Acknowledging the booming millennial appetite for personalisation, shrewd luxury retailers are investing in new modes of customisation, both on and offline.
Last year, 45% of shoppers spent money on personalising a product or experience (Forrester, 2015). Bolstering that appetite, technological advances are making customisation increasingly affordable – presenting a massive opportunity for brands to engage with the 25% of consumers willing to pay a premium price (+20%), or the 45% who are happy to wait longer to get their personalised products (Deloitte, 2015).
We highlight some of the best recent examples.
- Bespoke Scent: French perfume/cosmetics giant Guerlain has launched a fragrance-specific flagship in Paris dedicated to providing bespoke concoctions created within a personalised and also educational olfactory experience. A digitised ‘perfume organ’ (the mechanical tool it uses for scent creation) allows customers to design a personal scent profile from Guerlain’s library of nearly 100 fragrances – all of which are preserved in the store’s own perfume cellar – or create their own custom scent in collaboration with an expert perfumer. Consumers can choose the bottle colour and neck nodes, plus the tissue paper and tape the bottle is wrapped in. Additionally, the bottles can be engraved and the tape embellished with embroidered initials.
- Wow Box: English accessories designer Anya Hindmarch has released ‘giftable’ leather keepsake caskets dubbed ‘Wow’ boxes – 10 oversized styles straddling occasions including hen nights, weddings and even mid-life crises. After colour and size are selected, customers can inscribe the box with an embossed nameplate or handwritten message. It’s then filled with witty accessories such as handwritten notes, stickers and coloured golf balls. Unlike Hindmarch's lauded 2014 initiative that allowed shoppers to digitally customise leather bags with stickers selected online, the scheme is in-store only for extra exclusivity.