Make It Personal
Personalisation accomplishes a key objective that every brand shares – connection to the consumer in an intimate and lasting way. But will personalisation transcend from being a trend into tactic? Consumers have an almost contradictory desire to belong to the collective whilst maintaining their individuality. They want to use the most popular brands that are best-in-class, own the brands that epitomise the category, and participate in the socio-cultural conversation about iconic brands. However, they want to balance this tribal mentality with feeling special. They want to be seen as a real person, not just a part of the masses, and to feel that their choice in a brand is important.
Personalisation is a way brands can give themselves back to the consumers. It builds loyalty and advocacy in a real honest way, a tangible reflection of the switch from brands influencing consumers to consumers owning brands. It is an area rich with opportunity as brands can find more creative and imaginative ways to connect with consumers on an individual level. The pitfall here will be thinking that customisation is simply a process of putting names on a label. Success in using personalisation will be a matter of being able to authentically link it back to a brand’s values and ethos.
Coke’s personalisation campaign worked well for at least two important reasons: they were one of the first ones to do it and the campaign connected their brand values (happiness, friendship and the power sharing). Iconic brands like Marmite and Nutella will most likely be successful in their personalisation campaigns simply due to their status, but at the end of the day, are they just being copycats?
Marmite could’ve pushed the envelope by using the language of their most famous campaign, 'Love It or Hate It.’ Imagine gifting two jars to a couple who had conflicting feeling about Marmite with one saying, 'Tim Loves It’, and the other saying ‘Mary Hates It.’ This would’ve been a much more engaging campaign that and it would’ve reinforced the brand’s famous message.
Another one of the pioneers of personalisation is Nike. In 1999 they created NikeID, a platform allowing consumers to tailor their very own Nike shoes. Revolutionary at the time, Nike recognised the potential in giving to power to the consumer. Still growing and going strong in 2015, it is clear Nike was right in seeing that consumers seek brands that reflect their personal values and style. That they respect brands that see their consumers as individuals and make it personal.