Personalisation in the Home
Charlotte Richardson Andrews from Inside Packaging Magazine spoke to Vivid Brand’s Planning Director Zoe Kelly to discuss the prevalence of personalised packaging and discover how it can make its way into our lives through secondary uses as display items to help aid every day life.
Customisation is de rigueur online. Our devices remember our browsing history and autofill our forms, curating our adverts and content based on our most commonly used search terms. It’s no surprise then that consumers both want and expect similarly intuitive shopping experiences and products in the tangible world.
“Personalisation appeals because it’s about experiences that appear to be utterly unique and tailored to the individual,” says Zoe Kelly, planning director at Vivid Brand. “It’s a catch-all for a number of things: ownership – such as Coke’s Share A Coke naming campaign; empowering the individual – like Nike iD’s trainer customisation service; a demonstration of creativity such as Converse’s Blank Canvas; right through to a chance to wish someone a swift recovery with Heinz’ ‘Get Well Soon’ soup initiative.”
From Online To On Shelf
The personalisation trend in packaging emerged from the rise in online shopping, says Kelly – ecommerce, QR codes, digital apps – and information gathered during the course of this process will go beyond the anecdotal and move even further into customisation.
“In essence, the more we know about a consumer, the more we can tailor around them. As a result, highly tailored solutions will be made more and more available by brands to give consumers a sense that the products that are buying into could only have been made for them.
Customise VS Personalise
There’s an important distinction to be made between customisation and personalisation, explains Kelly. “Customisation aims to cater to my tastes, preferences and needs. Personalisation works in a different way: it enhances our relationship with brands, imbues them with personal meaning by connecting our identities to them.” While the Share A Coke campaign offered customisation, a service like online trainer customisation service Nike iD – allows the individual to create a product that is totally unique to them. With this type of personalisation, brands are offering consumers multiple opportunities to express themselves, providing platforms where their identities can be reflected back to them.
Bespoke For A Depersonalised Society
Personalisation is the diversifying of mass production. This breakthrough in industry was an initially thrilling prospect for customers, creating a market built on accessible, affordable, convenient purchasing. But as technology, packaging and advertising move forward, personalisation continues to speak to an increasingly depersonalised society, allowing consumers to put their stamp on a brand and feel they are being treated as individuals. Personalisation speaks to status, brand pride and luxury. But producers should be wary of how they employ this option. Beyond adding to a product’s power as a fashion or gift item, customers will want to know whether personalisation has truly enhanced the product itself, and whether this is worth paying a premium for.
The Personalised Home
As personalisation becomes more prevalent in packaging how will it add to our home life? In the hallway, we might see a line of customised trainers, embossed with our family name. In the kitchen cupboards, our Coke cans bearing our names will be lined-up in the chiller.
In the bathroom medicine cabinet, medicine packets that have been printed with customised QR codes, ensuring supply-train providence and safety from counterfeiting, and make-up – eyeshadow, lipstick – that has been personalised down to the hue and packaging.
In the front room, a bouquet of Interflora flowers, hand-picked online by “dragging and dropping” from more than 70 flower and foliage options.
And in pride of place on the liquor stand, a gifted bottle of whisky – not just baring a customised label but also containing a uniquely tailored blend, courtesy of Glasgow-based company Whiskey Blender, who’s web-based service allows customers to create their own blends from up to seven varieties of the spirit.
“Customisation is set to go even further,” says Kelly. “We will find that the delivery of the product through the packaging will become even more tailored to highly individual experiences i.e. perfectly sized portions, worked out to maintain your optimal weight, in uniquely shaped packs. We’ll see instances where the information on packs will be reworked according to the individual: large type for the poor sighted, loud warnings of gluten content for coeliacs.
According to research, women are four times more likely to respond to personalised and gender specific packaging. Is this an area packaging producers should be exploiting?
“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours – little wonder that women are four times more likely to respond to personalised packaging as brands appear to ‘recognise’ their audience and reflect them back. Because personalised packaging instantly feels relevant and considered, it appeals to women who relish the personal touch. The more personal it appears the more likely women are to notice, accept and engage with brands, which means that we will see much more of it.”
The Toy Cupboard
Producers are increasingly adopting genderless packaging, especially when it comes to children’s products, following pressure from campaigns such as Let Toys Be Toys. Will (gender free) personalisation help in lieu of using gender signifiers to appeal to young consumers? Absolutely, says Zoe. “The first thing we do as children is learn our name and how to write it. Having our identity played back to us is undoubtedly appealing.”
Putting The Person In Personalised
Advanced in digital printing are no doubt leading the way in this new wave of personalisation. In the home, the rise of 3D printers will see consumers tinkering and finessing their own creations. While on a wider, industry level, the increasing options that digital printing offer – small and large customised print runs, exceptionally fast turnaround times, the incorporation of personalisation in text and graphics, data merge capabilities and mass customisation – will continue to meet brand owners’ needs.