From personalised ‘Love Island’ water bottles, to digitally optimized Netflix movie covers and viewing suggestions, personalisation is everywhere. Personalised products and services are no longer considered a luxury and this ‘democratisation of personalisation’ means consumers now expect that brands should fulfil or even predict individual needs and everything we buy should have built-in personalisation to make it more unique.
Research has shown personalisation to be so important to consumers that 56% of people are more likely to shop in store where they are recognised by name, 58% more likely where products are recommended based on past purchases or preferences and 65% more likely where there is a record of their purchase history.
The trend for personalisation gained traction in 2017 and continues to become an incremental part of every successful brand’s offering today. With studies suggesting that companies that invest in all types of personalisation will outsell their competitors by at least 30%, it is essential for marketers to understand what personalisation really means.
Sailthru surveyed 146 marketers about their understanding of personalisation and their organisation’s approach. Their study indicated that organisations need to better understand the difference between segmentation and personalisation; the former being the simple grouping of individuals, whilst the latter is the optimization of messaging and experiences to the individuals themselves.
Many brands are getting personalisation right, assisted by consumers’ greater digital engagement, facilitating information gathering from web browsers, location services and social media. Developments in manufacturing and distribution technology are enabling produced goods to incorporate personalised elements, translating across FMCG and luxury.
L’Oréal’s focus and investment on technology and innovation means that they are frequently first to market with innovative beauty products. 2017 saw their luxury brand Lancôme introduce ‘Le Teint Particulier’, a customised foundation, blended to suit one of 22,000 human skin tones at point of sale. This is an example of a truly personalised product delivered as a memorable experience for the shopper.
Coca-Cola used the theme of personalisation through their well-known ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, where they swapped their brand name with people’s names in over 1000 variants, allowing most consumers to find a bottle that felt personal to them.
Taking this a step further, Coca-Cola have since launched their ‘Share a Coke’ microsite where consumers can customize their own bottles with a chosen name or phrase and get it delivered to their door.
Adidas have developed a trainer that uses data sourcing and foot scan technology to tailor the cushioning of individual’s trainers to their feet and personal running technique in their Futurecraft 3D model, allowing a personalised run for everyone.
ASOS uses personalisation on their product pages to help customers find the right fit by advising what clothing size they should buy. The site uses your past shopping history, based on items you did not return for size, to suggest an option with the highest chance of fitting.
You can also enter your height, weight and other measurements such as bra size to make their suggestions more accurate. This personalisation has however riled people on social media by ‘telling’ women that the size they have selected is ‘too small’ for them based on their measurements – not something any woman wants to hear…
Getting the right data provides insight into consumer tastes and preferences allowing targeted communications, suggestions and experiences. As consumers shift their focus from ‘having’ to ‘being’ and spend more on experiences, making the personalisation factor an experience is becoming integral for perceived value.
So, whilst personalisation should remain a key focus for your brand in 2018, make sure you’ve carefully considered how it is delivered and the experience it is giving the consumer. If you are using personal data or purchase history to make the personalisation, is this data sensitive and likely to be received badly if highlighted? And ultimately does the personalisation create added value for your customer?