Stratégies N°1854 07/04/2016
OPEN TABLE AT SUPPER
DESIGN & ACTIVATION
Five professionals in communication and content, assembled by Pierre Désangles (ex-Publicis Conseil), launch a new concept that’s part consulting firm, part service design and part brand content, with a resolutely “user centric” spirit.
On the top floor of 8 rue d'Aboukir (the former and iconic headquarters of the Nouvel Observateur where on a certain May 10, 1981, Mendès-France, Delors, Rocard, and Badinter, among others, awaited the results of the presidential election), Pierre Désangles holds court in his new offices. Three small adjoining rooms under the eaves, which the former President of Publicis Conseil shares with his four new associates: Florence Garçon, former Deputy Director General of (ex-Nurun), Damien Frossard, previously Director of Creation and Strategy at Isobar France (Dentsu Aegis Network), Laurent Laboutière, until now Director of Creation and Digital Production for the New Media department of Endemol Productions, and Stéphane Jacquin, ex-Founding Partner and Secretary General of Babel.
A quintet of prominent forty-somethings is launching a whole new agency concept on the market. “Society has evolved but not marketing. To change things, we had to start with a blank slate”, explains Pierre Desangles, who thinks that “it’s easier to help clients transform when we don’t have to transform ourselves”.
Recognizing that “all the new actors who have disrupted their markets began with small marketing budgets because marketing is included in the conception of the enterprise», the five associates have spent the last months working on a new hybrid model of consulting firm, innovation lab and communications agency, combining strategy, digital, design, communication and content production. «Our international references are Anomaly, Method, RG & A, etc., and our operating mode will be solidly based on an open ecosystem with three structuring partners: Opinion Way for studies and market trends, Sedona for technology, including web, mobile and the internet of things, and Captain Dash pour the data intelligence component with which we’ll develop common offers”, explains Florence Garçon.
The new company’s mantra? “People before products”. In other words, creating value-added services and content. The difficult but often rewarding path of “brand utility”. “We won’t start with what we already know how to do, but with the problems of our clients’ clients”, says Stéphane Jacquin, who adds that Supper will be paid by fees (based on time spent), on performance (KPIs established case by case), and by the value generated by the service or the content developed. “The idea is not to be an expense but a value generator.”
Supper, for that’s its name (“the concept –born while talking around a table– is based on the notions of sharing and conviviality”, explains Damien Frossard), definitely doesn’t want to be viewed as an agency but rather as a “design and experience activation society”. Benefiting from a network of external experts (sociologists, ethnologists, consultants, UX and UI designers, creative technologists, filmmakers, journalists...), Supper will use the method of “design thinking”, based on observation and analysis of consumer insights (see below). “Disconnected from the media, we won’t create messages but rather services and content which we’ll use as communication. We’ll do this in three phases: strategic guidance of the client challenge, design thinking which begins with the client, and content creation (connected objects, apps, web platforms...)”, notes Florence Garçon.
The last building block in the Supper proposition is brand content which must always be useful and meet practical, relational, and emotional needs... “We want to break down the wall between content production and marketing. Our entire collaborative model is based on the creation of marketing interfaces and that happens through narration and content”, states Laurent Laboutière who recommends long-term actions rather than one-shots.
The newly-launched team, which is about to sign with a luxury brand and another in the food sector, already works for three clients whose names have not been revealed: a pharmaceutical laboratory, a bank, and a player in the tourism industry. For the first client (which has a generic medicine on offer), Supper, associated for the occasion with a start-up, didn’t propose additional investments in communication but rather a digital platform offering personalized advice according to the profile of each patient. For the second client, which was having a hard time differentiating themselves on the credit market, the team devised a practical service linked to credit products. And for the last, which was facing competition from AirBnb, Supper worked on enhancing client service by improving personalization and reactivity.
Supper, whose goal is to reach 5 million Euros in revenue within the next five years, now has ten people, associates included. They don’t want to exceed a staff of 50. “We want to remain agile. Our philosophy is to go out and find the best. It would be pointless to want to internalize all of the talents we need, all of the skills”, explains Pierre Desangles. A commando spirit, in short. But by pushing the walls a little, the upper floors of 8 rue d'Aboukir can still house at least another twenty people.
Design thinking, centered on humans
Design thinking is “a mode of applying the tools of conception used by designers to solve an innovation challenge through a human-centered, multidisciplinary approach”.
By extension, along with the expansion of the economy and experience, marketing has turned less toward the endorsement of a product or a service than toward the promotion of a singular experience. Design thinking brings a new philosophy to the table, with its approach based on co-creation, field studies and iterative work associating intuition and analysis.