Personalisation - What name would you give it?
Richard Askam, The Personalisation Experience Ambassador, discusses why personalisation has taken a long time to be widely adopted. Is this due to different industries naming it differently?
There is a certain irony when you consider that the central goal of personalisation is to reach out to consumers as individuals and to establish a line of communication by starting a conversation in a more personal way. What is the irony? Everyone seems to use a different word to describe what they are selling as a product or offering as a service.
Perhaps this is why the general perception is that personalised products are just gimmicks with names on labels on packaging. As a result, it has not become widely adopted. People when they experience something working well tend to imagine that is the only way it can work. The reference points that we all use seem to differ. This results in the size of the market opportunity being misunderstood. In this blog, I will try and further explain this issue.
We do have a habit of seeing something work well and imagining that is the only way it can work. It’s not. It’s just the reference points that we all use seem to differ and as a result the size of the market opportunity is misunderstood. In this blog, I will try and explain what I’m talking about.
If the goal is to individualise what you are buying, be that for yourself or for someone else, then the execution must meet that goal. The whole purpose of creating something individual is to be unique and differentiate from your competition. It is important to give the impression that you have taken into account the design of the finished product. So, let’s take a look at a few examples and see if we can find something in common.
In the past, you could buy a Ford car in any colour as long as it was black (qv. Henry Ford). 100 years later, it’s now quite easy to visit a manufacturer’s website and virtually choose every element of the car you want to purchase. Examples include the engine size, fuel type, wheels, rims, trim, interior, tech, the number of cup holders etc. The car industry calls this ‘Configuration’.
For a long time, customers have been able to buy ready to wear (Pret a Porter) clothes by simply walking into your high street clothes retailer, looking through the rails, trying on the clothes and suddenly you have a new wardrobe. However, at the opposite end of the market and all the way up to haut couture, there is the option to have clothes tailor made (as long as you have the money to pay for it). The fashion industry calls this ‘Bespoke’
Your average restaurant offers you a menu and depending on their skills, they can reliably provide meals from the menu every day – some days better than others! However, nowadays many people have refined their eating habits to meet either dietary requirements or health needs. It has become impossible to list everything that they can achieve and the customer has to order exactly what they want. An example of this is a customer ordering an omelette without any egg yolk due to preference or an allergy, with the restaurant having to comply. The food industry calls this ‘Off Menu’.
Finally, the world famous ‘ShareaCoke’ campaign that I was privileged to be involved in was actually not a personalised campaign. Customers either had to find a bottle or can with their name on it from a store or they could choose their name on the website, but it was from a list of approved names from the brand. In fact, it was similar to choosing key rings at the seaside from the available names. This is customisation not personalisation.
Our lives have become filled with personalised choices, however since everyone uses a different phrase or word to describe it, it has become incorrectly perceived as many things when it is the same thing, just versions of it. Personalisation allows the customer the ability to create an individualised product or service making the end result truly personal. At the Personalisation Experience event in May 2023, FESPA will have representatives from multiple industries who are experienced in personalisation from different perspectives. All reaching the same destination – customer satisfaction.
Discover the Personalisation Experience taking place alongside FESPA Global Print Expo 2023 and European Sign Expo 2023 from 23rd May – 26th May 2023 at Messe Munich. The Personalisation Experience will bring together 3,500 stakeholders from retailers, brands, agencies to printers and fulfilment houses, connecting them with software providers and OEMs to explore the potential of personalisation in sportswear, packaging, product, loyalty and custom interiors. Four one-day conferences, plus an application showcase incorporating Printeriors, will bring this core topic to life.
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