Essence has risen rapidly to become one of the most disruptive and effective agencies in the expanding sphere of digital advertising. We set up shop inside their London office to work across their product suite, helping them to define new products to stay way ahead of the curve.
Immersing ourselves in their industry, culture and users
To understand Essence’s context, we ran ongoing benchmark analyses, market research, and customer engagement research. Employing the Playback Method, we quickly experienced every detail across the campaign lifecycle, workflows, and all the people involved – to get to the core of what Essence does, and how. We plugged in straight away: listening, shadowing, and interviewing people from every department across the globe.
We created a UX Pod in their London office, embedding our team in their day-to-day activities, we set up a story wall on which we mapped every step of the campaign lifecycle, inviting staff to come and interact, to clarify steps, test our ideas, and to talk to us about their work in an open, informal and confidential setting. We established trust as discreet, objective observers, and through this process we gained invaluable insights into what people were really doing, following their thought processes, and playing our findings and recommendations back to stakeholders.
...it's so easy to make mistakes that we spend a huge amount of time going back and forth between the teams and systems to resolve issues.
Advancing their current product portfolio and developing new innovative products
Creating Invent, a platform that forges innovative media partnerships faster
We developed a stand alone platform for Essence to make the process of forging media partnerships faster, more cost effective and ultimately help both parties land on better ideas for innovative advertising. Spotify, Red Bull Media House, Channel 4, Sky and The Guardian were the group of select publishers to be given the keys first.
[This is] a much more powerful way to ensure our client briefs are being addressed and ultimately we want to connect our client’s brands with audiences in deeper ways.
The platform is extremely user friendly and allows for only concise responses. This approach offers a seamless exchange of ideas between publisher, agency and client which I am sure will result in great campaigns.
Envisioning and developing a process management product
We devised, named, designed and developed a Process Hub product for Essence to visually realise every step of the campaign lifecycle and their related internal processes. Staff can now clearly see what steps, tasks and actions are required along the campaign lifecycle, their role, who’s involved and responsible.
With its intuitive, interactive interface and clear structure, the Process Hub helps Essence to align workflows, save time on-boarding staff, make communication and processes more transparent, and facilitate the role out of process changes to staff across their global offices clearly and efficiently.
Our work expanded Essence’s product portfolio and advanced the product’s functionality, effectiveness and usability, and we helped them into their first foray into the AI sphere. We streamlined processes across departments, across teams, and across countries, reducing waste, unlocking their employees’ creative potential, fostering better communication across department, and generated more trust in the products and systems. All these transformations pushed the business forward, and allowed for a much more efficient use of employees’ time, creativity and intellect, giving the right space to the fast-paced, forward-thinking brains which keeps Essence ahead of the curve.