3 Brands Taking Personalization To The Next Level

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: Individualized Fit Fashion  

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…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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