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The value of words in creating world-wide impact

The big business challenge

Microsoft and dunnhumby, the global leader in customer data science, and analytics, had identified a potential partnership opportunity to push boundaries and set new standards. 

Whilst both parties recognised the potential strategic benefits, it meant moving away from the current way of doing things which was going to be a big sell to internal and external stakeholders alike.  


The resolve

Through a dedicated team and process, the two global giants developed and formalised their partnership. While the operational aims of the partnerships were now clear, articulating its benefits was a different matter. 


Microsoft and Dunnhumby knew it would be essential to create a compelling joint value proposition. 

Creating a stand out value proposition

The proposition would be used internally to engage and excite colleagues, and externally to promote the partnership to existing and prospective clients. 

With a track record of delivering impact for Microsoft partners we beat global agencies in a bid to support Microsoft and Dunnhumby create their joint value proposition and messaging. 

Outside-in thinking

We started with a face-to-face workshop bringing together key stakeholders from both Dunnhumby to interrogate and strength-test the aim of the partnership, why it mattered to both businesses and most importantly, why it mattered to their retail clients and their customers. 

By looking a the situation from the outside-in we were afforded a level of objectivity that's impossible to find internally. We could inoffensively and constructively challenge both parties on their thinking and use of language in a way that neither party would be able to do on their own. 

The insight generated from the workshop allowed us to start to construct the partnership's value proposition - A way of articulating the value of the partnership to a stakeholder. 

The next job was to bring this proposition to life through engaging messaging - Blocks of copy to help guide team members from Dunnhumby and Microsoft in their communications. 

Whilst the method of creating a value proposition is quite simple, the real value is in truly understanding what a business's internal and external customers want and how they behave. And, in being able to marry the process with a first-rate ability to translate it into the right language to make it compelling. This was the skill and experience we were able to bring to the partnership.  


The resolve

Shepherd's goals were big, and as a start up there was lots to do. Over the course of two years we helped Shepherd navigate and conquer challenges concerning positioning, go to market, growth, partnering and fund raising. 

Success & impact

The partnership between Microsoft and Dunnhumby continues to go from strength to strength. 

The partnership and its proposition have helped Dunnhumby win deals worth $100m and significantly increase their pipeline whilst  Microsoft's team are able to recommend an even more innovative range of solutions to their retail clients. 

“We knew we had to communicate effectively. Spending that time to really explore and compose our value proposition at the beginning meant that once defined, we'd be able to move at pace, without hesitation and with confidence..”

Will Adcock
Global Head of Partnerships, Dunnhumby

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