Editor’s note: Tim Brunwin is principal ad hoc research manager, customer research and market insights at U.K-based TSB Bank. Kelly McKnight is head of trends at Manchester, U.K.-based marketing research firm Join the Dots.

TSB Bank was created to bring more competition to U.K. banking. The company’s mission is to be a real challenger to the big banks and to ultimately make banking better for all U.K. consumers. With around 5 million customers, TSB works to listen to the people and offer the products and services they need.

Before launching a new product and campaign, TSB looked to take a deep dive into the vast amount of specialist knowledge and consumer feedback held within the bank, while also ensuring that the team fully understood current consumer trends and how they might impact those products. This was done to help ensure that new products and campaigns will be rooted in customer insight and customer truths.

One of TSB’s key strategic pillars is “Borrow Well” – helping people to borrow well either through a mortgage, loan or credit card. This research project was developed to inform this important part of the business as the product teams looked to refresh and relaunch lending products.

TSB wanted to review and distill all existing customer and market insight around its lending products (and the whole area of borrowing in general) to help develop the most appropriate new products and to inform future marketing and proposition development. It was important for TSB to get an external view – to have a fresh pair of eyes look at all the information.

The brief for the research project was to identify universal customer truths around attitudes to lending that could be used to inform the Borrow Well strategy in 2017 and beyond. It was put together in conjunction with the Borrow Well team. A number of marketing research companies were asked to pitch and Join the Dots was chosen as the res...