Case study

Lowell - 11:FS Ventures

Putting customers at the centre of a sustainable product strategy

Breaking the mould

Lowell Financial is one of the largest debt collectors in the UK. They’re hoping to challenge their industry’s negative reputation by making it easier for people to become debt-free.

To do so, they needed a commercially viable and sustainable product strategy placing the customer at the centre of their roadmap. Enter 11:FS Ventures.

Over the course of six weeks, we were brought in to size up potential opportunities in the space, design new solutions and give the Lowell team our recommendations. In the words of Lowell’s Head of Digital Anna Baynes, we helped bring “... the company mission and strategic direction to life.”

What the ask was

The 11:FS Ventures strategy

Jobs to be Done analysis

At 11:FS, we use Jobs to be Done (JTBD) to get to the root of customer needs - starting with the problem they’re trying to solve, rather than asking questions they don’t know how to answer.

Drawing on the Lowell team’s rich body of customer feedback for our primary research, we reviewed interview transcripts with JTBD in mind and drew up a Jobs framework. This gave us a set of customer problems to create new solutions for.

Proposition design

From there, we wanted to create a backlog of new features aimed at boosting customers’ financial health. We ran a collaborative design sprint week with key members of the Lowell team, taking inspiration from a number of best-in-class services and design principles across financial services. Then, we created an extensive backlog of new ideas that Lowell could use to support their customers.

Testing and recommendations

It was important for us to gather real customer feedback on our ideas, so our design team created prototypes to bring our initial concepts to life. Then, we tested them on people who were currently repaying debt or had repaid debt in the past. With this extra layer of insight, we were able to recommend which concepts Lowell should prioritise. The next step was exploring how they could be delivered.

Anna Baynes

Head of Digital, Lowell

Working with the 11:FS team was fun, inspirational and thought-provoking. They’re great at what they do and push the boundaries to drive out innovative ideas. We now have a new way of working for Lowell.

Using tried and tested methods for innovation

Rebuilding financial health

At the end of the process, we’d created a financial health strategy recommendation for the Lowell team, supported by a detailed product analysis.

Since working together, the Lowell team have successfully partnered with TransUnion, Snoop and entitledto to help their customers rebuild their credit scores, save money and access additional financial support.

And that’s just the start. Taking a longer-term view with their technology strategy has allowed the team to put critical building blocks in place, rather than creating siloed offerings that add to technical debt.

But most importantly, 11:FS was able to show the company a new way of looking at ideas and innovation in a more coordinated and focused fashion. The Lowell team now boasts a Proposition Development Framework that balances customer demand with commercial benefit, as well as a roadmap with the potential to make a genuine difference to their customers’ lives.

What we delivered

  • Delivered a financial health strategy recommendation

  • Unlocked new partnership opportunities for Lowell

  • Brought a new approach to ideas and innovation to the table

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