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Thrivent's teal and magenta gradient over an image of seven students graduating.

Thrivent:
Putting a dent in the student debt crisis

Overview

Thrivent Financial is a Fortune 300 mission-driven financial services company that encourages its members to “be wise with money.” Over the past three years, Highland has helped Thrivent research, design, and build digital products that connect the organization with a new generation of members.

  1. Ear icon Research
  2. Eye icon Design
  3. Hand icon Build
Three Thrivent Dashboard views: Milestones, TSR Dashboard, and Goals

Challenge

With an ambitious vision and a call to expand their member base, several business units across the Thrivent enterprise sought to develop new products and services that would help them connect with younger audiences—from Millennial parents to Gen Z high school students.

Research

We used journey mapping and the Jobs to be Done research methods to understand the push and pull forces driving potential members of the Gen Z and Millenial generations to action.

By examining journeys and jobs, we identified several opportunities to better serve the financial needs of teens, young adults, and parents of young children.

Design

As we tested prototypes and analyzed research, it was clear that Gen Zs and Millennials needed a better way to prepare for and pay for college.

In a crowded space of college loan providers dominated by institutions looking to make as much money as possible, Thrivent decided to take a counter-market position. They created a digital platform to help students better understand their financial options so that they could take out as few loans as possible.

Build

We developed the platform using Agile and Kanban methods, allowing designers and developers to rapidly adapt to new learnings about user needs. By developing on OutSystems low-code development platform, we were able to save time and money, getting the product to market in just three months.

Wise with Money Journey prievew image

Journey Mapping

We created journey maps to understand the financial journeys of Millennial parents and Gen Z students. These maps allowed us to identify gaps in that journey and build a digital product that addressed a real customer need.

Rapid Prototyping

Our practice of collecting ongoing user feedback and testing site features before fully building them out saved Thrivent tens of thousands of dollars in development costs.

“I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the Highland partnership. Our team never missed a beat. I couldn’t have been happier with the mindshare they devoted to our products and our users.”
Jennifer Vaillancourt
Manager, Marketing and Curriculum Delivery, Thrivent Student Resources
Thrivent icons. Top row, Left to Right: a coin with a graduation cap, a piggy bank, fist clenching a document, a bell with a clock, Bottom: a calculator, an envelope with money, a lightbulb, a magnifying glass.

Results

Trending up, up, and up

Thrivent Student Resources has been one of Thrivent's most successful digital innovation projects to date, far exceeding the company's original user adoption goals. In the two years after product launch, over 30,000 students used the new product to learn about reducing debt.

3 months from prototype to launch

300% amount we exceeded user adoption goals

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Want to learn more?

For over 20 years, our team of designers, developers, and strategists have helped organizations turn their biggest uncertainties into opportunities for growth. Ready to get started?

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