Regulation changes meant an insurance provider needed to evolve. The strategy we developed ensured they would thrive during the transition—and in the future.
The UK changed its pension and life insurance regulations, which gave people the freedom to decide how to use their pension savings in retirement. For customers, this meant more options and opportunity than ever. For insurance providers, this meant they had to completely reinvent their business model.
A UK-based life insurer had a strong market position in retirement savings, selling primarily through independent financial advisors. Because of the shifting regulations, they’d have to rethink their offerings, which inspired them to evaluate their entire business model. They realized there could be more opportunity if they engaged with their customers directly.
Looking for a plan, they asked BCG: how can we rethink our products to address these changing regulations while reinventing our sales strategy?
We dove deep into the details of the insurer’s business. We conducted a market review to evaluate its competitors and then turned to the people the company sought to engage with directly. Through in-depth research, we discovered what the insurer’s end users were looking for, what they cared about, and what they needed from an insurance company.
We realized that in order to meet consumer expectations of an insurance provider, our client would need to completely change its digital approach. We brought in BCG Digital Ventures to help use technology to unlock closer engagement. This multidisciplinary team developed a new set of customer journeys, featuring products that reflected the new needs of consumers and a digital strategy that better targeted them.
Bringing our client closer to today’s consumer, we collaboratively developed a detailed product and digital strategy that is designed for the people who use its services. This helped the insurer to stay profitable during a time of great external change and set it up to maintain its strong market position in the new digital market.
Nadjia is a principal in our London office. She first joined BCG in September 2004 and then rejoined in October 2009. Nadjia holds dual bachelor's degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD.
Q: What was your role on the project?
A: I have significant experience working with global companies, focusing on how they can use technology to improve their products and services. I was able to leverage my experience in this situation. As principal, I managed the team of consumer insight experts, UX-UI designers, and consultants. I owned the relationship with the client as we helped them address changes in its business model and respond to regulatory changes.
Q: Can you tell me more about what your client was up against?
A: Of course. The regulatory changes affected our client in two main ways. One, it could no longer rely solely on independent financial advisors to sell its products, so it had to cultivate direct-to-consumer relationships for the first time. And two, now that consumers had more flexibility and options, our client had to work harder to keep customers. We had to help develop a suite of new products that would truly connect with the client’s target.
Q: Sounds complex. What did your team make possible for the client?
A: We fundamentally changed our client’s understanding of the value of digital capabilities to help customers understand products and make choices. Prior to the project, our client didn't have in-house technology geared to customer-facing digital interactions. The company had IT, but it was focused internally, such as on policy pricing systems. As a result of this project, the client had an app, a regenerated Web presence, and started building out a digital team.
Camila is a project leader in the London office. She joined BCG in 2008, starting in the São Paulo office. She later worked in New York but moved to the UK after completing her MBA at the Wharton School. She received her bachelor’s degree from Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil.
Q: What was your role on the project?
A: My primary role was to manage how the traditional, more industry-appropriate ideas presented by the consulting team came together with the bolder concepts from the BCG Digital Ventures team. Our team also included members of BCG’s Center for Consumer Insight, so we had many different people contributing their expertise. It was my responsibility to ensure that the solutions we created leveraged the best from all of these diverse perspectives.
Q: How did you keep everyone aligned?
A: We knew our team’s diversity would push us and enable us to amplify our creativity, so I made an effort to listen and to understand the unique perspective of each person. For example, BCG Digital Ventures had creative ideas about the user journey, but the client had regulations they needed to follow. Finding the common ground and balancing those perspectives enabled us to come up with the best solution that would work for the industry—and the consumer.
Q: You’ve spent a lot of time in different BCG offices. Where have you been and what has it taught you about the organization?
A: I started my career in Brazil, where I am from and where I stayed for two and a half years. I then went to the New York office for six months, spent two-and-a-half years getting my MBA, and then transferred to the London office. That’s one of the pieces that I love about BCG—the opportunity to travel and experience new cultures. And having worked in different offices and with teams from even more offices, I’ve realized that there’s one feeling that is always present no matter where you are: everybody cares. They care a lot about the clients, the projects, and the people they work with. No matter which office you go to, BCG will give you support and a network.
Ian is a senior experience designer at BCG Digital Ventures. He joined BCG in 2014 and works in its Manhattan Beach, California, office. He received his bachelor of fine arts in graphic design with an emphasis in interaction design from Art Center College of Design.
Q: What was your role on this project?
A: As we were developing solutions, it was my job to look at things through an experience design lens, thinking about the user journey. I had to understand both the objectives of the user and of the client that is providing the platform. I was constantly assessing our solutions making sure that we created a seamless, end-to-end experience that is beneficial for both parties.
Q: Sounds interesting. What is BCG Digital Ventures exactly?
A: We are a team of designers, engineers, and product experts focused on creating innovative experiences. Typically, we work in three phases: innovation, incubation and product development, and commercialization. For this project, we were there to help with the development of the user journey, understanding the people our client serves and how they experience the world. Based on that, we helped to design a digital strategy for our client that would meet its users’ needs.
Q: Can you tell me more about the innovation phase?
A: It was very collaborative. We went through this divergent process that started with the development of a lot of ideas—around 200 potential solutions all based on the understanding of the customer we had from the initial research and interviews. And then we went through those and asked ourselves, “What is the common thread?” We saw what themes kept coming up and then we assessed them to decide which would be most impactful. The process is basically all about going out into the field and casting a wide range of ideas, which we constantly refine to provide the client a portfolio of solutions.