Nedbank Insurance

Nedbank commissioned design research in support of an IoT product concept. Tenaka was tasked with testing key assumptions relating to the value proposition as well as validating early stage ideas around the pre-contemplation and contemplation stages of the customer journey.

The research showed that two thirds of respondents were interested in the solution (product-market fit), as well as highlighting differences around value perception. We created customer personas and collaborated on journey maps based on our research findings. The solution has since been launched to the Nedbank Home Loans customer segment with installations across South Africa.

The challenge

Nedbank Insurance proposed that a large number of geyser-related insurance claims could be prevented using smart geyser technology in the form of a geyser sensor – both a means of generating early warning signs of geyser issues, as well as a step towards home automation.

Our job was to establish product-market fit: are homeowners concerned about geyser-related issues and would they welcome technology that kept them in touch with their geysers better?

Our design challenge (the fundamental challenge we aimed to solve) was: How might we establish desirability for smart geyser technology among middle-income South Africans?

Our approach

We conducted in-depth interviews, sent out surveys and did secondary research. The purpose of the secondary research was to better understand:

  • the current internet of things (IoT) landscape
  • beliefs and behaviour around geyser use
  • possible barriers to uptake of the technology.

To make sense of the data, we used affinity mapping and created codes using data analysis software, which allowed us to rapidly explore relationships between data points and groups.

Our solution

Our findings included that the market holds different beliefs around energy consumption – some based on myth – but they share a need for convenience and control; and that motivations for and approaches to saving energy vary. We created customer personas and journey maps that accommodated the varying needs and beliefs of the market, ensuring that the voice of the customer is immortalised and reflected upon at all stages of their interaction with the solution. These artefacts are working documents, and the journey maps serve as a blueprint for Nedbank to refer to and update as they implement the solution and learn through ongoing feedback from their customers.

The result

Nedbank Insurance’s smart geyser app went live, giving customers both the ability to control geyser electricity usage through the app on their cellphones and peace of mind that they are in a position to reduce damage resulting from geyser bursts.


Nedbank Insurance


Concept testing; customer personas; journey mapping