In the near future, brands won’t speak with the same message to consumers; rather they’ll reach their audience with highly personalized products.
That was the message delivered by Rob Wallace, managing partner of Best of Breed Branding Consortium, during last month’s HBA Global Expo and Convention at the Jacob Javits Center. His presentation, The Age of Hyper-Customization: Engaging Consumers With Personalized Brand Experiences, provided a glimpse at what’s next for the type of personalization already teased already in the market by major brands such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
Providing a brief history of brand proliferation, he chronicled how shelves got to the point where they are today — saturated with choices leaving consumers overwhelmed. Now instead of too many options, shoppers clamor for a brand “that understands me.”
Wallace said the consumer packaged goods industry will hit the zenith of hyper-customization when consumers take over the driver seat and input their desires online. The confluence of digital printing becoming more affordable and consumers opening up with personal data will spur the movement.
The beauty industry is ripe for such hyper-personalization. “Imaging if you can go online and use a digital printer to create your own version of a face mask or fragrance,” he proposed.
Such a future world wouldn’t eliminate the role of physical stores. Rather those doors could serve as showrooms with kiosks and beauty consultants who teach and train consumers to use the products.
“The question is, ‘Will it be more expensive?’” Wallace said. He believes shoppers won’t mind digging deeper into their pockets for custom-made beauty. The data gathered could be used as insights for other brands, which in turn will bring down costs.
There are already beauty companies blazing the customization trail including eSalon, Mixologie, MatchCo and Lancôme. MatchCo, for example, uses a cell phone scan to get a real read on skin tone and blends a foundation for each person — no formula is alike. The bottle reads that it was exclusively formulated for the customer with her name printed on the bottle.
A recent study from Kline & Co. found that brands that capitalized on a personalized approach in 2015 saw high double-to-triple-digit growth.