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Many health insurance companies were scrambling to find ways to reach consumers as the new Healthcare Reform went into effect, October 1, 2013. B… Read More
Many health insurance companies were scrambling to find ways to reach consumers as the new Healthcare Reform went into effect, October 1, 2013. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City sought a solution to maintain its lead in the local market by introducing retail outlets throughout the area. We were asked to help develop the retail experience along with their architect, Helix Architecture. Read Less
Published:
LiveBlue KC | Making Health Insurance more accessible to consumers
Brand Experience by Willoughby Design, Architecture and Interior Design by Helix Architecture. Photo taken by Michael Robinson.
BACKGROUND
Many health insurance companies were scrambling to find ways to reach consumers as the new Healthcare Reform went into effect, October 1, 2013. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City sought a solution to maintain its lead in the local market by introducing retail outlets throughout the area. We were asked to help develop the retail experience along with their architect, Helix Architecture.
Website UX/UI concept
APPROACH
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.
 
We then worked on developing the Business Model for the retail concept. Along with the architect, CEO and BCBS retail group, we considered various combinations of retail community space and sales functions for the space. What came from this exploration was a balance of a community-gathering place centered around wellness and a place to seek information and support for the seemingly complex world of health insurance.

Willoughby then developed a communication platform and theme that was used in designing and communicating the space: Be Well, Be Informed, Be Inspired. The last part, “inspired” is the goal for developing relationships with Blue members that can inspire others. After exploring a range of names from the straightforward “The BlueKC Store” to metaphorical - “LivingRoom” we selected Live Blue. It reinforced the brand, connected to a new Live Fearless campaign and made it more approachable as a lifestyle center instead of a store.
 
The team wanted an inviting space that didn’t look like a used car sales floor. 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 using sports equipment including jumping ropes, skateboards and racquetballs. In order to draw people into LiveBlue we needed to provide a range of events and classes that connected back to the brand. Members and non-members can register for Yoga or Zumba for beginners, or attend seminars on how the new healthcare reform changes. 
A healthy product showcase invites passersby with a curated selection of products, apps and equipment for healthier habits. The "Cross and Shield" are made from racquetballs.Brand Experience by Willoughby Design, Architecture and Interior Design by Helix Architecture. Signage fabricated by Dimensional Innovations. Photo taken by Michael Robinson.
Application concept to extend retail and health coaching component beyond the store.
The Calendar wall was designed for flexibility with moveable and erasable surfaces that hang on simple wall hooks. Each surface is double-sided with the illustrations helping to fill empty dates.
Brand Experience by Willoughby Design, Architecture and Interior Design by Helix Architecture.  Illustration by Tad Carpenter. Signage fabricated by Dimensional Innovations. Photo taken by Michael Robinson.
The living room provides place for visitors to learn more about BlueKC products and information on ipads and brochure or for casual conversation with LiveBlue guides. The "Cross and Shield" are created from layered planes of jump ropes.
Brand Experience by Willoughby Design, Architecture and Interior Design by Helix Architecture. Signage fabricated by Dimensional Innovations. Photo taken by Michael Robinson.
Detail of Cross and Shield made from layered jump ropes.
Brand Experience by Willoughby Design, Architecture and Interior Design by Helix Architecture. Signage fabricated by Dimensional Innovations. Photo taken by Michael Robinson.
The multi-purpose room can accommodate introductory health classes like Intro to Zumba, Yoga. The blue felt panels slide to cover the mirror to convert the space for workshops, meetings and lectures.
Brand Experience by Willoughby Design, Architecture and Interior Design by Helix Architecture. Signage fabricated by Dimensional Innovations. Photo taken by Michael Robinson.
Interface concept for an online health coaching platform.
The kids area features tear-off coloring pads that depict a scene of Kansas City landmarks and healthy living. The illustration is by Tad Carpenter.
Brand Experience by Willoughby Design, Architecture and Interior Design by Helix Architecture. Signage fabricated by Dimensional Innovations. Photo taken by Michael Robinson.
Illustrations by Tad Carpenter
Skateboard Benches by Kem Studio with custom BlueKC logo motif decals.
RESULT
Since opening the first prototype in August, there has been a steady stream of visitors, made up of 60% members and 40% non-members, that is picking up. Introductory fitness classes are popular as are appearances by local professional athletes.
 
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.