For most financial institutions connecting millennials is an uphill battle. Not so for two innovative insurance companies. State Farm opened its Next-Door financial coaching/café in 2011 as an entrepreneurial incubator where people could get financial coaching and have a latte while creating their dream business. MassMutual’s Society of Grownups opened in late 2014, in Brookline, Mass, to help young adults build a better financial future.
Both locations have an informal, hipster friendly atmosphere and differ from most financial education plays by not being deathly dull. The Society of Grownups holds supper clubs and Happy Hours that couch financial advice in a familiar congenial setting charging participants $30-$40 per event, while Next Door builds on the alternative workspace model with whiteboards, floor to ceiling chalkboards and yoga classes along with free lectures and coaching.
There are no financial products for sale in either concept. These are living labs for the sponsoring institutions and the ROI comes in the form of a peek at the millennial psyche. One visit to either location is enough to see why these venues beat the heck out of sitting across from a banker in a pre-fab workstation.