Unconventional Wisdom is Product Management

Anuraag Verma
Aug 3, 2020

William Trump, Behavioral Science Advisor at iptiQ by Swiss Re, discusses how applying behavioral science when developing insurance products can help organizations understand what drives consumer behavior and motives them to buy.

“Why is it that people don’t do what we expect them to do? Even more deeply than that, why do they not do what they expect themselves to?” asks iptiQ by Swiss Re's Behavioral Science Advisor William Trump.

Will co-founded the behavioral research team at Swiss Re, an insurance company founded 150 years ago, and works for the iptiQ brand, a digital insurance platform.

“Repeatedly, we found that our campaigns were falling flat, or people weren’t doing what we thought they were going to do. That’s really what led us to behavioral science,” says Will. “We found that this alternative way of understanding human behavior, drawing on insights from psychology, is far more realistic than what we normally do in many industries.”

Regulated industries like insurance, healthcare, and financial services often rely on traditional research methods such as surveys or focus groups to gather consumer feedback. But when it comes time to build a product based on that feedback, often it doesn’t reflect actual consumer preferences, underlying behaviors, or future buying intent – especially when those things are constantly changing.

“There's no doubt the world around us is changing and the context in which people are behaving is changing, but the danger is that we only focus on what's changing. And the behavioral scientist likes to ask the question: what’s not changing?” says Will.

Through experimentation, the iptiQ team has been able to get answers to that question and uncover surprising truths about consumer behavior. They’ve partnered with Feedback Loop (formerly Alpha) to run a series of rapid-response consumer surveys, revealing that consumers frequently don’t understand the terminology that insurers use or that insurers overestimate how much consumers want a purely digital insurance journey, among other insights.

“We have found that our relationship with Feedback Loop has been really invaluable. It really helped open our eyes to just how valuable it is to get a pulse check from customers really early on,” says Will. “Because insurance is such an intangible, almost psychological product, understanding how people think is really critical.”

In this episode, you’ll learn a lot about insurance products, consumer feedback, and behavioral science.

Here are the highlights: 

  • Why it’s important for organizations to invest in behavioral science research (2:20)
  • Ways to bring experimentation into behavioral science research (5:53)
  • How Swiss Re uses Feedback Loop for rapid consumer feedback (9:59)
  • Steps to take to introduce behavioral science research into a regulated industry (11:00)
  • How Will applied behavioral science to uncover surprising consumer truths (14:47)
  • Ways to motivate consumers to buy life insurance products (35:08)

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