ru barksfield quote web

Many household brands now employ personalisation as a long-term engagement tactic as they increasingly seek to connect with consumers on an emotional level.

In 2013, research by Hanley Wood Business Media showed that 78% of consumers believe brands which create unique and personalised content are more interested in building a relationship with them. In the digital world we’ve seen many personalised experiences delivered particularly well, so it’s only natural for fmcg brands to follow such an approach - over the past three years we have seen its success proven by brands such as Coca-Cola, Nutella and Marmite.

Within the digital and experiential space, what makes personalised activations and products more appealing is the way they hark back to traditional and nostalgic images of Christmas - the handmade crafts, gifts and personal touches. And high street stores are afforded an opportunity to compete with online. Selfridges is a great example with its Selfridges Loves: Personalised Gifts department. I’d challenge anyone to walk around the store and not feel the Christmas spirit!

Personalised products allow brands to give something back to consumers and help build brand affinity. However, it could be argued what we have seen to date is more about customisation, often limited to labels and packaging. In the not so distant future, I’m certain we’ll see an increased depth of customisation leading to true personalisation, including flavours and recipes to suit individual tastes.

A benefit of creating limited-edition, personalised products is the opportunity to trial and learn what works (and what doesn’t) at consumer-brand level, and to adopt such learnings as part of a longer term engagement ­strategy. This won’t suit every brand in every industry but for a large proportion of fmcg brands, the opportunities are rife.

By understanding their customer data and providing ­relevant, personalised experiences which integrate seamlessly both online and offline, brands will provide consumers with experiences they’ll love and come back to again and again, not just at Christmas.

Ru Barksfield is co-founder and CEO of FATUnicorn