Before the Industrial Revolution everything was handmade and customized, even though the good options belonged to the high class only – Personalization has always been a signature of luxury. However, after the 20th century the Ford Production Model stablished itself in every country, factories started flourishing and the big middle class could afford many kind of products. The production and market prices had been diminished, although, everybody had the same products.
Now, we are living a period where consumers want to go back to the exclusivity of having something different from the rest, and as you can imagine, social media and digital technology are leveraging personalization to another level.
For example, a Luxury Brand that started a very cool initiative is Salvatore Ferragamo who launched MTO (Made to Order) Driver, a section in their website where users can chose the color, material and hardware for their shoes, creating an unique model according to their taste.
To promote their bespoke service, Salvatore Ferragamo enlisted race car driver Mathias Lauda, SoundCloud co-founder Alexander Ljung and Olivia Palermo’s husband Johannes Huebl to appear in its new Escape campaign.
Nike started doing it with their sneakers for already quite some time and now many luxury brands are approaching similar actions:
- Fashion: Louis Vuitton, Goyard and other Luxury bags allow the consumers to print their initials
- Beauty: Byredo’s niche fragrances offers the service to very loyal customers of creating their own fragrances, from an entry cost of $32.000.
- Interior design: House of Hackney‘s bespoke service offers plenty of options like made to measure options and expert decorating consultancy.
These options take advantage of the digital era to drive sales. On the other hand, I have found one innovative idea that takes advantage of an old handmade tradition to create an app that allows the consumer to have tailors ready to work on demand to redesign your ill-fitting garments. The idea came from George Zimmer, the founder of the men’s clothing retailer Men’s Wearhouse, converted to digital entrepreneur after leaving the company.
In my opinion, he has found a great market opportunity. There are two facts that will definitely make this App successful, besides the huge investment that Mr. Zimmer has put behind it. One is the existing trend of renovating outfit constantly, and the other one is the existence of many closets filled with old-fashioned $1.000 suits, who’s owners can’t afford the same life level.
If you are a young designer, or you are planning to launch any kind of product to the market, take into account this existing trend – Leave consumers the space for deciding a couple of elements of the design, we all like to be exclusive and the market is full of inspiring examples, like the ones I’ve shown in the post. And remember, think digital: Social Media and technology will definitely help you offering personalization services!