“You don’t worry about fitting in when you custom made” - Drake
Drake said it best - today's market environment is not about fitting in to one trend. Rather, consumers require an element of control and power over the products they purchase, through customization and specialization.
Over the last ten to fifteen years, we’ve seen a lot of change and development within all industries and markets, worldwide. The digital revolution, including the rise of the internet, social media and the quick and easy flow of content, has transformed the way consumers not only make purchasing decisions, but also the way they engage with businesses and each other. We’ve seen a clear shift from consumers waiting for businesses to give them what they want - they now demand it through various channels such as social platforms.
This has now developed further, to a point where audiences want to create exactly what they need and want from the outset. No matter the industry, giving consumers the power of customization has become almost essential to a positive customer experience. The era of making our shopper the developer has arrived.
In a time of too much content, it’s no surprise that it’s becoming more of a challenge to entertain our quickly-bored audiences. So what’s the answer? Give them the power of choice, to entertain themselves. From a music industry that relied on CD sales, consumers no longer want to listen to just one artist at a time. With streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, we now have the option to click between various songs, artists and genres without thinking twice. In television and film, Netflix has given this same choice to audiences. Services like SoundCloud and YouTube take it one step further, giving us the option to create and upload our own music and video - here we see consumers get the customization control they desire.
Products For Me
The retail industry has seen a similar shift and with so many products available, the potential for even further specialization is growing rapidly. Whether the company is new or established, this trend is becoming something consumers demand for every product they purchase. Companies like Ray Ban - started in the 1930s - have adapted in the 21st century, providing audiences the option to design their own pair of sunglasses with a choice of frames, colors and styles. And adults are not the only ones who need this power of choice - children can now create their own toys and games with brands like Build-A-Bear.
A benefit of the internet and the digital world is that the flow of information is so easy, and our audiences are therefore becoming more aware of various ideas faster. In hospitality, the health-craze is one such trend that has developed and that has contributed to the desire for more options and control over what is consumed. While some companies have created their own meals and solutions, others have handed that power over to their customers. If we look at Chipotle, Whole Foods Market, Cava or even Pizza Hut, the ‘build-your-own’ is becoming a staple on many menus. And it’s no surprise, as consumers need this control to feel completely satisfied with their experience.
No matter the industry, it’s seeming clear that people are needing the power of choice within every aspect of their life. By becoming part of the product development phase, consumers maintain control and leave a buying decision happier as they were able to customize something to fit their exact need and want.