Implementation of an ecosystem strategy for financial services: More customer focus, more product innovation, rapid transformation

Case Study


The first objective of our project was to review the strategy for its market impact: Is this strategy sufficient to successfully meet current and anticipated customer expectations? Can the customers receive all relevant financial products from their bank, with adequate advice, enabling the bank to expand its business potential and retain its loyal customer base? 

The second objective was the successful implementation of this strategy on the operational level, especially among employees who have lacked awareness of the problem and have been hesitant about the upcoming changes. Some bank employees call for necessary changes, fully aware of customer demands that cannot be met and concerned about the bank’s competitiveness, even fearing for their jobs or career paths. However, other employees see no advantage in this new portfolio, perceiving the expansion merely as an additional burden and rejecting it. To date, sufficient communication from the bank’s management has been lacking, as has the internal team exchange to build the necessary sales knowledge, resulting in an increasingly negative mood within the bank. 


In the first step, we worked with the bank during an extensive discovery phase to articulate customer requirements and expectations: What do customers expect from their bank? How do they perceive the current product and service range, and how relevant are the existing gaps? How suitable would the planned expansion of the product portfolio be in bridging these gaps? 

Key findings revealed that customers were surprised and disappointed by the non-competitive high-interest products, particularly in financing. They expressed a desire for central, trusted, and competent advisors who understand their life situation and assist in providing optimal solutions. The source of the solutions was secondary, as long as the products were competitive and handled by the trusted employees of our client. The planned expanded product portfolio was seen as attractive and capable of significantly reducing the need to consult other banks. 

In the second phase, we assisted the bank in successfully implementing the extended product strategy at the operational level. The focus was on mindset/motivation and empowerment, with the goal of ensuring that bank employees embrace the impending changes and are capable of mastering them. 

An action plan was developed, examining dimensions such as: 

  • Internal communication focused on the coherence and opportunities presented by the new strategy. 
  • Adjusting the incentive model to allow bank employees to better participate in the strategy’s success and boost motivation. 
  • Enhancing training and internal knowledge building to empower employees for successful customer consultations. 

The action plan was converted into an actionable implementation roadmap, which was provided to the bank for planning purposes. During implementation, our team was partially available for further support. 


The project fostered sufficient trust in the correctness of the new strategy at both leadership and team levels, leading to an acceleration in the strategic development of the partner ecosystem. Moreover, it enabled a rapid navigation through the impending transformation process and a swift winning of the “Hearts & Minds” of the operational teams.