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June 6, 2019

Reinventing Brands Via Experience Design

Summary:

The continuous cycle of launch, learn, adapt and relaunch is where Experience Design excels.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

The relentless pace of the digital age continues to change insurers’ strategies. However, for more than a decade, two constants have been the need: 1) for a customer-oriented mindset and 2) for adapting quickly to an increasingly fast-paced world.

As carriers have tried to come to grips with new ways of doing business, one of the biggest recent developments at the corporate level is Experience Design owning a seat at the table.

Why?

For starters, Experience Design has hard-won expertise and plays a vital role in the customer experience and brand architecture. In addition, Experience Design teams are good at solving problems and often have experience doing so in multiple industries. Instead of trying to figure out after strategy planning what the future could be, involving Experience Design will help carriers define it from the outset.

Building on existing strengths

Although some industries are further ahead in digital capabilities, design and customer experience than insurance, most insurers do have some real strengths. First and foremost, they tend to have a very solid understanding of their customers. Moreover, they have extensive experience adapting products and services to changing market conditions.

See also: In Search of a New ‘Dominant Design’

However, digital has profoundly changed the way carriers interact with customers and how quickly and frequently they need to act. New technologies have amplified the need to listen more closely to customers and respond to their needs in weeks and months instead of months and years. Almost all carriers can do a better job taking the insight they possess and quickly turning it into something actionable, such as more flexible and adaptive products and more frequent and meaningful interactions with customers (and on their terms).

Always on

What makes this change in focus difficult for most insurers is that they’ve historically operated in a stop-start, point-A-to-point-B manner. But, in a digital environment, constant improvement is now the rule of thumb. Recognizing that work gets done but is never really finished is a major shift in thinking for the industry.

See also: How to Redesign Customer Experience

In response, leading carriers are no longer looking for a big launch but are incrementally improving products, even if they evolve into something quite different than their original form. This continuous cycle of launch, learn, adapt and relaunch is where Experience Design excels. As carriers increasingly involve creative solutions and get better at working in the always-on business cycle, their product offerings and relationships with customers will improve.

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About the Author

Tom Kavanaugh is a partner in the financial services practice at PwC. He oversees the customer impact practice for insurance and has more than 15 years of experience with creating innovation concepts, growth and market-entry strategies.

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About the Author

Marie Carr has 20 years of experience in financial services. While her management consulting experience spans healthcare, real estate and the public sector, her primary focus is in insurance (group, P&C and life).

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About the Author

Brian Morris is group creative director and office lead, PwC Experience Center. He combines 20 years of creative experience with strategy and technology to help clients see their future while enabling people to get the most out of today.

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