2 weeks ago, my girlfriend and I had a MASSIVE fast food craving. And by massive, I mean, “Wow I wanna eat 6 McNuggets, a Zinger and two large packs of curly fries” kind of a craving. (Yes, we are totally role models for living healthily).
However, we wanted something more than just a plain ol’ boring McSpicy or 2-piece chicken meal. So we hatched a plan.
Step 1: Head to KFC to buy their a Curry Rice Bucket
Step 2: Launch our terribly-annoying-yet-sometimes-useful McDonalds app, which yielded the following:
- One-for-one Fillet O’ Fish, costing $3.95
- 2 sets of taro pie and hot fudge sundae, costing $2 each
Combine the awesomeness of KFC and McDonald’s, and THIS is what we came up with:
Best. Meal. Ever.
The point of this story isn’t to prove how weird I am (you already know that). The point is that you can sometimes get pretty awesome results when you dare to do things differently from what other people expect.
Let’s take a great case study: FRANK by OCBC. (Before you yell “Advertorial!!!” and close the tab, they didn’t ask me write this post. I’m writing it because this is a great case study for this post)
Quick background: FRANK is OCBC’s answer to banking for millennials / young executives. Now, lots of companies have tried targeting this notoriously difficult-to-please segment and failed (Anyone remember DBS Remix?), but FRANK has done it very well with tastefully-designed concept stores, emphasis on online banking, and great customer service. (Great article on them here).
So when they asked me to attend their first ever FRANKly Speaking event last week – a TED Talk-style session featuring Michael Yue (Industry Head at Google) and Lim Kuo-Yi (Founding Partner at Monk’s Hill Ventures) – I jumped at the chance. (FRANK mentioned that they’ll broadcast the recorded talks at some point, so I won’t rehash them here.)
While waiting for the event to start, I got talking with one of the FRANK executives. I asked him what they were organising this speaker series for: Was it to gain more signups? Launch a new product? Gain publicity?
Nope. He said, “We just want to build a relationship with our customers”
In a different context, that might sound like some corporate B.S. But in this case, I was pretty impressed.
You see, we’re so used to the hard-sell tactics of financial services companies. How many of us have been:
- Harassed by credit card salesmen?
- Pressured to by a financial product by some RM?
- Put into a “boiler-room” situation to buy a course by a financial guru?
- Shoved a brochure to invest in Burmese hotels?
So it was refreshing to finally see a bank doing something that was actually, well, cool.
No mention of their products or services. A speaker series topic (career) that’s pretty far removed from what they had to sell.
Sure, perhaps their eventual goal is to get customers to buy more products or invest more in the long run, but they do it a way that makes us HAPPY to do it.
They mixed things up. And it worked really well.
Good Things Comes To Those Who Mix It Up
My point here is this: The world wants to put you in a box.
- The world wants you to eat fast food from just one place.
- The world expects financial services companies to simply sell, sell, sell
- The world gives you labels like “index investor” or “property investor” or “value investor”
- The world wants to categorise you as “banker” or “mid-level executive” or “artist”
You don’t have to follow any of these rules.
You can mix it up – and overtake the people who’re stuck in the box the world has given them.
In the same way, your boss might think you’re just a “marketing executive” or “systems engineer” or “designer”. But if you look at top performers, you’ll notice that they’re not just good at their own specialisation; they combine skills from a whole bunch of different areas: Entrepreneurship, design, marketing, programming, public speaking, writing, etc.
Think beyond the narrow confines of your job scope.
Think beyond just “what your company does”.
Think beyond just McDonald’s or KFC.
The world wants to put you in a box.
Which boxes will you destroy today?
Image credit: Gregory Jordan
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