Wintersemester 2010/11 

Executive Summary


Due to recent economical and technical developments banks are challenged by a society, which demands an ever increasing level of security, convenience and information. A market segment of utmost importance in this particular context constitutes the group „Generation Y.“ This generation can be characterized
as highly educated, technologically savvy, socially connected, ethically and morally aware, and is expected to have current needs, which average customers will only develop at some future time.
The Unicredit Bank Austria Group attempts to face this challenge by introducing novel, innovative concepts as well as redesigning entire in-house processes which may eventually lead to the benefit of their customers. In this respect, not only new financial services, but also youth clubs, time-saving technologies and educational services constitute options worth pursuing. By use of the expert knowledge and resources of various departments within Unicredit, the bank considers itself capable to implement the elaborated concepts according to the demands of Generation Y.
To define the needs of this group properly and to create innovative solutions, several approaches were taken into account. The focus lied on triangulation, a method to verify results through the input of three different sources: Starting with an intense business journal research about prospective demands of the target segment, these findings were further developed by means of 80 qualitative interviews and consultation of 15 experts afterwards.
As a final step, a workshop was conducted, where students and experts were invited to discuss and refine ideas jointly to create innovative concepts. 

Initial Situation 

The Unicredit Group considers its strong competitive advantage deriving from its business model focusing especially on retail banking. In particular, the main focus lies on the Italian, German, Austrian and CEE market, all in all servicing more than 40 million customers.
Recently, the bank has been starting to reconsider its business model according to the needs of current as well as prospective future customers. Specifically, the segment “Generation Y” was considered as particularly important to target because of its great market potential. After an evaluation of their requirements, the bank was expected to address requests from its customers accurately by providing a broad range of suitable financial and non-financial services. This constitutes an absolutely imperative condition to survive in the fierce market competition of retail banking 

Project goal 

First of all, an accurate determination of Generation Y had to be done. This represented an unconditionally necessary task to be able to concentrate on the relevant target group. Secondly, detailed needs of Generation Y had to be elaborated on which basis measures addressing the needs of the Generation Y could be derived subsequently. Important to note is that it was not in scope of the project to set up a completely new bank branch or to approach any other target groups than Generation Y. 

Approach and methodology 

Owing to many overlaps, it was decided to structure all phases according to the processes of a lead user project.

The following four phases were determined:

  • PHASE 1 Defining the target market
    PHASE 2 Defining the Gen Y segment
    PHASE 3 Identifying needs of the Gen Y
    PHASE 4 Designing measures satisfying needs of the Gen Y

  • Target market definition
    The project’s target market was eventually determined as the market for retail banking.

  • Defining the Generation Y segment
    Within this project, the term Generation Y was eventually defined as follows:
    “Generation Y consists of all men and women which exhibit five particular characteristics irrespective of their age”
    Namely, these characteristics were: high affinity to technology, superior level of education, valuation of ethical principles and moral standards, a good connection with society and sufficient work life balance.
    It was concluded that several survey participants outside the determined age range of Generation Y were likely to exhibit all defined characteristics as well. Consequently, from this time age did not represent a determinant attribute anymore.

  • Identifying the needs of Generation Y
    By use of the triangulation approach, whereby research in business journals, 80 student interviews and 15 expert consultations represented the different sources of information, the project group was able to figure out the following needs of Generation Y:Time and mobility, less brand loyalty, social responsibility, information transparency, accounts at multiple banks, and reliance on

  • Designing Measures to satisfy the needs of Generation Y
    With the objective to create innovative concepts ultimately, a workshop was conducted which consisted of 6 experts coming from heterogeneous areas and 5 students who suitably fitted into the profile of Generation Y. 


After the workshop, it became clear that the bank ought to be an “easy bank” for customers who do not require a broad range of services on the one hand and a “service bank” for clients showing a high level of involvement on the other. Equally, banks are expected to be life management institutions to facilitate life for its customers in future. For any bank, in order to be successful both concepts have to be integrated.

Cooperation Partner 

  • Unicredit Group
    Julius Tandler Platz 3
    1090 Vienna, Austria 

  • Ansprechpartner
    Mag.a Anna Gawin,
    CEE Retail Marketing & Segments
    Tel: +43 (0)5 05 05- 59014
    M: +43 (0)664 161 1641

Student Team

  • Christoph J. Martin
    Lukas Papula
    Florian Satran
    Benedikt Unger
    David Zöchling