Aaron Smith

Partner

What is your favorite brand?

As a foodie and someone who likes to cook, it’s a two-way tie between Whole Foods and Trader Joes. The new Whole Foods in Chicago is an incredible shopping experience and I love everything the brand stands for — sustainability, local products, transparency, and the highest quality products. Trader Joes is equally appealing to me for delivering an amazing value, incredible in-store experience, and inventive foods. Oh, and for quick-serve Mexican food, Frontera Fresca. Rick Bayless is a genius.

What did you do prior to Prophet?

I worked at Envision, a brand consulting firm in Northbrook, Illinois, that was purchased by McKinsey 11 months after I started working there. Prior to that, I was with the Sterling-Rice Group, a brand and innovation consultancy in Boulder, Colorado.

What drew you to Prophet?

I was initially drawn to Prophet by the strong reputation of the firm and its thought leaders, the just-serious-enough culture, unique approaches to developing brand strategies, and the opportunity to help launch the Chicago office.

What has been your most interesting or unique Prophet project thus far?

Helping the world’s largest casino company reinvent the customer experience for their flagship brand and property in Las Vegas. The project required “mandatory” stays at some of the best properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City (e.g., Wynn, Bellagio, Venetian), late nights at the casinos, and lots of creative thinking. In the end it was all worth it, as the team identified some truly unique ideas and helped see them through to launch.