Designbox for Swiss Life

“Since the introduction of the Designbox, which we developed together with Creaholic, key projects have been carried out consistently in Human-Centered-Design-mode."

Sonja Brolle, Swiss Life


Swiss Life has set out to transform itself from a life insurer to a provider of comprehensive pension- and financial solutions. The aim is to redefine their market positioning and to grow and expand through tapping into new business models, digitization and the development of new customer experiences. Swiss Life wishes that their customers come to see them as a strong partner for comprehensive financial solutions, who supports them in leading a long and self-determined life.

Swiss Life was well aware that such a transformation would require significant changes to the organization both at the cultural level and at the factual level (i.e. processes, products and services) and had made various substantial efforts in previous years to achieve its goal. But more recently these efforts had slowed down and therefore Swiss Life turned to Creaholic for additional support.


In product management and distribution customer centricity was not yet firmly established: There was no uniform understanding of collaborative, cross-departmental cooperation throughout the entire project-cycle or a clear strategy on how to continuously integrate the customer’s point of view and take the customer’s journey into account. Additionally, a shared concept of suitable tools and methods was missing and the understanding of one’s role was not the same for all parties involved.


Our task was to help Swiss Life identify and decide which roles, methods and milestones would be suitable for integrating a customer-oriented perspective into the existing product development process. Whereby such methods would have to be easily applicable in strategic and operative projects.


We met this challenge in three steps: At first, we analyzed the current situation and identified the key dimensions for achieving a comprehensive customer-centric way of working, while focusing on methods, roles, milestones, metrics and framework conditions. At this stage we also conducted extensive interviews with employees and managers and reviewed previous work results.
As the next step, we guided the Swiss Life team to come up with a suitable solution by providing them with facilitation and our Invention-Culture-Model as a practical guideline. In an iterative process we helped them select the right methods for the customer orientation kit. Prototypes of different method-sets were subsequently developed and tested. Additionally, an implementation concept had to be devised.
In order to achieve an immediate impact, we trained the project staff in all the methods while we were still developing of the kit, thus ensuring that the methods could be directly applied in the first projects. The implementation was such a success that the team decided to make the kit freely available online Check it out.