Timeline / 2.5 weeks (August 16, 2015- September 4, 2015)
Tools / InDesign, Photoshop
Team/ Joey Goodknight (Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
Julien Truchon-Poliard (Harvard Kenndy School)
Gao Li (Havard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
Yina Smith-Danenhower (Harvard Graduate School of Design)
Role / market research, ideation of proposed product, competitive research, created and conducted online survey, designed the initial prototype, logo design, marketing strategy, presentation
This exercise is done as part of the 2015 Harvard VS. MIT Case Competition
Cambridge Savings Bank is a reputable local bank in Cambridge, MA. However, their client base has been dwindling lately because they fail to attract new, young customers. Its image remains old, conservative, inflexible, and slow to respond. The bank came to Harvard and MIT and asks us to propose a solution that would elevate their biusinesses in the millennial market. This is a competition with 20 teams. We were given 2 weeks for market research and proposal, and half a week for preparing the presentation.
We proposed a millennial-focused banking product, Sprout, that offers attractive student-targeted benefits with the account. We also crafted a marketing plan to promote the product.
Research is a big part of this project: we conducted online surveys, competative analysis, and desktop research.
First of all, we did some calculation to see if the client’s assumptions about capturing the millennial market is viable and profitable. We got the initial data from desk research of online journals and studies. See below our calculation:
Total number of students in Cambridge, MA: 121,000 students
1 out of 2.5 students are undergraduates
48,400/4 years = 12,100 student (freshman including American and International students)
On average 12% of the student population is international students.
International students = 12,100 x 0.12 = 1,452 students
American students = 12,100 x 0.88 = 10,648 students
10,648 students x 0.75 (accounting for the fact that some undergraduates are from Middlesex and /or do not need a new bank account = 7,986 students
Since international students must open a new bank account when they arrive,
7,986 + 1,452 = 9,438 students who will open a new bank account during their freshman year in college.
Remaining 63,800 grad students, 12 % international students (63,800 x 0.12 = 7,656 students) and 88% US students (63,800 x 0.88 = 56,144 students)
Assuming one out of ten (conservative estimate) US students need an account and their program lasts between 2 and 4 years (3)
56,144 x 0.1 / 3 = 1,871 students
Assuming all first year graduate international students need a bank account
7,656 / 3 = 2,552 students
Total market size = 9,438 + 2,552 = 11,990 accounts per year
This calculation confirms our target market, which from here on we refer to as “first-timers.” Based on our research, we found that the “first-timers” market is sizable and easy to capture.
Inertia in other market segments require much more effort to capture. Here are our educated guesses of what possible inertia there is.
From our survey data, we learned that students expect their bank app to integrate with current popular money transfer service, predominantly twitter, paypal and venmo. We survey 5817 students through an online survey.
We asked interviewees what kind of features would they be looking for for a bank product. We also interviewed parents to understand their role in choosing a bank account for their child, if any.
We discovered some unmet needs of millennial students:
1.Better digital capability
2. No fees
3. Financial consulting
4.Seamlessly integrated with other popular apps
5. Integrated budgetng
"Don't nickel and dime me."
Based on our interview findings, we proposed the following features.
After determining what features are important in our proposed product, we then created a quick prototype to test how it will look on the existing CBS website.
We created a new brand, “SPROUT,” to create a completely fresh impression for first-timers. CSB’s existing image was too solid to be changed, and will likely take a lot of effort and time.
Our marketing plan focuses on two approaches: intense marketing and constant marketing.
WHAT I LEARNED
Advocating for UX
My team was comprised of people from different disciples including science, public health, and government. All of them have not experienced a user-centered approach in projects, but instead they focus a lot on desktop research to find data from reliable sources. As the only designer in the team, I want to advocate for the users, and I tried my best to explain that user-centered approach - doing interviews and surveys - combined with their desktop research will yield better results. I was able to then convince them to do some interviews and online survey. However, because of the short duration of the project, we were not able to put together personas after our user research.
Consultant-intensity level desktop research can be very helpful
That was my first time working together with a group that are more analytical, and have great research skills. With good research methodologies, we were able to find a lot of initial information by ourselves to understand the market space better before we dive into the project.
Engaging with stakeholder during the process
We were able to meet with representatives from Cambridge Savings Bank along each step of the project, developing consensus, listening to their needs as a business, and making sure our ideas are viable before proposing in the actual presentation.
WHAT COULD I HAVE DONE
Talk to more parents
We interviewed 7 students and only one parent. Although that parent confirmed our assumption that they were only involved when their kids are younger in term of banking, it is a disproportionate data sample compared to the students we asked. New insights might surface if we had more time to interview more parents.
Take the time to make persona and analyse the data systematically
Although we did some interviews, we did not systematically document or make personas for analysis because we were short of time. The data became antidotal. However, the analysis from the interviews can yield insights that will save time in the later stages. We should have balanced our time better and should have done even just a simple persona and analysis.