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first direct becomes first bank to embrace crowd sourcing

01 Aug 2011

first direct is engaging with both customers and the general public to co-create the bank's products and services through a new online platform called first direct Lab.

Launching today, first direct Lab is a social platform that will be populated with content every month such as product designs, service innovations and website concepts. Users will have the chance to critique the content through a comment facility and forum, with the feedback collated and inputted into the product or service teams before release. At launch, the content will include concepts for a website re-design, a consultation on the use of QR codes and an early version of a mortgage comparison smartphone app.

Paul Say, first direct 's head of marketing commented: "We're constantly looking at new ways of communicating with customers and the public, and the first direct Lab is a natural progression for us. We want people to inform our offering and in doing so help us serve them better.

"This is about changing the way people interact with banks by giving them a stake in some of the products and services that allow them to manage their personal finances."

first direct is the UK's most advanced bank in terms of it's social media adoption. Its social media initiative includes: 'live'; an aggregation tool pulling in mentions of the brand from across 5 million social media sites, 'Little Black Book'; where customers can share positive experiences about anything other than banking, its online forum Talking Point; where a dedicated team respond to customer service comments and queries and its social media newsroom; a multimedia rich media resource. These properties all sit alongside presences on YouTube and Twitter.




  • first┬ádirect Lab was first announced in October 2010, during first direct 's 21st anniversary.
  • The platform was designed and developed by Leeds digital agency, MadeByPi.
  • As well as products and services, the platform will include weekly polls where users can vote on the prospect of a first direct innovation.  

Useful links: 

Image of first direct Lab

first direct Lab                                            


Talking Point

Social media newsroom

Wolfstar Consultancy




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