Why did combining the forces of Prophet and KEYLENS make sense right now? KEYLENS owners Dr. Jörg Meurer and Dr. Stephan Schusser, and Prophet’s EMEA Regional Lead and Senior Partner, Tobias Bärschneider, discuss the opportunities for collaboration, human values and why both consulting firms complement each other so well.
What excited you most about the potential of Prophet and KEYLENS working together and why now?
Dr. Jörg Meurer: Our company had gotten to a size that made us think about the next step, which actually reminds me of crossing a stream in the mountains. For that, you always need a next stone to get to the other bank. We needed a stone for the topic of digitization, one for the topic of data analytics and one for internationalization. Prophet offered us these stones. Prophet’s solid value proposition and our ambitions go hand-in-hand. With our two firms having been on similar journeys, from our beginnings in branding, and aligned in our human-centric approach to growth and transformation, these synergies and shared philosophies made the decision easy. We now have the opportunity to scale on a national as well as an international level. I’m thrilled to be working with, and learning from, new colleagues across the globe.
Dr. Stephan Schusser: We view our clients as true partners. We don’t want to ‘just’ advise companies, we want to collaborate to develop transformational strategies and solutions to help them achieve their business objectives and build resilience focused on the market and their customers. Prophet thinks and works like we do at KEYLENS, where ‘human-first’ leads the way, finding ways to deliver value in new ways for employees and clients.
Tobias Bärschneider: The KEYLENS team are a passionate group of people led by two exceptional leaders in Jörg and Stephan. Their expertise in strategy, analytics and digital marketing will strengthen our competencies and enable us to be true ‘end-to-end partners’ for our clients. This is a truly exciting new growth chapter for Prophet in Europe and I am delighted that we are joining forces and embarking on this together, deepening our ever-growing multidisciplinary and multicultural firm.
As a consultancy that has largely been servicing SME companies, which industries have KEYLENS been specializing in?
Dr. Stephan Schusser: We have built up special expertise in four industries: luxury, tourism, retail and construction supply and our clients value our thought leadership and insights in these dedicated areas. Over the years, we have created knowledge-sharing programs and networking platforms to bring senior executives together and discuss the opportunities and challenges faced around pressing topics such as sales of the future, service concepts and digital transformation. With these formats and our strategy work, we create reports and studies informed by our close relationships with key market players and business leaders. These concepts are something we’re excited to extend to new industries in which Prophet operate and look to scale nationally and internationally.
How are you managing and supporting employees through this change?
Dr. Jörg Meurer: There is no question that our employees are excited and will benefit from further learning and development opportunities. Stephan and I have invested a lot in our culture and team building over the past ten years. It is something that is very important to us. We have an above-average retention rate and also a diverse team. We’re thrilled that Prophet similarly invests in its culture in the same way. Change starts with our people; their needs are considered in every decision and are at the center of our change strategy. And that is now the focus of the next steps. We will bring the teams together, get to know each other and define the way forward together. We’re looking forward to what’s coming and firmly believe in our joint success with Prophet.
Tobias Bärschneider: We believe that with KEYLENS joining the Prophet family, we can both build on highly complementary access to relevant client segments, a team with strong capabilities that is a great fit with our team in EMEA and overall very similar business philosophies. We’re excited to now shift our attention to jointly working on a smooth integration process that brings the best of both companies to the forefront.
The interview was conducted by Andreas Nölting