In a world where there are more food & beverage brands than the kind of food itself, competitors are fighting against each other to gain consumer attention. Many brands have come up with innovative products, packaging, and marketing to grab more eyeballs from the customers.. But the truth be told, there is no better way to garner more customers than to make them feel that the product has been customized to suit their needs. Product personalization has been an effective tool which has been leveraged by the brands in order to gain customer attention, increase consumer loyalty, and thereby drive revenues. Owing to product personalization’s crucial success, even small players are looking for economical ways to implement it to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. However, many brands have struggled to practice this in an efficient way, as with customization the cost also significantly increases.
Successful product personalization
The story of Share a Coke campaign needs no mention, as it was able to win hearts of consumers creating a big hype across the world. The primary objective of the company was to engage with the customers by talking to them, and what better way than to put their name across the label on the bottles. The beverage giant started with 150 names at the start of the campaign in Australia which would reach 42% of the population. The company compiled a list of most common Australian name and leveraged digital channels to effectively reach the masses. The second wave had names voted by the customers and analyzing both first and last name, Coke carefully chose the name which would reach most number of consumers. Pepsi also did similar personalization exercise by creating unique emoji designs for their bottles.
Big Data Driving Mass Personalization
Collecting a multitude of data of each individual customer and environment including customers, products, locations, events, and topics companies can create a social metadata. Such data offers the complete overview of the customers and segregates them into certain types who exhibit similar behaviour. With that information in hand, companies can provide a mass personalized products to the customers. The customization can be in terms of products, price, or packaging. For instance, such data can enable Amazon to employ dynamic pricing. Companies can modify products that are mass produced, to meet specific customer preferences based on existing data.
Leveraging social technologies to crowdsource ideas
There can be no better way to truly personalize a product than to create it using what customers suggest. Consumers are firing their suggestions on social media channels to brands hoping that someday they would listen and personalize the product as per their suggestion. Although, it is difficult to track thousands of comments flowing through the digital channel in the past, text crawling, natural language processing and social media listening has made it possible to aggregate the consumer voices to find out what they really want. Starbucks pioneered the crowdsourcing idea with frappuccino.com which lets user build their own virtual frappuccino with ingredients such as protien powder and raspberry flavouring. The customers then rate each others frappuccino based on which Starbucks gauges the popularity and feasibiilty of the product before actually processing them. It also allows the company to discover popular combinations such as caramel and whipped cream which can help increase its sales.
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