VMSD - February 2013 - (Page 56)
Interview by Robin Donovan
Prophet’s senior partner and creative director chimes in on data-driven
branding and a new wave of mobile-native shoppers.
How did you first get into design?
I started my undergrad career as a mechanical engineer because
I wanted to be an astronaut. That didn’t work out, so I went back
to school to study architecture.
What about your transition from architecture to branding?
A coworker had an interview with Zintzmeyer & Lux (since acquired
by Interbrand), a large corporate identity entity firm in Europe, that
she couldn’t keep. I went instead and got the job. It was brilliant to me
that branding doesn’t have to do with your own ego or what you think
is “cool” but what really represents the values of your client.
What’s your favorite part of your work today?
I love the inspiration phase for projects when we’re seeking those
tangential elements we can bring to the project. Sometimes it’s very
research-driven, but oftentimes it’s really analog, and we’re looking at
how other types of businesses in different categories solve the same
problem or address the same human need.
What can designers learn from
The notion of brands has come in
and out of favor, but people finally
understand it’s a powerful way to
drive design. Until you’ve emotionally
connected with people in a way that
makes them act the way you want
them to act, you’ve not really done
So what’s next?
Customers are bringing the kiosk with them in the guise of their
smartphone. And we’re finding ways for that technology to be leveraged
in a much more credible way, not just letting people price check
your goods in store, but making a meaningful connection with them.
Retailers need to work more with customers’ own technology. We can’t
stop them from having it, so let’s embrace it and figure out how to make
the best use of it in a multi-channel way.
What about shoppers who use their phones in-store to buy
I think the news this year will not be how retailers compete on
commodities, those things that you can buy easily online; it will be
about leveraging the social and experimental aspect of shopping.
The idea of wanting to be out and about, spending time with friends
or being in a certain part of town are things we need to cultivate. x
56 FEBRUARY 2013 | vmsd.com
COURTESY OF PROPHET, NEW YORK
Getting It Right
What trend do you see going away in 2013?
My realization in the last couple years has been about how digital and
retail should work together. A lot of us grew up in a time when we
were always trying to get the kiosk in the store, and we were always
trying to bring the digital signage in the store, but I think the idea that
companies can afford to maintain and create digital equipment and
content in their stores in a credible way is over.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - February 2013
VMSD - February 2013
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Sole Story
Alpine Lakes of Soho
VMSD - February 2013