How to Build a Unicorn

Posted on: April 12th, 2022 by New Benefits

For all of my fellow ‘girl dads’ (or as the kids say, ‘#GirlDad’): 

Before we proceed, take a moment to remove the image of a sparkly horse sporting a horn from your imagination. 

Here’s my definition of a unicorn: Something that is highly desirable but difficult to obtain

For employers today, a great company culture is quickly becoming that unicorn. We’re seeing five generations in a single workplace, remote and hybrid setups, and more gig and contract employees, all with different priorities and life stages. Personal, useful benefits are key to successfully catering to such a diverse workforce.

Are Your Benefits Glittery Enough?

Allow me to start with a strong opinion. Employee benefits are never going to overpower a toxic workplace. In today’s competition for top talent, ping-pong tables, unlimited PTO, and break rooms stocked with limitless snacks and Keurig pods are quickly becoming irrelevant in a “work from anywhere” environment. Now more than ever, employers need to think outside of the box of the workplace to create a strong culture.

Benefits reach an employee where they are, regardless of where their desk stands. But they need to go beyond the antiquated and bland corporate perks we’ve always seen in order to boost company culture and actually benefit every employee. 

A unique, personal benefit solution that serves every employee seems highly-unlikely, even impossible… dare I say, mythical? 

It takes a unicorn solution.

Hear (or read) me out! A unicorn benefit solution is:

  • Accessible and useful to a diverse employee population
  • Innovative and attractive to increase retention/attraction
  • Easily integrated without excessive administrative hassle

So let’s go capture a unicorn. (With the same excitement as a little girl named Agnes.)

Why a Plain Old Pony Isn’t Enough

In order to capture a unicorn, you need to study it (say that in your best Crocodile Hunter impression).  

Q: What is a unicorn made of? 

A: Innovative and useful non-insured benefits that expand beyond the traditional core services. 

Non-insured benefits give you the flexibility to craft packages full of useful solutions (specific to different generations, employee classifications, and life stages) giving you a unicorn as diverse as your employee base with the least amount of friction. 

Providing personalized benefits to address the real life problems of employees creates a “culture boost” extending beyond the walls of a workplace. Non-insured benefits can be utilized by employers to take care of an employee (and their families) at any life stage, achieve better retention and engagement, and attract top talent. 

Determining the best solutions for your clients can be overwhelming, so I suggest starting with the top trending, most innovative benefits of the year. Consider these benefits recommended from our own research in working with thousands of employers at New Benefits:

    • Mental Health treatment options covering the spectrum of issues, including counseling via telemedicine and 24/7 call lines
    • Inclusive Family Planning services like fertility treatments, egg freezing, and support for adoption and surrogacy
    • Financial Security solutions ranging from digital identity protection, on-demand pay and emergency savings funds to debt management and student loan repayment
    • Pet Care provides discounts with in-network veterinarians without the heavy monthly cost of insurance and the limitations of pre-existing/breed exclusions

How to Build a Unicorn

Once you’ve selected all the sparkles and rainbows (a.k.a. innovative benefits) to build your unicorn solution, do you have the bandwidth to undertake all of the administration of implementation? (Spoiler: You Got This!) 

Creating a flexible program with variety requires several benefits, but it’s frustrating having to vet and manage multiple vendor partnerships. A true unicorn solution includes a robust suite of products aggregated under one horn (read as ‘vendor’). Working with a single vendor enables you to pick the ideal solutions for your clients, and easily change out benefits as new trends come along or workforce demographics change.

A unicorn benefit solution not only comes from one source, it’s also accessible on one platform. Bringing all of your products and services together on one mobile app makes it easy for employees to find their benefits, and much more likely to use them. In fact, Sontiq’s 2021 Benefit Broker Survey says mobile app access to benefits has become “table-stakes.” The simple access point and ability to regularly engage employees through push notifications is unmatched. 

Did We Build Our Unicorn?

If a unicorn is something that is highly desirable but difficult to obtain, did we build one with our formula?

We have:

  • A flexible model that’s accessible and useful to a diverse, dispersed employee population
  • Innovative and personalized solutions to create a culture boost for increased attraction and retention
  • Easy integration through a benefits aggregator and single, engaging access point

Sounds easy enough, right?

Thankfully, you don’t need to build your unicorn alone. New Benefits has been in the unicorn building business for over 30 years. We have 35+ unique benefit solutions, a mobile app for access and engagement, and all the administrative support you could possibly need to make your program successful. 

So what do you think? Let’s roll up our sleeves and get covered in glitter! 

Download our 2022 Benefit Innovation Report for some tips to get started, and contact our benefit pros at to start the building process.


Jake Cleer
Vice President, Sales