Rooted in rich customer data, hyper-personalisation will be central to the future of retail, yet it also creates extreme conflicts for brands.
Hyper-personalisation is inextricably linked to data. These days, people are even willing to share their DNA for personalised products, from ALLÉL’s DNA-matched skincare to Vinome’s curated wine selections.
However, hyper-personalisation creates extreme conflicts for brands. On the one hand, people want uniquely personalised products. Yet on the other hand, when people aren’t in the shopper mode, preferences that follow them through digital platforms are jarring, off-putting, and can actually build distrust of a brand.
Direct to consumer brands take a data rich approach to brand building, applying online learnings to everything from product to packaging. Independent fashion brand retailer SilkFred constantly monitors customer engagement on social media, passing on feedback to suppliers to ensure the products being made are the ones that customers actually want to purchase.
Yet the key to digital native brands’ success is not tech alone. It is personality. Brand personality fosters an emotional connection with a brand, with the power to transform perception of mundane products and establish a trusted relationship with the customer. Take sustainable toilet paper brand Who Gives a Crap, known for its colourfully packaged loo roll and door-to-door service. The brand transforms the ultimate functional product into an ethical statement to be proudly displayed.
From online to offline, relationship building is the future of personalised brand experiences. Many brands are already taking clienteling seriously, putting the customer relationship at the heart of the store experience. Glossier incorporates customer feedback throughout the customer journey, online to offline, positioning store colleagues as knowledgeable friends to the customer and encouraging colleagues to seek customer feedback via facetime and social media.
The key to remember is that customers have to want this level of engagement and elect it too. So if hyper-personalisation is useful, smart and relevant to customer’s lives – what’s not to like?
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