Customers seek more 'brand customisation'
The convergence of two branding trends has converted into an increased consumer desire for more customised product and service offerings, according to Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys Inc.
The first trend is consumers' heightened feeling of control over almost every aspect of their lives, and the second is the commoditisation of almost everything. Combined, these trends have created a natural craving on the part of consumers for goods and services that represent their own personality and needs, in the form of customisable brands.
Brand differentiation According to Passikoff, in the old world of branding where differentiation was hard to achieve, products and services needed to stand for values that they could 'own' and that would act as differentiators.
Looking at the 57 categories and nearly 400 brands measured in the Brand Keys' Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, the company found that the average contribution that customisation makes to product and service engagement, adoption, and loyalty (and therefore profitability) is currently 18%, or nearly five times the contribution when it was originally measured in 1997.
Top ten categories As an example of the success of customisation of brands, consumers can already go online and design their own running shoes, right down to the colour of the laces. They can customise their new car on the manufacturer's web site. They can put a photo of their child or pet on their credit cards, and even choose what time of month they want their statements to be sent.
The list is almost endless, and this kind of customisation is something that most consumers take for granted today. Of the 57 categories examined the top ten - where customisation has become one of the main brand differentiators - were as follows:
- Athletic footwear;
- Online service providers;
- Wireless providers;
- Mobile phones;
- Parcel delivery;
- Coffee providers;
- Clothing catalogues.