Since unique is the new cool for this generation, they’re demanding products and services that are made for just them…
When first discussing hyper-personalization in 2015, we cited the trend forecast “Mass Individualism” from branding firm Landor Associates, which attributed the rise in personalization to technology: “Because digital has made everything personal, consumers expect that in their brand interactions. [Consumers think] ‘I’m not like anybody else, so why should I use the same products as they do?’” At that time, the fast food industry became one of the first to fully embrace customization—or “Chipotle-fication”—encouraged by young consumers’ tastes for tailored experiences and products.
Since then, hyper-personalization has spread across industries and become a marker for innovation: our recent Loyal-ish trend found that 91% of 13-34-year-olds find brands somewhat to extremely innovative if they offer personalized products. Young consumers are also willing to forgo certain privacies to work with brands on personalization. More than three in ten 13-33-year-olds agree that it’s smart for brands to use consumer data for more personalized experiences, and another 23% say that it’s necessary for brands today.
To keep you up to speed on where personalization is headed, here are three recent examples of brands taking the trend to a new level:
Adidas’s latest innovation, the 3D Runner, aims to set athletes up for their “best running experience” using new technology in custom footwear. For a limited time in New York, Tokyo, and London stores, consumers can stop in to run on a treadmill that measures their stride for a 3D-printed midsole customized to their feet. The pair of “comfortable, flexible, and durable” sneakers are built with precise grooves, instep, and contours that are shaped for each individual, and retail for $333. For the brand, this step towards customization “is just the beginning.” According to senior director of Adidas’ Future team: “Creating customized shoes based on an individual’s footprint – including their running style, foot shape, performance needs and personal preferences — is a north star for the industry and Adidas is leading with cutting edge innovations.”
In hopes of attracting tech-savvy Millennials, Carnival is creating the ultimate personalized experience. At CES last week the cruise line operator unveiled a new concierge technology that will help cruise employees “anticipate and respond to passengers’ needs.” Tracking medallions that are equipped with sensors will be given to passengers upon boarding, and consistently send information to crew members on tablets throughout the trip: “For example, a guest could be having a drink when a crew member comes by to remind him that a yoga class starts in five minutes. Or a waiter working poolside can ask whether a guest wants her usual gin and tonic.” The medallions can also be used to by passengers to reveal maps to their rooms on digital displays, unlock the door to their room, make purchases, and more.
Food delivery startup Habit is planning to stand out from the crowd by offering meals customized to a consumer’s metabolism, DNA biomarkers, and other data. An individual who wants to participate in the service will receive a package with a pinprick blood test and cheek swab, and send back their information to then be placed in one of seven diet types. Created by Habit, each diet type includes meals that use an individual’s recommended “hero food”—like eggs or walnuts—throughout the recipe options, offering various ways to better satisfy each person’s nutritional needs. Also included in the Habit food plan: “a “metabolic challenge” drink that helps to measure a person’s metabolism, a 30-minute consultation with a nutritionist, and an online personal health dashboard.
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