In this series we are zooming in on trends, brands and innovations within the healthcare space. We hope to explore new perspectives on existing structures and creative approaches that are redefining the system. By focusing our attention on singular aspects of the market we will discover that opportunities for growth are highly achievable. See our previous post here.
With buzz around Apple’s forthcoming iWatch, FitBit’s Force and the continued success of Nike’s fuel band, the celebration of “quantified self” technology is on the rise. Mobile apps, wearable tech and other products that connect users with their health is a clear sign that consumers want to play an active role in their own wellness. If leveraged correctly, the quantified self-movement could provide valuable patient insights as well as reduce long-term costs for healthcare brands.
But before talking about the benefits to brands, we must first understand their importance to the consumer. After all, it’s the customer (or in this case, patient), that should always come first. These products don’t just monitor activity or measure how long you’re at the gym. They allow users to connect their actions with the effect of those actions. Quantified self products engage the wearer with their lifestyle goals, stress levels and current healthcare regimens. This unprecedented awareness of one’s actions can provide insights into behaviors that are negatively affecting health.
To get a better sense of this feedback loop between measurement and behavior change lets look at a few examples of quantified self products. …Continue reading
How the blood industry can inspire our thinking
Businesses in healthcare are facing a problem. In such a diverse, complicated and innovative field, determining how to pursue growth can be overwhelming. From political influences and new technologies to cultural changes and economic shifts, where to spend your resources is a challenging question. The problem lies in considering all aspects of the industry simultaneously. Businesses are attempting to react to all the changes, opportunities and competitors in the industry. But taking too wide a view is leading to muddled solutions and slow progress.
The solution lies in narrowing our focus on just a few aspects of healthcare to understand where the tide of change is turning. In this three-part series, we hope to explore new perspectives on existing structures and innovative approaches that are redefining the system. By focusing our attention on singular aspects of the market we will discover that opportunities for growth are highly achievable.
To start let’s look at an oft under-considered player in the field: blood. …Continue reading
Last month, we visited Chicago for an amazing week of inspiring lectures, workshops and conversations. It was Chicago Ideas Week, and it was fantastic. Prophet’s Curator and Provocateur, Andy Stefanovich was invited to host one of many sessions – his focusing on the future of work. Andy’s role in looking towards the future of how we work has been decades in the making. For more than 25 years, Andy has been helping companies think differently about how they do the work they do with a combination of energetic inspiration and grounded strategy. While many organizations talk about unique culture, the way we work is far more nuanced and complex. As brands seek growth in an economy dominated by digital and increasingly driven by millennials, thinking about how work is changing is vital. Encouraged by Andy’s inspired storytelling, five talented speakers brought to life a highly engaging session. …Continue reading
We often draw thick lines between verticals of expertise. Someone is an analyst or an insights generator, a marketing expert or a brand specialist, a designer or an innovative thinker. It’s useful to have these titles and silos of talent. When a particular job needs to get done, with all of the constraints of time and money, it’s best to go with the experts. However, in this habit of specification, we might be missing the opportunity to blend our practices and re-imagine the potential within them.
Consider innovation and design. These areas have been the 21st century’s ascending stars. In the last decade, innovation has become the businessman’s core motto and it’s still the golden ring of nearly every industry. The tenets of innovation have pushed us to envision a process of regularly producing newness in the world. This has led to experimental approaches in workspaces, novel management styles and an increased focus on collaboration. The creation of innovation as a staple business practice has moved companies in some amazing directions.
Likewise, design has seen an explosion of popularity, both graphically and industrially. Thanks to companies such as Apple and Google, which have applied long-revered design principles to consumer electronics and digital interfaces, our eyes have been opened to the power of design and its ability to drive growth and profitability. While both innovation and design attract very different practitioners, it is when we consider the underlying tenets of both disciplines that we realize the need to blend them more thoroughly. There are three foundational similarities between design and innovation. These foundations can serve to inspire our thinking for what could be a powerful partnership. …Continue reading
Recently we were inspired by a piece from the ever-provocative Seth Godin. His thoughts on thinking harder about diverse customers has us reflecting on how we think about our work.
In the busy work of brand strategy consulting, we can often lump things together to save time. Including people.
There are times when we look at the client as one mass of similarly minded individuals, lumping them into one category of recipients of our work. How many times have you said “they” or “the team” instead of referring to unique individuals? We do the same with our teams internally. Lumping them together as “the team” instead of identifying the key differences between teammates beyond our level or class.
We do this because it saves time. We do this because we are working hard to find the best answers to challenging problems. Often in seeking these solutions we don’t allow the time to consider each individual on the client side or in our own teams. Of course we try, but to be efficient it’ s easier to lump.
However, if we find ways to utilize the differences of our teammates, what could we gain? In a post on the blog “Lean Medicine,” Moyez Jiwa offers a little food for thought. Back in the 90s, Jiwa made a move to conserve crucial resources at his general practice and family medicine office. He installed a phone consultation system.
Let’s set the scene. The practice was facing a major problem: During certain seasons requests for same day, in-person appointments shot through the roof. This was a trackable, measurable and reliable phenomenon. During these seasons patients were increasingly frustrated with being squeezed into schedules and doctors were short tempered because of the increased stress. However, instead of accepting this situation as “the way things were” the hospital decided to come up with a creative solution. They began to offer telephone consultations. …Continue reading
Producing high caliber creative work in any organization is a dynamic, complex practice. Every professional creative has a unique process, perspective and personality that brings the work to life. There is no right way to create. However, understanding a variety of creative approaches is a great way to help further define our personal creative process and that of our organizations.
We recently sat down with Michael Bierut, a graphic designer, design critic and educator to discuss a few topics related to his work. Michael has been a partner at Pentagram since 1990. Prior to that, he worked for ten years at Vignelli Associates, ultimately as vice president of graphic design. He has won hundreds of design awards and his work is represented in the permanent collections of museums around the world. He was kind enough to share some key insights that have informed his career.
“I used to try to get hired even if we weren’t right for the job, and I realized that doesn’t work.”
At Pentagram, the culture is to do the work that will work. If a client prefers lots of account management, Bierut believes their firm is not right. Clients who want to work directly with creatives are a better fit. Focusing on the clients that work well with your perspective and process is key. …Continue reading
There is no doubt The United States of America is a patriotic nation. And there is no doubt our patriotism is heightened during the American holiday-filled summer. On Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and in the days between, we wave flags, we wear flags and we generally try to be as ‘merican as we can be.
Purchasing patriotism is part of the spirit. Sometimes inadvertently, we honor our country through the brands we buy. In a recent, 4th-fueled poll conducted by Brand Keys, groups of individuals from nine census regions around the country were surveyed on the brands they thought displayed the most patriotism. The results were compelling in their similarities: Smith & Wesson, Craftsman Tools, Wranglers, LL Bean, Marlboro, and the traditional, 20th century list goes on.
The poll favors an America of yore. Today the American consumer landscape is moving further and further from these tried and true wild, rugged, pioneer brands that used to depict our nation. The US is growing increasingly urban and ethnically diverse, and our cultural perspective is shifting as a result.
As the new face of the American consumer comes into focus, we propose three brands that will define American culture in the coming years. …Continue reading
A noble experiment is being conducted in downtown San Francisco. It’s a project that may have an incredible impact on the city. It could change the way people think about civic involvement. It could change the way people think about getting things done. It could change the way a community comes together. Or, it might not do any of these things. After all, it’s an experiment; failure is always a possibility.
Born from San Francisco’s National Day of Civic Hacking, the [ freespace ] project is incubating civic ideas to positively impact the Bay Area. Last month the organizers partnered with a variety of city organizations to rent a 14,000 square foot warehouse for just $1. Using the building as a creative hub for artists, hackers, mechanics and more, [ freespace ] is producing projects they hope will serve as solutions to some of San Francisco’s civic ills.
Thanks to a successful indiegogo campaign, [ freespace ] is now entering its second month. With its $1 rent no longer available, the project raised over $25,000 to occupy the space through July. And with this new lease on life, the project has the potential to further brew ideas to improve the city that’s shown them so much support.
This type of incubation is exactly what businesses across the globe are attempting to do today. As we explored previously, brands around the world are rethinking how they approach innovation. As [ freespace ] enters its second month, there are three key ways it has illustrated what companies can do to craft inspired spaces for innovation. …Continue reading
Diving into the unknown, embracing the risk of the unexpected, and…laughing out loud? That’s what happens when Prophet teams up with the Richmond Comedy Coalition in “Battle Decks,” a competition that pits contestants against each other to present PowerPoint decks they have never seen before. This open-mic night of improvisation and humor is just one example of how Prophet’s Curator/Provocateur team pursues insights outside our industry to bring inspired and actionable ideas to our clients every day. Spontaneity, agility, creativity and fun are vital traits for improv comedians – and for brands looking to win in today’s fast-paced participatory marketplace. Take a peek; how would your organization do?