Up close and personal

From buying suggestions on Amazon, to setting up alerts on Skyscanner, the increasing ability of brands to personalise our online experiences, content, product and service offers is raising consumer expectations throughout the whole purchasing process with personalised and segmented marketing strategies.

In fact, personalisation has become an increasingly significant factor in brand engagement and development. So much so, that more and more brands are giving their customers a bigger say in the development of products — to a point where customers are practically becoming the ‘product designer’.

In the food and drink sector, Burger King has been allowing you to ‘Have it your way’ for over 40 years. But advancements in technology have allowed other forward-thinking brands to take product personalisation further than simply asking for no ketchup on your Whopper.

  • Yoosli is a great example of this. This online service lets muesli lovers concoct their own combination of dried fruit, nuts and cereals and have it sent to them.
  • Chocomize is a website where users can choose from three chocolate bar bases and add their own toppings, with an incredible 300 million permutations available to order.
  • Choc Edge then takes the co-creation concept one step further still, by allowing consumers to actually manufacture a product in their kitchen, using their very own 3D chocolate printer.
  • At the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Oreos premiered their innovative new vending machine that used 3D-printing technology to allow users to create their very own Oreo cookie.

It’s not just the food sector that’s got an appetite for personalisation though. Nike, Reebok and Adidas have long been allowing their customers to be the designer for over ten years through their websites.

In the US, outdoor gear retailer Wild Things really took things to the extremes by introducing a service where customers could design their own jackets virtually from scratch, by picking everything from the liner fabric, to the colour of the zipper, to the location of the pockets.

Personalisation is not just an online phenomenon. As luxury buyers in the UK and abroad shift from seeking mere brand status to wanting personal expressions of their wealth and good taste, brands have acted on this insight.

  • Louis Vuitton’s Mon Monogram product range lets customers add personal flare to iconic bags beyond simple monogramming. They can also select from a variety of stripe designs and colours to make their bag their own.
  • Selfridges London recently took product customisation to another level, allowing customers to create their own perfume in the store’s fragrance lab — which was on show for all to see in the storefront window.

There’s no doubt that, increasingly, brands from all sectors are quickly learning that personalisation strikes a chord with customers and is a sure-fire path to differentiation on the product, service and brand levels. At the moment, a revolution in brand and retail strategy could be just around the corner.

Originally published at Dinosaur.