Inviting the Community to be Healthier
On the eve of the Affordable Care Act, a venerable health insurance company reaches out to consumers with a message of health, fitness and fun.
BRAND STRATEGY • NAMING • BRAND IDENTITY • COLLATERAL • ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN
In 2012, health insurance companies were searching for better ways to reach consumers ahead of the debut of the Affordable Care Act. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City sought a solution that would keep the iconic brand in the consumer conscience and demonstrate renewed investment in community healthcare by introducing health-focused retail outlets throughout the area.
Along with Helix Architects, BCBS CEO and the BCBS retail group, we uncovered a need for a combination of communal gathering place focused on wellness and a central location for information and support to navigate the complex world of health insurance.
Our first step was to understand the customer segments. BCBS had identified 7 customer segments ranging from young and uninsured to retired and insured. We developed consumer personas so we could design according to different users’ functional and emotional needs and reason to believe in the brand. This information would be used to create an appealing and reassuring environment that encouraged multiple visits.
Live Blue brings an iconic brand into the consumer conscience and demonstrates renewed investment in community health.
Willoughby developed a communication platform and theme that was used in designing and communicating the space: Be Well, Be Informed, Be Inspired.
After exploring a range of names from the straightforward “The BlueKC Store” to the metaphorical “Living Room,” we selected Live Blue. It reinforces the brand, connects it to a new Live Fearless marketing campaign and positions it less as a storefront and more of a lifestyle center.
The architect selected finishes that were clean, modern and inviting. Willoughby integrated the iconic Blue Cross and Blue Shield throughout the space in unexpected ways by using sports equipment, including jump ropes as wall art, skateboards as chairs and racquetballs as signage.
A wide range of free events and classes were offered to connect consumers to a positive health message enforced by the Blue Cross brand. Members and non-members can register for Yoga or Zumba for beginners, attend seminars on the new healthcare reform changes and even cooking classes.
Since opening the first prototype in August, there has been a steady stream of visitors, made up of 60% members and 40% non-members, and the numbers are increasing. Introductory fitness classes are popular as are appearances by local professional athletes. Consultants have seen an uptick in customers seeking advice and enrolling in new healthcare plans for themselves and their families.
Word-of-mouth is the big driver bringing people into the space. The goal is to attract more non-members and convert them over. At the same time, LiveBlue is now tweaking to provide 1-on-1 customer service to existing members.
Since opening the first prototype in August 2013, Live Blue has opened an additional location and has had considerable success with the community in leveraging sales and service expertise while continuing their commitment to improving the health of Kansas City.