Creating the Bank's future vision for small businesses

Project with a Bank in Australia
May - Sept 17 


The future vision for small business customers 

Our ambition was to explore the everyday lives of small businesses with an open mind - without assumptions or an agenda to create a product. Our research explored the behavioural, operational and emotional changes within small businesses as they evolve.  Is there a role for the bank to play in this context to stay relevant now and into the future.

We developed thorough and robust customer-centric artefacts to help support the bank's business teams moving forward. We have achieved this through a multi-methodology research approach, overlaying qualitative and quantitative insights. 


We performed 70 hours of qualitative research with small businesses exploring their habits, behaviours, attitudes, concerns, frustrations,  motivations and future expectations to gain a holistic view which forms the backbone of the developed artefacts.


To help create empathy amongst the small business team and wider stakeholders, we hosted 3 video snippet sessions and presented 18 videos over the course of the fieldwork period.

Fundamental Truths are the 4 pillars of the research insights that apply to all small business owners at any point in time and reflect the emotional landscape they operate in. 

We synthesised our qualitative research, then pulled data points from the quant study to enhance and validate the story and artefacts.


Small Business Lifecycle Stages 

Lifecycle model

We created the "whale" model describing the lifecycle of small to medium businesses.  Through research we identified the jobs to be done within each journey stage - which helped us differentiate the opportunities for guidance, support and growth. 


Quantified artefacts

We worked together with a team of quantitative research specialists to measure the identified small business behaviours, to size up the lifecycle model and validate the qual-derived archetypes. 


  • The research was foundational for setting up all the customer centred design artefacts and transform the business unit to become more customer centric.  

  • New customer value propositions and a series of emphatic advertisements have been implemented by the bank based on insights of this foundational research 

  • The business lifecycle approach shifted the bank's traditional market segmentation to realising relevant stages of a business in focus. 

  • We continued the research into lifecycle stages to create product, digital and operational and business opportunities. Multiple small projects started based on the foundational work