CASE STUDY: Spendster 

By radically redirecting a program, we found the simplest—and best—solution.


The client:
For over a quarter of a century, National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) has been committed to forward-thinking financial education. Today NEFE is the leading private foundation dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision-making for individuals and families through every stage of life. Spendster is NEFE’s educational program to reach Americans with spending problems—impulse shoppers, over-spenders and those who just buy too much.

The challenge:
In 2015, we were enlisted to provide strategic guidance for Spendster’s slacking impact. NEFE’s goal: to develop a content and educational program that would provide valuable help for overspenders.

The strategy:
After reviewing the program and researching the market, we redirected the program’s main point of connection to what would be most helpful for the user group.

We evaluated the current program, its reach, what was working, and what wasn’t. We interviewed key stakeholders to understand the existing program and where it came from. Then we conducted research to investigate what, if anything, people might be interested in for help with spending issues. Did consumers even think it was an issue? The consensus: Consumers were interested, but it had to be easy, simple to use and available to them without too much thought. With that information, we explored what technology and delivery was working successfully in other helping or educational fields. We explored outreach program ideas, national campaign approaches, and outlined two-year and five-year program plans. We concluded by meshing what people were asking for in terms of help and the technological delivery methods available. Our insights were presented in a 42-page report that explained perspective shifts that would more directly reach and help the targeted audience.

Plans are being made to implement the new direction for 2016.