3 Big Brands Bringing Customization To Classic Products

We know that Gen Z and Millennials are interested in personalization, and now big brands are taking cues from startups, and letting customers customize some classic items…

The days of one-size-fits-all are numbered. Customization is being taken to the next level to appeal to young consumers, for whom personalization has become an expectation. From the “Chipotle-fication” of the food industry to the “Netflix-ication” of entertainment, products and services that can be molded to their preferences are now the norm. We delved into this topic in our recent Customization Nation trend, exploring a slew of examples of customized products and experiences—and how young consumers feel about them. Ypulse’s data shows three quarters of 13-34-year-olds are interested in buying products that are personalized to their taste, and 91% find brands somewhat to extremely innovative if they offer personalized products.

Now, Millennials and Gen Z’s taste in products and services that feel like they’re made just for them is spurring more innovation in the space. While at one point the idea of personalized products was a novelty, technology has allowed hyper-personalization to spread across industries and to be achieved on a mass scale. We’re seeing new methods of customization and personalization emerging in retail, beauty, food, health, entertainment, and more, making tailored products and services more accessible than ever before. While much of this customization activity is being undertaken by startups like Lost My Name, Function of Beauty, Mon Purse, and more, we’re starting to see more big brands get in on the action. Here are three bringing personalized, build-your-own tech to some classic products:

Xbox Design Lab

You might not see the Xbox controller as a classic product, but we can guarantee that…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

BeautyCon is continuing to take “Sephora and Coachella and smash it into one thing” to appeal to young consumers. At the latest L.A. event, 20,000 beauty fans came to meet their influencer idols and try out the latest makeup trends, surrounded by empowering slogans and messages—true to the brand’s idea that “beauty can be something beyond a concealer culture.” Of course, brands were there “to win over the new generation”—ChapStick Duo offered cotton candy while Rimmel London’s “slayground” gave attendees a chance to set down their makeup and enjoy a jungle gym and swing set.
(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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