7 WAYS HOW DESIGN THINKING CAN BOOST INSURANCE BUSINESS

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1 7 WAYS HOW DESIGN THINKING CAN BOOST INSURANCE BUSINESS The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing everyday and yet expecting different results, as Einstein stated. To get different results, you have to do different things and to do things differently. You won t get there if you stay in your comfort zone. That is, if you stick to the current game. Many insurance companies even in this disruptive timeframe try to solve the situation with their current paradigms. New paradigms are needed, especially logical thinking has to be placed in a new perspective. What insurers need is Design Thinking. Design Thinking is a method for practical, creative resolution of problems. It is not just about the product or the packaging, it covers the total customer experience. Design Thinking can be applied to all elements of your customer value proposition, including for example pricing, the business model, distribution. As such, it is far beyond what domain-specialized designers, e.g. graphic designers or interaction designers do. Here is why and how Design Thinking can help you to create real competitive advantage. Einstein, the master of logic, also said another thing: Imagination is more important than knowledge. 1.Design Thinking creates better financial results In other sectors than the insurance sector the market leaders show that when marketing and design work together, ROI improves in a meaningful way. Companies that make design their core show that they can innovate faster and more efficiently, have more satisfied customers and are more profitable. According to the UK Design Council each euro that is spend on design results in an extra turnover of over 20 euros and an additional net profit of 4,12 euros.

2 2. Design Thinking is human oriented By focussing on the human factor in service delivery, according to McKinsey, service companies are lowering costs by 10 percent or more while improving customer satisfaction scores by up to 30 percent. problems do they have? What makes them feel secure or insecure? What is the bigger context in which they act? What is the total job they have to accomplish, next to just buying an insurance policy? Design Thinking puts humans first. Not technology - technology should be instrumental to humans, not the other way round. Many insurance companies put technology first, just look at the fintech hype. Have a random look at websites or telematics solutions offered by insurers and see: almost each of them is designed around the machine - not around you. Design Thinking starts with deep emphatic thinking. Empathy is the ability to feel what other people feel. What do they experience when buying, paying and using products, services, channels? How do they perceive pricing and communication? What do they miss? What do they want from insurers, but get nowhere? What triggers them especially? Which unsolved There are many propositions where everything is in place, yet the heartbeat is missing. Then they are simply not irresistible. They are just there, they sort of work, no more than that. They don t make the difference. It is not sufficient to be clear, relevant, credible and distinctive. Your brand, product or service must also be emotionally engaging. Because only emotion sells. The 'hard' customer benefits include no more than rationalizations for the emotional decision to buy. Emotional significance given to customers requires a combination of art and science. It is precisely the art-side that is missing for most service providers no matter their industries. 3. Design Thinking is thinking MAYA The famous designer Raymond Loewe introduced the MAYA-concept: Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable. If designers draw a new product, they aim for a prototype that is so revolutionary that the mass consumer will not be interested. But the one and only goal at that point in time is to think the unthinkable. Think of concept-cars. After showing them on important shows they let downgrade their concepts through consumer panels for example- and take away the too advanced elements. The result is a new product that is as advanced as it can be for the (mass) marketplace. What we see around us is that most insurance marketeers get stuck in the phase of most acceptable they even don t think seriously about what would be the most advanced solution. That s a guarantee for a customer value proposition that will never be above acceptable. But creating breakthrough value propositions is not about being just a little bit better. It s about really making a difference.

3 4. Design Thinking is less instead of more Don t add elements, just because your competitors do. Don t be afraid. It s fear that makes everything so complicated. It seems so logical: if we add a, b and c then we will be relevant and appealing for more kinds of customers. Yet reality shows the contrary. You get undifferentiated and too complex or vague for everybody, resulting in being meaninglessness for most people. Insurers still think they can be everything for everyone. But to be relevant and appealing you have to be razor sharp for specific target groups. A common mistake is to try to respond to all the hypes and trends. Proposition development usually means saying no. Saying no to all kinds of fads and trends. All suppliers embraces those, so they do not make the difference. Saying no to 99 of the 100 ideas to make it better. You should stick 100% to your core idea and only adopt these ideas that match with it. If you pass this, then people understand you directly, intuitively feel what your offering is all about and they will get answer to their key question: What's in it for me? 5. Design Thinking is breaking the taboos Many once leading insurance companies have for long stuck to their rule that they just distribute through agents and brokers, even when online sales was coming up very fast. Now they are out of the game. Also, many once market leaders have tried to be everything for everyone, even when target group specialists were coming up quickly. Holding on to taboos ruins you. Game over, welcome to death valley, RIP. Conventional wisdom gives a false and addictive sense of security if everyone believes it, how can it not be true? Kodak was/ is the absolute winner in this realm of stern and stiff conventions. Conventional industry wisdom the collective ideas about how to do business in a specific industry- is based on the assumption that old ideas will work in the future. This is like predicting the future by looking in the mirror for the road ahead. If the world changes as it does right now, these old ideas probably won t hold true very long. Solution: even if it ain t broke, break it. Conventional wisdom is about the rules that define the game, about managers with zero guts and zero glory. Rules about how products should look like, about pricing, target groups, communication, the customer (mostly defined here as walking wallets) experience, distribution, sales and the entire (none) value chain to deliver these elements of a value proposition. The industry s sacred cows. >>>

4 If you have balls and want to change the rules, you will first have to understand the existing ones. What do competitors take for granted? What do they overlook? What are the big Taboos in your industry and within your company? What s the box you all stay inside? That box is small, so the opportunities are huge. Analyzing how competitors (and your own company) behave, the common beliefs they (and you) have about how to do business in a specific field is of the utmost importance when developing real innovations. The key: embrace tradition, break convention. That means the need for brave people, visionary people, people that want to push the boat out, that want to engage in exploring and defining the new borders again and again. The combination of arts and science is key in this game of winning over and over again. Let the brave people step forward, the brave people that want to make a mark that want to make the difference. 6. Design Thinking makes intangible products and services tangible The real problem to sell low involvement services such as insurances is that they are abstract constructions manifested in some 70 pages of legal crap per insurance that nobody understands. Many people need their senses to get really convinced of something. Especially in this era of information overkill, sensory experience is often the key for buying decisions. At least, it is in other industries than the financial services industry. In financial services design is the forgotten discipline. Designers can build the bridge between your abstract offering and the real life of consumers. Design can make your intangible offering tangible, bring the abstract brand values really to life. Design focuses on the buyer and user interface. Great design creates recognition for consumers and creates brand-, price- and quality indications. Design can create a better performance, can even create you a position to ask a premium price. Great design also enhances the product usage, because it is more easy and appealing to use. In this way design can lower your cost level dramatically: the easier people can do things themselves on your website, and the more appealing it is to do so, the less they will contact your expensive call center. Conventional wisdom says that you can t make financial services tangible you just can t put a wrapping around it with a nice bow because by nature they are intangible. >>>

5 Intangibility makes people insecure one of the major reasons for people to feel insecure when trying to make a buying decision. Intangibility can also make your proposition as dull as ditchwater. Making things tangible lowers the buying barriers in a magical way. Seeing, and especially touching, is believing. Visualizing things already is a major step from just using words. With enough creativity, many things can be made really tangible. So here is the challenge: how can you make each consumer touch point visual or even tangible? With video tutorials, apps or even with real tangible elements? What design can men for customer value propositions Creating the first impression Product identification Brand identification Quality & Price indication Materializing the concept Making the intangible tangible Materializing the brand values Making the client benefits visible Enhancing the concept Creating a product-plus Creating a real unique selling point Possibility to ask a premium price Stimulating product usage Creating a great user experience Self identification Self expression Reinforcement of the purchase Customer satisfaction Up sell and cross sell Repeat purchase & word of mouth This could be for me What s in it for me This is the best choice for me This is me 7. Design Thinking is 360 degrees All ingredients of customer value propositions should be coordinated in a 360 degrees way, like in the perfect cocktail. Products, services, pricing, communication, distribution, sales, everything must fit together perfectly and be aligned with your core positioning and core brand value. Only then people will understand and believe you, then you are really meaningful. This is crucial for your branding, as this is exactly what all real great brands show: perfect alignment of all elements that make up the customer experience.

6 The challenge In most organizations marketing and design are far apart. Only at a late stage of product development the designer joins the process. Sometimes it seems that companies suddenly realize that a new product must also be designed specifically. "Oh yes, the design ", hastily a designer is enabled, who is put to work with strict guidelines and a minimum of creative freedom and insufficient budget. In fact, the designer will just execute what the marketer has already largely in his head. No ideal starting point. Of course also the different positions of power marketers and designers have are of influence. The marketer is more a key player, often a member of the management team and with direct lines to the board. In contrast, the designer usually works isolated in a small team, serving the marketer and not involved in concept or strategy development, what a mistake! The gap between marketeers and designers is smaller than it seems to be. As a matter of fact, marketeers and designers have the same agenda. Both want to be relevant for the consumer, both do their best to seduce the customer and both strive for customer value propositions that are really differentiating. Designers are optimistic and disruptive thinkers by nature. Get them into the boardroom and they will play a major role in defining completely new business models too. Our promise: you will not regret!

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