LiveBlue KC | Making Health Insurance more accessible to consumers
Many health insurance companies were scrambling to find ways to reach consumers as the new Healthcare Reform went into effect, October 1, 2013. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City sought a solution to maintain its lead in the local market by introducing retail outlets throughout the area. We were asked to help develop the retail experience along with their architect, Helix Architecture.
Our first step was to understand the customer segments. BCBS had identified 7 customer segments ranging from young and uninsured to retired and insured. We developed consumer personas so we could design according to different users’ functional and emotional needs and reason to believe in the brand.
We then worked on developing the Business Model for the retail concept. Along with the architect, CEO and BCBS retail group, we considered various combinations of retail community space and sales functions for the space. What came from this exploration was a balance of a community-gathering place centered around wellness and a place to seek information and support for the seemingly complex world of health insurance.
Willoughby then developed a communication platform and theme that was used in designing and communicating the space: Be Well, Be Informed, Be Inspired. The last part, “inspired” is the goal for developing relationships with Blue members that can inspire others. After exploring a range of names from the straightforward “The BlueKC Store” to metaphorical - “LivingRoom” we selected Live Blue. It reinforced the brand, connected to a new Live Fearless campaign and made it more approachable as a lifestyle center instead of a store.
The team wanted an inviting space that didn’t look like a used car sales floor. The architect selected finishes that were clean modern and inviting. Willoughby integrated the iconic Blue Cross and Blue Shield throughout the space in unexpected ways using sports equipment including jumping ropes, skateboards and racquetballs. In order to draw people into LiveBlue we needed to provide a range of events and classes that connected back to the brand. Members and non-members can register for Yoga or Zumba for beginners, or attend seminars on how the new healthcare reform changes.
Since opening the first prototype in August, there has been a steady stream of visitors, made up of 60% members and 40% non-members, that is picking up. Introductory fitness classes are popular as are appearances by local professional athletes.
Word-of-mouth is the big driver bringing people into the space. The goal is to attract more non-members and convert them over. At the same time, LiveBlue is now tweaking to provide 1-on-1 customer service to existing members.