What the Financial Services Industry Can Learn from…Barbenheimer? 

After joining Total Expert Founder & CEO Joe Welu for a recent episode of the Expert Insights podcast, our good friend and Founder of The Basis Point, Julian Hebron, wrote an incredible article that outlines three important lessons that mortgage lenders can learn from the recent “Barbenheimer” box-office bonanza. If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and read How $2.2 Billion Barbenheimer Movie Haul Relates to the Mortgage Biz

Everything we talked about on the podcast and that Julian lays out in his article—and much of what drove the Barbenheimer box-office success—flies in the face of what we’ve all seen, heard, and been taught over the past few years: Embrace technology, innovate or die, and do whatever it takes to beat the competition. Counterintuitively, Barbenheimer didn’t do any of that and found far more success as a result. That got us thinking about what the wider financial services industry and technology companies like ours could learn from such a bold departure in established strategies, tactics, and mindsets. 

Technology Will Never Replace Human Connections 

Movie theaters were supposed to be collecting dust by now. Streaming is all the rage, and people want a different kind of movie viewing experience, right? It’s not that black and white. While streaming is absolutely altering the film industry and giving consumers the opportunity to choose how they’ll watch, it’s next to impossible for most people to replicate the movie theater experience at home. 

The financial services space is no different. Technology is evolving at a dizzying pace, but it isn’t meant to completely replace the way we connect with people. It’s meant to enhance the ways we connect and give us more flexibility in how and when we do so. Just because people aren’t in the same room with us doesn’t mean they don’t want authentic human connections. Whether it’s over the phone, or via email and SMS, people are still doing business with other people—not with the platform that’s connecting them. Don’t look at technology as something that will replace you. Look at it as a tool to help you do your job more effectively. 

Collaboration Over Competition

Barbie was produced by Warner Bros. and Oppenheimer was produced by Universal Pictures, two Hollywood giants that we assume are mortal enemies. But judging by how they subverted the traditional trope of box-office duels, you’d think they were being promoted by the same company. They didn’t infuse their marketing or PR with the typical “us vs. them” mentality. They very publicly supported one another and encouraged people to go see “the competition’s” movie and talked about how much people would enjoy the different stories, styles, and performances.  

We should all do the same in the financial services space. None of us can be everything to everyone, but helping customers find what they need—especially when we can’t provide it—will earn us the kind of credibility, respect, and loyalty that you can’t find anywhere else.  

Focus On What You Do Best. Forget the Rest. 

Barbie and Oppenheimer told vastly different stories. So, they didn’t waste time trying to convince moviegoers that their respective story was objectively better than the other. They focused on what made their story unique, their characters endearing, and their journeys worth investing in. Both were unapologetically honest about who they were and what to expect from them. 

Rather than telling customers that you’re a better choice than your competitors or trying to be something you’re not, show them what you do and how you’ll help them reach their financial goals. Tell your story your way, and you’ll find the audience that will make you a success. 

Thank you again to Julian Hebron for joining us on the Expert Insights podcast and for continuing to be such a positive and inspiring voice in our industry. Be sure to add The Basis Point to your daily reading list!