If you thought only the west was plagued with a soaring divorce rate think again; the rate at which couples are separating in Beijing is doubling each year. Forget marriage counsellors though, it’s the Chinese Post Office that is coming to the rescue.
On September the 9th, a date that sounds like ‘forever’ in Mandarin, China Post launched its love letters program allowing smitten lovers to send letters to each other but wait for delivery seven years later. This is the period when according to the post office, relationships start to become stale.
With the advent of online communications, post offices the world over a seeking way to deliver mail faster than ever, yet China Post have found not only a way to work slower, but get paid for it and perhaps influence the outcome of some relationships.
What a flip on the tradition of postal business! The post office is acting opposite to its commissioning to deliver mail in a timely manner. More importantly they’ve also stepped across industries to play the match maker.
If it is true that business has irrevocably changed, then perhaps actually doing the complete opposite of what we used to do might be just what the market ordered. Consider for a moment what it is you do, and then consider what it would look like if you did it opposite.
ING did exactly that by giving $50, no strings attached, when a new customer opened an account. The customer was welcome to close the account immediately if they chose to, and keep the $50. In this promotion the bank did not reduce its fees, but did the opposite and starting paying people instead. What a flip; more importantly, it worked and many of these new customers remain loyal to ING today.
As a side effect, ING in its own way created a mini stimulus package for the economy, a social good much like China Post sought to create a easy income stream coupled with social good.
Ther magic in this formula is not merely to flip the way we think of the fundamentals of our business, but what social good our influence might wield.