Your next innovation partner: a charity?

When looking for customer insight, have you considered tapping into a non-profit’s knowledge and network?

On a sunny May morning in west London a team from Santander found their way through the back streets off Ladbroke Grove to Open Age, a charity that supports hundreds of older people with an impressive range of activities and classes. A team from a big corporate organisation visiting a charity – they must have been there for a volunteering teambuilding day, right? Or to do some fundraising? Or if not that, perhaps to take in some audacious challenge as part of a leadership development programme they’re on?

No. None of the above. They were there to learn.

For this was Santander’s Innovation team – and they wanted to know more about older people’s banking preferences, with a particular focus on digital banking. But why not run focus groups or do some market research? Why go to a charity? As Sigga Sigurdardottir, Head of Innovation at Santander said: “We know the benefit of working with real customers in real situations. Getting a feel for someone’s needs through real interaction and better understanding their vulnerabilities and preferences, is an important part of how we work in the Santander Customer and Innovation team, so we were excited to do this with Three Hands and their community”.

Read the rest of the article on LinkedIn.

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