How persona films of real people for FWD can be used to build customer understanding and improve the customer journey

FWD is a dynamic international insurance company based in Asia. In this case study, they demonstrate how video can be used to map the customer journey, help staff understand international customers and inspire colleagues to engage with the idea of customer closeness.

FWD approached VPI after recognising that agents selling their products had become disconnected and lost touch with who their customers were. FWD had conducted research with over 1500 people to develop a customer segmentation and the findings had been compiled into presentation slides and other documentation. As is so often the case, however, business models for understanding customer segments were lacking and employees had failed to engage with the research, having little time or inclination to read through.

In order to address these challenges, VPI set out to gain insights into a few of FWD’s key customer segments, considering their lifestyles, attitudes, behaviours, priorities and emotional needs – as well as their experience of FWD’s digital services to map the online customer journey. To avoid yet more un-inspiring documentation, FWD commissioned VPI to collaborate on a number of insight videos that would help staff throughout the organisation get closer with key customer segments.

Client Testimonial

“We were delighted with the end product, the quality of the output.”
FWD Assistant Vice President, Group Customer Experience

Learn More

Stage 1 – Mapping the customer journey

For the first stage, VPI filmed a one-day workshop with pre-recruited respondents from Segment G; a group comprising of young professionals who were not yet buying insurance products but would be doing so in the near future.

A scenario was created where representatives of Segment G were asked to take out life insurance online. They were asked to browse the FWD company website and discuss their thoughts at all points of the customer journey ending in taking out a policy.

VPI filmed respondents engaging in this task, capturing their thoughts and feelings throughout the process. It became clear from the footage that as the group were unfamiliar with insurance products, the website needed to be clearer and contain more detail. In the final edit, VPI highlighted specific pain points that left Segment G feeling “overwhelmed” and “confused”, indicating where FWD could provide more support and improve the customer experience.

Stage 2 – Customer FWD Persona Films

The second stage was critical for FWD to enrich their understanding of customers through the development of customer personas. The objective was to make customers more accessible, relatable and human to their staff.

FWD wanted to develop a rich and deep understanding of the emotions, needs and behaviours of their target customer segments. This understanding then needed to be communicated in a format that would resonate with and engage FWD staff to repair the disconnect that had occurred

To create the video, VPI selected recruits from Stage 1 and filmed & interviewed them in their everyday environments. One persona film was created per segment. The videos covered two key themes. Firstly, how the segment fitted into FWD’s mantra, “Celebrating Living”, which (for Segment G) included areas such as the love of travel, cooking and the outdoors. The second theme directly tackled respondents’ differing insurance needs.

Stage 3 – Capturing Colleague Reactions

The final stage comprised of a video that documented FWD’s Senior Managers and Executives watching the customer films, meeting with those customers and recording their reactions to the findings. During this session, management witnessed the key findings and learnings from the workshop, including the areas of frustration in the customer journey, the need for simpler language and the importance of being aware of the customer journey and motivations. This was critical to the process it demonstrated senior leaders’ commitment to changing for the sake of their customers.


With VPI’s help, FWD was able to map the journey from the customer’s point of view and, by connecting with their key target customer group, were able to significantly improve their customer experience. This project was essential for FWD in transforming their company culture from ‘inside out’ culture to ‘outside in’, helping “turn on the light for everyone in the organisation”.

Learn More

Jump into the Pool!

Learn more about our Vox Pops Pool, the most cost effective way to understand your audience.

Learn More