After more than half a century serving the 50-and-over population, AARP began a journey into design thinking and proved that even a cautious organization long rooted in tradition could unleash innovation. The process resulted in the evolution of LifeTurner, a new business model targeting 25- to 34-year-olds.
AARP’s desire to develop a relationship with Generation Y required an innovative process including ethnographic research and lifestyle trends analysis, concept visualization, development, and prototyping. Through engagement with customers, the cross-functional team was able to learn quickly. They won buy-in from the board by presenting ethnographic research, and ultimately designed a youthful financial planning website and online community. The project also achieved the gold award for design strategy by the Industrial Design Society of America. It’s one of various enlightening case studies in Jeanne Liedtka and Tim Ogilvie’s book, Designing for Growth – A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers.