The challenge for Market Gravity was to transform our client’s approach to innovation and change customer perceptions of the organisation, as a traditional insurance stalwart, to that of a New Challenger.

The result was a disruptive, innovation growth engine programme that delivered new proposition launches in market, into customers’ hands, in 20 to 40 days.

The business* recognised that people’s financial habits were changing within a world of shifting customer needs and increased consumer expectations. They also recognised that emerging trends in technology, innovation thinking and ways of working could help meet these new challenges. The question was how to act quickly, without the need for long-term strategy and waterfall plans? How could they avoid ‘thinking too long and launching too late’?

Deciding it was time to change their approach to innovation, they partnered with the Market Gravity team. Together, in just six months, we built and launched an engine for growth within the business and a new approach for harnessing disruptive innovation opportunities. This programme helped the business adopt a ‘mission culture’ within the organisation. This built a new way of working and provided 30+ new tools and techniques for problem-solving and proposition design within the business.


We formed a cross-functional squad with the client team, pulling individuals from across Marketing, Digital, Technology and Risk & Compliance to deliver timeboxed, 20-day missions that tackled real business challenges around customer retention, the customer contact centre, Artificial Intelligence and HR.

The missions, one of which was run globally, resulted in a number of new launches. These included a brand new customer engagement service – a financial chatbot, and a new ‘Fastest Answer Tool’ for the customer contact centre.

Mission Control

MISSION 1 – Customer retention

Find new experiences that drive retention amongst specific customer segments in ways we can deliver.

DAY 5: Four key provocations launched within the business

We published a set of ‘Cards Against Humanity’ style playing cards to senior leaders within the business. These helped them think differently about the problem and the opportunity it presented.

DAY 10:  Seven disruptive opportunities presented to the business

The squad presented a portfolio of opportunities to the business, helping them choose where to focus the next sprint. The decision? A new financial chatbot.

DAY 15: Prototype delivered

Together we developed a prototype, helping to showcase the opportunity to the business, and provide a platform to test the proposition with target customers.

DAY 20: Approval to proceed

We showcased the prototype to the leadership team and secured approval to ship the new service.

Initial concept

MISSION 2 – Ship the new proposition

Find ways to set the new service live to real customers in order to drive retention.

DAY 5: Five retention plays identified

We helped the squad decide where best to focus the new service and shaped the direction of the next MVP (Minimum Viable Proposition) sprint.

DAY 10: Eight core MVP features designed

We defined and scripted each of the core MVP features and user stories, getting them ready for development.

DAY 15: 40 user stories developed

Working with the Studio and Technology functions, the squad ran daily development sprints to quickly build and test each feature. We continuously learnt what worked and where to pivot our approach.

DAY 20: Live and in the hands of 12 customers

We put the proposition live and shipped to 12 real customers with real customer data. This initial experiment kick-started a pilot ‘test and learn’ phase and future expansion of the service. Keeping the customer at the heart of the mission was key.

MISSION 3 – Customer contact centre

Find customer contact journeys that will improve customer experience and efficiency for the business.

DAY 5: Four key principles launched

Launched internally at a ‘Manifesto Launch’ staff event with the customer contact function. The event provided a platform for change within the organisation and ensured everyone was bought into the new way of working.

DAY 10: Five blueprints for change presented

After only ten days the squad had already set three new ideas live. The five blueprints for change galvanised departments across the business, many of whom volunteered to support the ‘hack and test’ phase of the mission as a way of trying to get as many new experiments live in the time allowed.

DAY 15: 20 New contact journeys launched

The first week of hack and test saw the squad set live two new web services, focused on improving call wait times and how customers accessed critical information.

DAY 20: New ‘Fastest Answer Service’ live

In the final week of the mission the squad deployed a new ‘Fastest Answer Service’, running a full day ‘service hack’ to test the new approach to call handling. During this rapid pilot, the customer contact centre answered 183 customer calls in the first day and the approach has since been adopted as part of BAU (Business As Usual) operations.

MISSION 4 - Global people mission

Find amazing new employee experiences that help attract, develop and retain top global talent in ways that we can deliver.

DAY 5: Launched our global people manifesto

The manifesto for change outlined the squad’s vision in a way that the client could believe in and stand behind.

DAY 10: Presented our portfolio of new disruptive ideas

We brought the manifesto to life through a series of provocations and a portfolio of disruptive ideas that were presented to senior leadership, including the Global HR Director.

DAY 15: First live user pilot launched on day 12

We began to sketch out how to get each idea live and ready for a first pilot. The result? Five new experiences that were at the point of live or ‘ready to launch’.

DAY 20: Three new experiences live; two more ready to launch

These included two new global employee engagement campaigns and a new alumni and talent referral network.


The program we created fundamentally changed how our client thinks about and approaches innovation. At the core of a traditional stalwart was a New Challenger waiting to be unleashed. The approach, tools and language that we developed are continuing to help drive the customer agenda.

By working in this new way, we helped the business experiment with chatbots to create a better customer experience in just 40 days. The new proposition, which is now being developed to include elements of natural language processing (NLP), turned the customer engagement model on its head. One of the company’s biggest critics turned advocate by engaging them proactively in the first mission from day one to day 20. Putting the customer at the heart of proposition design and innovation thinking is key.

*Because of the sensitive nature of our work, sometimes we need to anonymise our case studies as we have done with this one.

Reflecting on the project

Robin Baird
Principal Consultant

“With customer innovation top of every business leader’s agenda right now it’s no surprise that companies are looking for new ways to stay one step ahead of the competition. This particular client is no exception and are one of these business that are really embracing new, disruptive approaches to how they tackle the innovation challenge. This new mind-set has enabled them to explore new opportunities, try new things and do some amazing things for customer and staff that I believe will really change how the business thinks and works.”

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