Citizens Access

Accelerating strategic growth through extending their digital banking services

Citizens Access engaged 11:FS to help extend their savings proposition into new underserved areas of the market. 11:FS and the Citizens Access team worked together in an agile way to define their proposition, MLP and growth strategy. This included conducting in-depth cultural research, and qualitative Jobs to be Done research to better understand customer requirements, as well as sizing the opportunity space with some quantitative data.

Using the rich human stories from the Jobs to be Done and cultural research, we ran a collaborative design sprint to create and test a new proposition with the bank’s customers and proposed expanded audiences.

Reimagining an existing product

Citizens Access, the direct bank offering of Citizens Bank, N.A., has grown rapidly with its online-only savings proposition in the past two years. However, as competition in the US market intensifies between traditional and direct banks, and new Fintech entrants, it wanted to increase the stickiness of their existing customer base and drive acquisition of primary account relationships.

The Citizens Access team knew they didn’t want to offer just an additional financial product, they wanted to create a truly digital service that helped their customers achieve more with their money and wealth. They wanted to better understand how customers used its existing products and the drivers and barriers to switching digital banks to identify the areas where people are most underserved by the market.

The Jobs to be Done exploration we did with 11:FS, paired with their ethnographic work, gave us deep insights into how to design a value proposition resonant with our customers’ needs.

John Rosenfeld, President of Citizens Access

Research and discovery

To uncover the motivations underpinning customer behaviours, the 11:FS team combined a Job to be Done (JTBD) framework alongside deeper ethnographic cultural insights. In tandem, this helped to identify new opportunities for growth and ensures the new product extension resonates with the target market at both a functional and emotional level.

The research and discovery phase focused on:

  • Understanding the target audience’s JTBDs to identify gaps in the market. This helps with the key strategic decision of where to focus new proposition design.
  • Uncovering the cultural forces shaping customers’ belief systems and aspirations. This level of understanding helps us to form distinctive Stories to be Told that strengthen the connection between the brand messaging and the product.
  • Outlining the competitive landscape in the US across a number of related product types.
  • Creating a framework that maps out the levers to behaviour change which inform the design of the new proposition. Ultimately, this helps the team focus on creating new value for customers and therefore maximising their chances of customers adopting the new digital service.

The impact of this approach is human-centric product design and emotional brand resonance. It is grounded in a mixture of qualitative research, interviewing more than 20 customers, with quantitative research with approximately 1,500 mass and mass affluent consumers across multiple target market states.

Design phase

The research identified 10 Jobs to be Done considered vitally important to mass affluent customers. These Jobs represented desired future states that Citizens Access customers are trying to make progress towards. The quantitative research helped identify the top two JTBDs that the team could focus designing a proposition around.

11:FS ran a Design Sprint to create a new digital service for the target audience. Within the space of a week, the team had worked through a number of different exercises, including ‘How Might We’, lightning jams, storyboarding and user mapping. During the process, the team used 11:FS Pulse to review the best in class user journeys from Fintech apps around the world. This inspired the team’s divergent exploration into ideation and service design.

Strategy phase: a customer-centric proposition

Following the Design phase, 11:FS worked with Citizens Access to define their strategy for the new proposition. This involved working through some rapid concept and user testing sessions to ensure the service design helped the customer overcome the problem identified in the JTBD analysis.

11:FS moderated workshops with the Citizens Access team to define the purpose of the new proposition, its core values and the tone of voice the brand should adopt. The outputs of these workshops were combined with the cultural insights to enrich the Stories to be Told and thus their product marketing and brand strategy.

We tested different ways the brand could pitch the new proposition and arrived at a compelling direction for the Citizens Access team.

Finally, leveraging 11:FS’ vast experience of getting digital banking products to market quickly, the team defined a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP) prototype, roadmap and set of execution principles. This left the Citizens Access team with a clear direction on how to design a new breakthrough proposition and get that into the hands of their customers quickly.

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