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

“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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