New York Life

The Start of a Consumer-Centric Approach for New York Life

Re-Architecting 170 Years of Success for Today’s Evolving Expectations and Opportunities

New York Life, the nation’s largest mutual life insurance company, came to us with its core business was at an inflection point. While life insurance sales continue to grow year over year at New York Life, the industry as a whole has experienced a 45% decline in sales in the last 20 years. To ensure the stability and growth of their core business, and as a result, maintain their highly successful investments business—New York Life needed to modernize their approach. Proprietary products, sold by career agents, backed by thoughtful long-term investment strategies—had built success for over 170 years. However, to maintain their relevance and success in today’s evolving market, they had to move away from being a product-focused company to a customer-first company. The key was to achieve this without alienating their agent-led competitive advantage or adding risk. New York Life wanted to enable customers to better understand how the company could meet their individual needs—which meant seeing the brand as one they could trust to build and protect their financial futures.

  1. Communicate relevance to a new generation of consumers, while adhering to FINRA regulations.
  2. Move multiple lines of business from various technology platforms onto a unified AEM platform that would allow each group to leverage systematic design and experience systems.
  3. Help NYL move from an entrenched Sales Company to a Sales and Service Company.
  4. Build and enhance micro-conversions to better understand path-to-purchase and tailor content and experiences directly to them.
  5. Move NYL to an omni-channel approach, supporting 12,000 career agents without affecting their positioning in the sales process.
Pasted image 1
Pasted image

Defining a New Ecosystem and Approach to Data

A change of this size could only be undertaken with a deep knowledge of NYL’s diverse and complicated business structure(s) and its multitude of legacy platforms. Across all lines of business, Code and Theory outlined their current state. Then we developed a vision for a simplified future that was strongly customer-centric—but also considered the company's 20,000+ employees and agents to be key members of the audience model.

The primary goal was to design an ecosystem that could scale to accommodate all lines of business, CRMs, customer portals, partner providers, agents, DOBs and general offices. We needed a strategy that would create both customer relevancy and business efficiencies, from search to underwriting—all with a clean data view across interactions. Plus, we needed a unified content approach that progressed NYL’s messaging and adapted to their users’ ever-growing needs and levels of understanding.

Pasted image 2

Choosing enterprise platforms like AEM and Salesforce provided a clean base on which to build the next generation of the NYL digital ecosystem. From an experience standpoint, we could ensure flexibility, while systematizing and simplifying the back-of-house process for simple day-to-day management. Tying both platforms together was a robust analytics strategy that enabled NYL to steadily build customer knowledge and relationships through micro-conversions (either on-site or through direct contact).

Outfitting our clients with self-reliant digital systems includes building systems that enable self-governance, centralized management and ultimately the ability to scale according to their needs.

Component and Template Library

Utilizing atomic design principles allowed us to rapidly design and develop systematic elements, components and templates that enable maintenance at scale, continuous iteration and optimization over time. This library, complete with annotations, history and use cases, is found in the Living Style Guide. This document allows NYL and other vendors to easily access and evolve their digital ecosystem and reference the codified design system.

Taxonomy

Combining the needs of content strategy, user experience, analytics and development, we created a taxonomy to understand and track visitors—letting us deliver the right message, to the right audience, at the right time.

Copywriting and Media Development

To remain consumer-focused and ensure our new content and pathing strategies performed well, we developed copy guidelines and media assets for various use cases; these were based on audits, search data, audience development and assessments that determined which content to migrate, sunset or rewrite.

Editorial Guidelines and Editorial Calendars

We worked with content publishers throughout the organization to determine editorial marketing needs, and then developed guidelines to enable well-considered, self-sufficient content production.

Since launch, we’ve enhanced the NYL website through a process of test, learn, iterate and launch. We’ve created many new on-site experiences using multi-variant testing, allowing for a robust set of data to select success criteria based on customer engagement and usage. Utilizing this methodology, NYL has been able to keep up with their customers’ needs, while adhering to its core business strategy.

NYL’s website is now a tool to initiate business ideas and approaches that guide their ongoing organic growth towards a unified goal. Code and Theory has set up a multi-tenant solution that allows NYL to continue to expand the system design across multiple lines of businesses, customer portals for consumers and financial advisors, and into the application, pre- and post-purchase, tracking, and underwriting experiences.

Set Up For Long-Term Success

We scaffolded NYL with the tools, workflows and governance to optimize the site over time and continuously report on progress to the organization. We decreased their reliance on third-party vendors by training their in-house team, who now owns their analytics, optimization and testing capabilities.

  • 3x growth of dedicated digital analytics and optimization
  • 7.3x increased A/B testing and personalization activities in adobe target

A Modern Approach to Marketing

Because of our platform, NYL can now optimize previous marketing campaign work, moving from a legacy approach of static marketing content to more dynamic and engaging content. This shift featured deeper UX thinking, more meaningful interactions, abetter linking strategy, and more site integrations to explain complex products in a compelling way—ultimately leading to an increase in data capture.

Screen Shot 2019 09 27 at 3 29 11 PM

Continue toThe Things We MakeProject

Evolving the Financial Services Model

We're transforming an antiquated industry through cutting-edge design—and driving the future of finance forward.

CBRE| The digital infrastructure for the biggest commercial real-estate firm

Building a digital infrastructure for the world’s biggest commercial real-estate firm

<p><span>Building a digital infrastructure for the world’s biggest commercial real-estate firm</span><br /></p>

A new vision and design direction breaking the mold in commercial real estate.

Read More
SOM| Designing a Site For The Legacy of Architecture’s Most Prolific Firm

A Site Fit For The Legacy of Architecture's Most Prolific Firm

<p>A Site Fit For The Legacy of Architecture's Most Prolific Firm<br /></p>

A redesigned website that communicates SOM is more than just projects.

Read More
CB BG 01
College Board

Positioning the College Board as an Integrated Partner for Students, Parents and Educators

An integrated student, parent and educator experience

Read More

A Bold Vision for Healthcare

Code and Theory reimagines how healthcare is experienced for patients and providers.

Rally| Elevating the site experience for a crypto pioneer.

Elevating the site experience for a crypto pioneer.

<p><strong>Elevating the site experience</strong> for a crypto pioneer.</p>

Elevating the site experience for a crypto pioneer.

Read More
Spotify| Building a bigger funnel to help artists grow on Spotify

Building a bigger funnel to help artists grow on Spotify

<p><strong>Building a bigger funnel </strong>to help artists grow on Spotify</p>

Building a bigger funnel to help artists grow on Spotify

Read More
G 2
Bustle Digital Group

Gawker | Don't call it a comeback.

An entertaining and engaging experience, all while still bringing a touch of class and sophistication.

Read More

Travel & Hospitality

Brand USA | Amplifying the USA as an International Travel Destination

Nylon| Re-introducing an Iconic Publishing Brand

Re-introducing an Iconic Publishing Brand

<p><strong>Re-introducing </strong>an Iconic Publishing Brand</p>

Re-introducing an Iconic Publishing Brand

Read More
Input| A Brand New Destination About Technology in Our Lives

A Brand New Destination About Technology in Our Lives

<p><strong>A Brand New Destination </strong>About Technology in Our Lives</p>

A Brand New Destination About Technology in Our Lives

Read More
Ad Age 0023Ad Age 0023Digiday1 0039

Recognition

  • Code and Theory

    Ad Age

    2020 Agency A-List
  • Code and Theory

    Ad Age

    2020 Best Places to Work
  • Code and Theory

    DIGIDAY

    2019 Creative Agency of the Year

All Work

Spotify | Building a bigger funnel to help artists grow on Spotify

Bustle Digital Group | Gawker | Don't call it a comeback

Rally | Elevating the site experience for a crypto pioneer.

SOM | Designing a Site For The Legacy of Architecture’s Most Prolific Firm

Amazon Ads | A campaign as big as Amazon

Bustle Digital Group | Mic | Stories that fuel curiosity, creativity, and change

J.P. Morgan | The First End-To-End Digital Platform in Commercial Real Estate

CBRE | The digital infrastructure for the biggest commercial real-estate firm

College Board | Positioning the College Board as an Integrated Partner for Students

adidas Superstar | Change Is A Team Sport

Bustle Digital Group | Modern Storytelling for Bustle Digital Group

Dean & Deluca | Connected Physical and Digital Gourmet Grocery Experiences

adidas Running | Bringing In-The-Moment Running Experiences to Boost Product Discovery

Vogue | A Fresh New Look for Vogue.com

The Commonwealth Fund | Rebuilding a 100-year-old Foundation for the Next Century

Fitbit | A New Customer Experience for Fitbit.com

William Hill Estate | Putting Chardonnay on Trend

Chandon | Repositioning the Brand for a Millennial Audience

adidas Originals James Harden | Launching the Next Chapter in Adidas Basketball

adidas Originals Nite Jogger | A Digital Campaign Ecosystem that Brings Alive Creativity at Night

adidas Running | Pushing Forward for Ultraboost 19

Washington Football Team | Charting a New Path for an Iconic Institution. Together.

Quest Diagnostics | Reinventing the Quest Digital Patient Experience

Scarlet | Launching an On-Demand Healthcare Offering During a Pandemic

National Council on Aging (NCOA) | A Personalized Digital Experience for America's Older Adults

NBC Olympics | 16 Days With the World's Biggest Website

NBC Sports | Going Local: An NBC Sports App to Connect Fans and Home Teams

Morton Salt | Putting More Salt on US Tables

Rockwell Group | Behind the Design of Rockwell Group

Xywav | A Flexible Component Library for the Jazz Brand

Mailchimp | Launching the New Digital Home for Tomorrow's Filmmakers

MetLife Investment Management | A New Platform for the Industry Powerhouse

The Venetian | Redefining Luxury in Las Vegas

Nexstar Media Group | Helping 130+ Local News Stations Transition to Digital

StuyTown | Human Design Built for Scale

Mailchimp | A Digital Platform for Emerging Writers and Creators

Giffords | Launching a Powerful Resource to Spark Action on Gun Violence

CNN | Understanding American Elections, One Visualization at a Time

Dignity Health | Delivering a Best-In-Class Digital Experience

PGIM | Unifying PGIM's Global Asset Management Network

Xerox | Making Now Work: A New Campaign for a New Time

Eurosport | Bringing Live Sports to the Palm of Your Hand

MCM | Using Data to Empower an Iconic Luxury Brand for Growth

Moncler | Bridging the Audience Gap with Moncler

CoinDesk | Relaunching a Pillar of the Blockchain Community

Nasdaq MarketSite | Nasdaq's Global HQ in NYC Gets a Pervasive Digital Infusion

J.P. Morgan | Powering the Financial Leader's Acquisition Engine

BBC News | Finite News Optimized for the Video Generation

The Council on Foreign Relations | Modernizing the Digital Presence of a Storied Institution

Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library | Defining the New Digital Museum Experience

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco | A Modern Identity System Uniting Two Eclectic Museums

The Jewish Museum | Bridging the Museum's Physical and Digital Experiences

Input | A Brand New Destination About Technology in Our Lives

Nylon | Re-introducing an Iconic Publishing Brand

Sky Italia | A Modern Digital Experience for the Italian Media Platform

United Technologies | Uniting a Quarter Million Employees Under One Platform

One Night | An App Experience Fit for One Night of Spontaneity

Facebook | Digital Tools to Revive and Inspire the Journalism Industry

Xfinity Mobile | Launching Comcast's Category-Breaking Mobile Service

MotorTrend | A Gaming App Experience for Car Connoisseurs

Burger King | Creating a Movement by Bringing Back Burger King's Chicken Fries

Variety Magazine | Rebuilding Variety's Online Experience

Condé Nast | Distinguishing GQ France as a Leading Lifestyle Voice for French Men

Burger King | A 360 Campaign Rewarding March Madness Fans

Hearst | Creating a Differentiated Yet Useful Site Experience

Hearst | Matching Hearst's Digital Experience to Its Physical Publications

InStyle | Building a New, Responsive InStyle.com

Finlandia | Creating a Digital Campaign Toasting the Less Ordinary Aspects of Life

LA Times | The Los Angeles Times Makeover

NBC Universal | NBCUniversal.com

Outernet | Outernet Satellite Dish

Bloomberg | A Completely Original Take on Political Coverage

Starwood | Maximizing Preferred Guest Rewards Redemption

NY.gov | A New Online Presence for New York State

The Webby Awards | An Inspiring New Digital Home for the Arbiters of the Best on the Web

DSQUARED | A New Online Experience for International Fashion House DSQUARED2

San Francisco Travel Association | Creating a Product Worthy of One of Earth's Most Beautiful Places

The Green Bay Packers | A Game-Changing Mobile Experience

Guggenheim Partners | A United Digital Vision for an Innovative Investment Manager

The Huffington Post | A Redesign for the 10th Anniversary

H&R Block | A New Tax Offering for Expats

SiriusXM | Creating a Sophisticated Product Rooted in SiriusXM Content

Visit California | Experience California Like Never Before

Globe And Mail | The Globe and Mail Adopts a Responsive Philosophy

Bloomberg | Creating a Smarter, Faster Bloomberg.com

G6 Hospitality | A New, Reliable and Efficient Motel6.com

Vanity Fair | Transforming a Summit Site into a Responsive, Flexible Destination

Bloomberg | A High-Impact Ad Strategy for Bloomberg Media

H&R Block | A Tool for Doubling the Speed of Tax Completion

Stylight | Making Style Happen by Crafting an Unforgettable Brand Experience

LBCI | Setting the Benchmark for Future Lebanese Digital Experiences

New York State Senate | A Digital Platform for Transparency, Engagement and Communication

H&R Block | Block Advisors, a Financial Planning Service Built Around You

Communication Arts | A New Era for the Iconic Inspirational Hub

Burger King | Introducing Grilled Dogs with Snoop Dogg

WWE | Building a Content Platform for Heavy Lifting

International Rescue Committee | A Responsive Site for the World's First Responders

HearstLive | The World From a Hearst Point of View

The Outline | The First Modern Mutation in Digital Publishing

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab | A Digital Platform Transforming the Medical Field

NBC News | A New Experience for Digital News

NBC News | Launching Three News Verticals for the Media Giant

MIT Sloan School of Management | Crafting a Platform for Ideas Made to Matter

Brand USA | Amplifying the USA as an International Travel Destination

U.S. Chamber of Commerce | A Brand and Platform for Small Business Partnerships

Rivian | Launching the World's First Electric Adventure Vehicle

American Express | Turning an Acquisition Journey into a Bento Box

Jiffy Lube | Building a Better Customer Experience: Online and Inside the Garage

American Bar Association | Modernizing One of the World's Largest Professional Organizations

Sunbrella | Redefining the Digital Textile Space

The Scene | Introducing The Scene, Conde Nast's Ultimate Content Platform

The Guardian | A Native Platform for One of the World's Most Iconic Publishers

Indigo AG | Adopting Regenerative Practices with the Terraton Initiative

Woodford Reserve | Creating a 3-Act Story Based Around Learning, Tasting and Cocktails

Comcast | Innovating the Customer Experience from Pipeline to Platform

Axe | An Iconic Men's Grooming Brand Known for Bold Marketing

Pulped | Providing Provocative, Alternative and Irreverent Video Content

Foursquare | Visualizing Data for the Platform's Pinpoint Ad Product

Consumer Reports | Turning a Transactional Brand into a Shared Lifestyle Community

The New Center | A New Home Devoted to Saving the American Political Discourse

NYCEDC | A New Hub for New Yorkers to Grow Their Business

New York Life | What 170 Years of Success Looks Like for Today's Evolving World

TEGNA | Creating a Centralized CMS for 39 Local News Stations

The Truth | Rebuilding a Revolutionary Brand for Modern Times

Yonder Music | Yonder Music Hear Forever

NBC News | NBC's Iconic Morning Show Becomes a Digital Lifestyle Destination

Citi Ventures | A Mobile Banking Service for a New Generation

Prong | Redesigning the New All-In-One Prong PWR Case

Comcast Corporate | From Corporate to Modern: Comcast's Brand New Platform

C40 Cities Finance Facility | A Platform Built for a More Sustainable Future

Nuveen | Giving an Age-Old Investment Behemoth New Digital Prowess

NBC News | Designing Snapchat's First Daily-News Program

Get in Touch

  • Find Us

    One World Trade Center,
    62nd Floor

    New York, NY 10007

    More Offices
  • Work With Us

  • Press

  • Careers

    See All Open Positions

Continue toSays a LotThe Things We Make

Says a Lot —

Latest

Fashion design
News — 

The Drum | What UX designers can learn from the fashion industry

Standard card Rally
News — 

Comm Arts | Webpicks – Rally

Feature Amazon Ads
News — 

MediaPost | Amazon Quietly Transitions Name Of Ad Biz To 'Amazon Ads,' Follows Google And Facebook

Ad Age Logo
News — 

Ad Age | Amazon Launches Campaign For Its Ad Business Telling Brands It's More Than E-Commerce

News — 

Little Black Book | Code and Theory Launch Creator and Community Platform Rally's Rebrand

Anne Sachs Headshot
News — 

Little Black Book | Code and Theory Appoints Anne Sachs as Senior Director of Editorial Strategy

W3 Logo
News — 

W3 Awards | Code and Theory wins Best in Show and Gold & Silver Awards

TTP Youth Group Yellow Backdrop Aidan Fox Diego 2
News — 

Ad Age | The Trevor Project Rebrands to Better Reflect Today's LGBTQ Youth

Get in Touch

  • Find Us

    One World Trade Center,
    62nd Floor

    New York, NY 10007

    More Offices
  • Work With Us

  • Press

  • Careers

    See All Open Positions