LumenLab, MetLife’s only global innovation center focusing on digital disruption, aims to generate new revenue streams from new business models and digital capabilities that will transform the company and its employees’ mindset, resulting in measurable shareholder value creation. Through the multiple ideas we incubated last year, Lumen lab have demonstrated an ability to execute projects fast using the test and learn process, proving that our innovation process is robust and effective. Lumen Lab workshops and bootcamps continue to be in demand, and we have started to share the process and framework with other countries within the MetLife family.
LumenLab is driving value growth for MetLife
LumenLab, MetLife’s only global innovation center focusing on digital disruption, aims to generate new revenue streams from new business models and digital capabilities that will transform the company and its employees’ mindset, resulting in measurable shareholder value creation.Operating a portfolio of digital businesses, this submission collectively offers the full remit of LumenLab and its digital businesses as a single strategic digital innovation project, differing in scope and ambition from other one-off digital projects that attempt to only incrementally evolve the waning existing business model.
Insurance is ripe for disruption. This product-centric industry is often ranked as one of the least digitally enabled. Providers rarely engage with customers, leaving themselves open to being disintermediated. Its valuations are, on multiples of earnings basis, in the bottom decile of major industries because analysts cannot see growth. LumenLab’s mandate is to disrupt insurance from within.
A key tenet in the transformation is that LumenLab is helping MetLife establish a growth mindset across the region. This mindset is a beacon that reorients our company around the customer and encourages our talent to explore and to experiment to find new routes to value.
LumenLab’s portfolio of businesses targets Asian customers’ needs in digital health, ageing, and FinTech. To illustrate, LumenLab launched BerryQ (www.berryq.com) a health quiz platform that engages customers by driving health awareness on mobile devices. MetLife can now acquirehard-to-find leads of health conscious customers at one-tenth the cost. Another example is the transparency-based insurance awareness platform called Misir (www.misir.guru). Misir reached over 1.3 million Bangladeshi consumers through Facebook posts with a 5.5% engagement rate (amongst the highest for Bangladesh) and its portal ranks among the top 150 websites in Bangladesh.
LumenLab’s capabilities are innovative because all proposed initiatives follow the Test & Learn methodology unique to LumenLab. Its foundations are similar to agile and Lean Startup methodologies. The process defines innovation as exploration and experimentation. Two of the key tools are Customers Insights and Pretotyping. This allows MetLife Asia to propose an initial solution to a specific problem, and then refine the solution or product as experiences accumulated through “test and learn”. Like other stage-gate financing entities like VCs, LumenLab has adopted a portfolio approach to diversify risks. Innovative ideas receive funding for testing at the initial stage if they pass early “sniff” test based on customer insights.
Our Leadership Programmes based on the LumenLab Test & Learn methodology contribute significantly to MetLife’s innovation capabilities. It comprises a series of training workshops, bootcamps and competitions, embedded with the ethos of putting the customer at the heart of everything the company does. These undertakings promote innovation and encourage employees to actively spearhead new and disruptive projects.
As with many other industries, there is a direct correlation between the degree to which the company is eternally-oriented and focused on customers and its growth. As the only insurance Lab in Asia focused on disruptive innovation, LumenLab is unique with its own brand, internal ideas and a dedicated execution team. Crucially, LumenLab has established its own identity and culture and KPIs partly as a result of the fact that it only has dedicated resources (22 people, 100% focused on innovation) and its own space (7800 Square feet in Singapore). Perhaps most impressively, the span of talent in the innovators at LumenLab is unparalleled with innovators coming from a wide span of industries, with proven corporate achievements and startup exits, and forming a diverse elite group of do-ers that would take years for another company to assemble.
One way to dimensionalize LumenLab is to look at its media recognition, revenue generation, customer engagement and lead generation for MetLife.
- Media recognition: According to EPIC PR, the launch of LumenLab generated buzz for MetLife Asia achieving 34 unique press mentions with a total reach of 28,397,000 readers.
- Revenue generation: BerryQ proved successful in its first efforts at commercialization within the first two months of launch, bringing it a step closer to the key aim of achieving 10 million USD worth of revenue in year 3.
- Customer engagement: Projects such as Misir Guru result in a positive brand awareness that has a spillover effect to MetLife, as demonstrated by its high customer engagement rate for Bangladesh market, close to 5 times the average as per JWT’s marketing agency in Bangladesh. Their 10,000 Facebook users exhibit an engagement rate of 6.2% in comparison to the Bangladesh average of 1%-2%.
- Lead Generation:After witnessing BerryQ’s success in terms of customer engagement, it will soon be launchedin countries where MetLife operates to create lead generation. Misir already provided leads to MetLife Bangladesh from users of the platform.
In embracing an innovation culture, the key metrics were the number of sessions of aforementioned workshops as well as bootcamps delivered and the satisfaction score by the participant.
- Sessions delivered: LumenLab responded to the overwhelming demand for innovation from our employees across MetLife Asia by successfully delivery 20 sessions during the first year.
- Score obtained: The mean score received was 92% for workshops and 93% for bootcamps. The two most recent sessions scored 100% (Southeast Asia) and 98% (Japan). These feedback scores are simply outstanding, well above the average of about 60%-70% normally achieved for training and clearly multiple standard deviations above mean.
LumenLab has developed an innovation curriculum and established a process for initiating and managing new ideas that is extensible to other parts of MetLife. Through the multiple ideas we incubated last year, we have demonstrated an ability to execute projects fast using the test and learn process, proving that our innovation process is robust and effective. Our workshops and bootcamps continue to be in demand, and we have started to share the process and framework with other countries within the MetLife family. The impact to LumenLab is starting to be felt across the globe, giving credence to our assertion that we are positively impacting shareholder value creation.