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ESSSuper: A super brand evolution

20 February 2017

When we first met our client ESSSuper, they were facing a number of obstacles on different fronts. A melding of two superannuation brands had left them grappling with duplicate sets of legacy systems. Their growth potential was limited due to strict criteria for joining and existing ESSSuper members were difficult to get in touch with.

A dedicated fund for Victorian emergency services and state employees, ESSSuper helps to protect and grow the retirement funds of an important group of people including firefighters, police officers and public school teachers. As a super fund with a very specific remit, member engagement is crucial so they can properly equip them with information to ensure the best retirement outcome.

Together, we wanted to figure out how to improve the digital experience for members while making sure they knew where to find the relevant services for their needs. As the project grew in scope, it drew upon our three key focuses — digital strategy, branding and digital execution.

We began with an audit of both the publicly accessible site and the secure section where members can view and change the details of their superannuation.

This was an extensive process which included the creation of a detailed report that formed the business case for the super fund’s digital makeover. We undertook a comprehensive competitor analysis and drew insights from looking at leading customer portals from superannuation, banking, insurance and social media.

Members Online

We started with a wireframe for each page which was user tested and refined before completing the final page design.

The finished report made these insights accessible to an audience unused to assessing digital projects and was presented to the Board of Directors. Liquorice Managing Director, Scott Bonnano says “We really try to focus on making digital ‘talk’ make sense. There’s a lot of jargon in the industry which gets in the way of providing clear, practical information that clients can actually use. Part of our digital strategy process is about helping clients better understand their options when it comes to digital, so that they can make informed decisions for their businesses”.

ESSSuper Website - Desktop
ESSSuper Website - Tablet
ESSSuper Website - Mobile
ESSSuper Website - Desktop
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The digital strategy project deliverables initially included a single in-depth report and a conceptual mock up of the new site. The early web design concepts were so well received that Liquorice were engaged to complete a brand refresh for ESSSuper’s offline and online communication material.

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Moving to mobile

Our research had shown that a rapidly growing portion of users were accessing the site through their mobile devices, presenting a clear case for a responsive build. We did a lot of advocacy work and education around what this would mean in practice and how it would impact the design process, including the production of an interactive prototype of the site so that UX testing could be undertaken with ESSSuper members.

Another focus area was keeping costs manageable – we wanted to concentrate the budget on the areas where Liquorice could be most valuable. The project called for a redesign to both the public site and the members site. Rather than executing the build, we designed each site and oversaw the work of ESSSuper’s existing development team. This allowed ESSSuper to reuse some of their existing technology while launching sites which felt completely new.

Charts and graphs were redesigned to compliment the new light typography and colour palette.

Reflecting on a year of work, Scott says: “The challenge with a digital strategy project like this isn’t finding and recommending new technologies, it’s anticipating the flow-on effects of these technologies into a business’ existing systems and workflows. To provide ESSSuper with a solution that was practical we had to spend time with their members and with their marketing and IT teams to understand how each user would interact with the website and design an effective solution that could cater for all of them”.

...the latest satisfaction benchmarking we received, the website was the most recalled change to the fund in the last year, and satisfaction with the site rose by around 10% to a 4.6 out of 5.

Dave Roberts — Digital Marketing Specialist, ESSSuper

Our work provided ESSSuper with a clear path to achieving enhanced member engagement through a staged approach which gave them the opportunity to review staff and member feedback along the way.

We were happy to collaborate with ESSSuper to reach a result that everyone involved was thrilled with. If there's a digital journey you'd like a partner on, please drop us a line.




Digital Strategy



Design: Andrew Fiscalini, Angus Tait, Jim Yencken

Account Management: Gabby Howard, Jim Yencken

Digital Strategy: Jim Yencken

Web Development: ESSSuper, Elcom

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