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Generation Why?

generation y

I get asked the same question a lot. Wherever I am in the world and whatever event I am speaking at, it gets asked. I try my best to answer with detail and facts to back up my argument but what tends to happen when I get to the end of my explanation of my answer is – I get asked the question again. Why…?

 

Why do people want personalisation? Why do people pay more for products with their names on it? Why do brands think it’s a good idea to offer personalisation? Why, why why…Well, I’m going to do my best to offer answers to all of those questions and see if we can’t get a simple – Ok I get it now – by the end of this piece. So, let’s start with a fact – personalisation is not new, it’s not a trend, it’s not a crazy fad that will burn out in a couple of years when everyone has had enough of it. The reason I know this to be true is that in one way or another, we have been personalising things since cavemen wrote on the walls and described ( in pictures ) the hunt they had just taken part in.

 

Through the ages, we have added value to many things with the addition of initials – cuff-links, handkerchiefs, shirts, jewellery etc. Even Henry VIII had his current wife’s initials embroidered into the curtains of her quarters until, rather scarily for said wife, she noticed them being un-picked in preparation for the arrival of a new wife! So, we like this kind of thing and as I said – it isn’t new. What is new, is the way that we can now deploy personalisation utilising digital printing techniques across a wider range of products and substrates than ever before. And this has unleashed the current wave of personalised product marketing campaigns around the world that we see almost routinely.

 

Why do we like them? Because it unleashes the inner ego in all of us that likes to feel recognised, likes to be made to feel like an individual by massive companies and global brands. In those situations I have watched as grown men & women have got very child-like in their joy at seeing their name on an iconic product such as Coca-Cola or Bud Light or Oreos or Kit-Kats. And that’s before you see the effect it has on our children – remember the excitement at finding a key ring at the seaside with your name on it – that is the reason why we like it folks.

 

Why are we prepared to pay more for them? Simply, we value it higher. It is no longer a product, it’s a thoughtful gift with our name on it that happens to be made of a product, preferably an iconic product that becomes a keepsake. And although we have seen some brands enter this world that maybe shouldn’t have ( hang your head in shame Vaseline ), it does also prove that just because it can be personalised – doesn’t mean it should be!

 

Why do brands like it? It opens a dialogue directly to their consumers that’s why. A conversation that has never been had before as the relationship between brand and consumer has always been in-direct, usually via major retailers. But we live in an age where the consumer wishes to be treated as an individual and brands are waking up to this via ecommerce, dealing directly with consumers for the first time and using personalised products as the device which opens this relationship up – PLUS it allows them to collect data on those consumers that helps to inform their internal product development and marketing strategy, again a new evolution.

 

So, does that cover it for now? Anymore questions?? I’m here to answer them all because after all – the next wave of consumers aren’t just millennials, they are Generation Why…!

 

Twitter: @richardaskam1

Linkedin:  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/richard-askam-2480b48

Website: www.richardaskam.com


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