Thoughts on Millennials and the role of design

3min interview with SMU ISEThis is a 3 minute interview with the Institute of Service Excellence (ISE) at the  Financial & Health Care Industry Forum. As part of the Industry Forum, I was invited to share my views on why simplicity matters in today’s environment and how to cultivate simplicity as an organisational capability.  


[ISE] As millennials grow up as a customer segment, what are some general strategies that organisations need to start thinking about?

[Jin] FRANKbyOCBC (FRANK) was established as a new banking brand in 2011 to target the millennial customer segment where the focus was to craft something that was unique and stylish, could meet the emotional needs of the customer such as expressing themselves as individuals. The concept of FRANK has evolved as millennials are growing up and their financial needs are changing. They are now interested the new notion of workforce in the gig economy. As such OCBC has to stay adaptive and become a platform for our FRANK customers to connect with a community of their passion, to talk about financial matters as it is, and to celebrate their successes as well as failures.

What do companies need to do to remain relevant in the changing service landscape?

It is imperative to have a mechanism 1) to turn insights into action 2) to experiment ideas and learn fast. Design offers practical methods and process to drive human-centric innovation. Mastering this kind of design capability can bring agility in today’s fast changing environment. The source of innovation lies in deep understanding of human needs; and when the right process is used great ideas can be farmed. Fast.

Design offers practical methods and process to drive human-centric innovation. Mastering this kind of design capability can bring agility in today’s fast changing environment.

What is the best customer experience you’ve received?

I truly enjoy the customer experience I’ve had with women’s fashion brand, ADAY. A New York-based start up brand, it was voted one of the most innovative companies in 2018 by Fast Company. I can relate to the brand’s concept simplifying the modern woman’s wardrobe; we lead busy and active life from a workout room to a boardroom, from a boardroom to an airport. Their product is beautifully simple, versatile and seasonless. I literally fell in love with the timeless design and the innovative technical fabric, which requires no ironing or dry cleaning. The interaction with the brand through all touch points – their website, newsletters, contact centre and Instagram- has been very humanized; I always feel like I’m talking to a friendly peer.

At the end of the day, simplicity is the new black in the era of innovation.

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