If you were to examine some of the big winners in the innovation game, companies like Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, and WeWork, you might notice a common denominator that unifies them: transformation.

They each took something we all had in our lives, and transformed it into something new and cutting-edge, while still remaining familiar and accessible to all. They made their mark in the world by doing what may have originally been perceived as reinventing the wheel, but ultimately became known as being genius, or even long overdue.

Shai Wininger, who previously founded Fiverr, co-founded American insurance company Lemonade with Daniel Schreiber. They realized that when you take a look at industries that users don't feel the warmest sentiment towards, the insurance industry is at the top. Not many people would claim to actually love their insurance company. Shai and Daniel took a step back, analyzed the way traditional insurance companies operate, then transformed the traditional insurance business model while building Lemonade. 

Lemonade, which was founded in 2015, uses AI and chatbots to deliver insurance policies and handle claims efficiently via desktop and mobile. Insurance brokers and bureaucracies are replaced with bots and machine learning, which eliminates the need for long phone calls and paperwork. They positioned themselves not as an insurance company that does tech, but as a tech company that does insurance. The company has grown 1,000 percent year-by-year, has $180 million in funding, and a loyal community of users.

If you analyze Lemonade's strategy across the board, one basic principle keeps showing its face, a principle every entrepreneur has to internalize and implement. Simply put? A user-first experience.

Put Users First

Build your product with the user experience in mind. Ask yourself questions like, "How can this be further simplified? How can this be more beautiful? How can I give my users more power?"

I remember sitting with Shai just a few weeks before Lemonade launched in 2016, and he gave me a demo. Even the earliest version of the product, before the 570+ enhancements since, was remarkably beautiful. I was in complete adoration of the UX. The layout was simple and tasteful, and I appreciated the implementation of a chatbot -- It felt familiar and approachable.

Most of us could agree that one of the biggest pain points of traditional insurance companies is the fact that interactions can be intimidating and time-consuming, leaving consumers powerless. Not the case with Lemonade. They started by thinking about the users and built from there.

This is an example all entrepreneurs should follow. Implement a user-centered design and approach which eliminates the pain points they have become accustomed to. Make the product natural to pick up on. Offer your users an incentive for their loyalty. Through it all- don't forget to maintain a balance between their needs, and your company's needs.

Create Insightful Content Users Want

Create helpful educational content to share with your target demographics. Make sure it is truly insightful, easy to consume, and non-promotional. This method of original content creation plays a strong role in collectively turning users into brand ambassadors. Plus, it will establish your brand as a thought leader, and solidify your credibility and digital presence.

Lemonade has used this formula to produce high quality informative content since day one. It is often not even about insurance. By playing the long game, they created an actual fanbase that managed to extend far beyond their user base. Think not of what content you want to promote as a company but rather, what content users want to consume.

Keep It Simple

Entrepreneurs complicate things too often, with the hope of sounding more sophisticated. In reality, this often accomplishes the opposite. Users, people like simplicity.

Lemonade, as a name, is brilliant in its simplicity. Each step along the customer journey? Also simple. Their content? Simple to digest.

Entrepreneurs should take a close look at Lemonade's example when building their brands and transforming industries.

Published on: Oct 18, 2018