Benchmark: What is happening in the world?
Megatrend: personalisation and customisation
Personalisation has been one of the hot megatrends for more than a decade. With more choices than ever, that provided by the global explosion of smartphones and online pioneers, such as Amazon, consumers are increasingly expecting and desiring products and services that satisfy their specific preferences and lifestyles. This trend towards customization is also having a significant impact on consumer behavior. Younger consumers are no longer sticking to the TV programme but rather stream their favourite shows via Netflix and Youtube. The same happens with music: hardly anyone buys CDs in the shop nowadays but streams music via Spotify, Deezer and Co. It is no longer possible to satisfy individual customer requests with traditional mass production and mass marketing.
Customers expect to be treated as individuals.They want to deal with companies who understand who they are and what they’re going through — and who appreciate that their reality and needs are changing every single day. Companies have already implemented these business models and achieved success. From the self-configured sport shoe (Vans Customs) and bespoke muesli (My Muesli) through individual cosmetics (Clinique) to the seemingly endless number of coffees one can order in any cafe in various sizes, types and flavour directions — many companies offer their customers the opportunity to create their own products.
Customers can design their own shoes at the homepage of the Californian company Vans. This offer contributes a great deal to the brand and its cult status among young people.
Beyond personalisation: Hyper-personalisation and Mass Customization
With numerous success stories of personalised goods and services to attract more customers and improve their engagement in various businesses, more companies are seeking out highly personalised customer experiences that are offered to millions of individual customers by using proprietary data. Once implemented well, such experiences enable businesses not only to differentiate themselves but also to gain a sustainable competitive advantage by increasing customer satisfaction, improving brand loyalty, enhancing willingness to spend, and boosting overall marketing effectiveness.
Hyper-personalization is the most advanced approach companies can tailor their marketing to individual customers.By creating custom and targeted experiences through the use of data, analytics, AI, and automation, companies can communicate highly contextualised messages to specific customers at the right place and time, and via the right channel. It allows brands to offer consumers the right options at the right time, along with additional products and services that can add value to their lives.
Hyper-personalization that is supported by digital technology and AI integrations is giving brands access to a deeper understanding of the preferences of individual consumers.
We have already been experiencing this transformation from simple personalisation to hyper-personalisation in diverse industries and sectors. Binto offers a subscription service for personalised monthly supplements. Nestle’s Wellness Ambassador service does this by using customer-supplied genetic data to make diet and supplement recommendations. Even candy shops which seem to have nothing to do with new digital technology try to embrace this challenge. Lolli & Pops stores use facial recognition to alert sales associates of VIPs’ preferences when they walk through the doors generating a list of preferences and allergies so associates can make personalised recommendations.
Binto(top left), Lolli & Pops (top right) and Nestle’s Wellness Ambassador(bottom)
Here is Part (ii)
Written by: Dr Jae Ahn,
Edits and contributions:
Mehul Shah and Robin Harrison
Upside Technologies Limited.