New business growth from 0 to 100,000 customers in 18 months

New insurance start-up winning 100,000 customers cost efficientlyGoldfish logo

The brief

Centrica, the parent company to the former state energy company, British Gas, had made a surprising success out of an experiment in keeping customers safe from competition, with the points-earning Goldfish credit card launch.  With dramatic growth from a new brand to 1 million credit card customers in just two years, the big question was ‘what next?’

An obvious opportunity was to launch more financial services products – so Goldfish and British Gas branded home insurance was prepared as a joint venture with an established home insurance company partner.  So with new products to launch to existing large customer bases, the challenge was to grow a new home insurance business quickly.


With an established insurance business as a partner, there was proven model for winning new home insurance customers quickly.  Alongside this model, Goldfish and British Gas offered large customer bases which could be reached through a variety of channels.


The first stage in building an approach was to learn from the established insurance company partner.  Examples of quick wins included understanding the role of advertising in established marketplaces used by consumers to shop for home insurance.

The second stage was to understand opportunities to reach the 1 million customers of Goldfish credit card and the 12 million customers of British Gas energy.  Examples included Goldfish credit card statement inserts and British Gas energy bill inserts.  Both offered highly cost efficient opportunities to promote new home insurance products to customers.

Both planning stages provided cost efficient and high volume channels which became a base upon which to begin to build a fast and large scale new customer acquisition engine.

The big difference

Within a few months we had built a business finding new customers across over 40 individual carefully planned and measured customer acquisition channels, with the low cost channel base allowing the use of higher cost channels to deliver a scale of business which was larger and achievable more quickly than expected.

Within three months the business grew to over 1000 customer insurance quotes per day, after 12 months this had quadrupled to up to 4000 quotes and 1000 policy sales per day.  After 18 months of operation the customer base had grown to over 100,000 policyholders with a gross annual turnover of over £14m.  Growth had been so fast and at such scale that the business accounted for 20% of the ‘insurance book’ of the home insurance partner.

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