“Yes, we want to remove the digital screens from your shop front. Why? Because they are a barrier to what we are trying to achieve with this channel”.


BUPA is Australia’s largest private health insurance company. It is also the first PHI brand in Australia to rationalise its’ retail network as the result of a customer focused channel strategy. This is why its new branches now look very different to its competitors.


The PHI market has a handful of established players offering similar products and retail experiences. The main reason for this is that retail is seen primarily as a sales channel where a captive audience can be sold products while they wait for service resolution. Sounds like a great idea from a business perspective but look at it from a customers’ perspective and you’ll see that however you design the environment, without a customer focused strategy, the experience will always be diabolical. The challenge with projects of this nature, particularly with market leaders, is to have the vision to dramatically change direction, away from the safety of the world they know. Luckily for us, our client is visionary and understands that the business needs to evolve from the old world into one where it can create and sustain a more meaningful kind of leadership.


The most powerful sales tool in the new scenario is a BUPA consultant who has just resolved a significant service issue for a customer. With this in mind, rather than selling to customers while they wait, we set about calming them down and preparing them for their consultation.

The waiting experience has therefore been elevated from a few plastic chairs against a corporately illustrated wall, to a customer lounge full of interesting books and artefacts. The digital media budget was repurposed from shop front advertising into creating a peaceful, slowly changing view through a five meter long window.

Communications within the retail space focuses on awareness and understanding rather than hard sell


We worked alongside The Brand Institute, one of Australia’s leading brand reputation agencies who’s quest for creating new opportunity in a saturated market was nothing short of inspiring. Our learning and guidance from them has undoubtedly deepened our understanding of human centred design thinking.


Customer and staff satisfaction are both measuring higher than ever before. Duration of complex transactions has not decreased but we hadn’t hoped it would. High value sales on the back of complex service resolution have increased consultation times, which was the strategy. We are now rolling out the new design across Australia with specialist store communications and planning principles for Chinese communities.

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