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Product Customization Will Position Your Brand At the Top, Here's Why Catering to the customers' taste and preferences is what will help brands enhance their business and come out on top in the market in 2020

By Bharath Sastry

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To say that 2020 has somewhat been a year of extremes would be an understatement. With the year taking unexpected turns ever so often and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy has plummeted. To gain a clearer perspective, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its global gross domestic product estimate to a mere 3 per cent, a number not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

This crisis-induced uncertainty has left brands racing to keep their business afloat in the increasingly competitive market. Companies are coming up with new and innovative ways to expand their customer base and position themselves as the best in their respective industries. Customization of products is one route brands can take to cope with the rising competition in the business environment. While customized products are not new in the market, it is only recently that the demand for them has skyrocketed. This year, as the economy begins to reopen, brands can look to boost their business and personalized products can certainly position a brand at the top. Let us look at why product customization will further fortify their business's place.

What is customization?

To understand why customization will enhance business for a brand, one must understand what customization is and how it works. Customization is when a customer can modify or improvise on a product offered by the brand. Customization has quickly gained traction in the e-commerce market and has grabbed the attention of businesses.

Connecting with customers

Customers are the most important aspect of any business. Customers would definitely like to connect with the product they buy. If they do not feel that connect or liking towards a product, they don't make the purchase. Personalization, as the name suggests, helps the customer connect with the product they buy at a personal level. It evokes emotions such as pride, thoughtfulness, a sense of identity and joy.

Hence brands are now looking to customize their products to enable them to have an emotional connection with the product. For example, a global beverage brand Coca-Cola introduced cans of the drink with over 800 first names on it. One's name is tied to their sense of identity. With Coca-Cola's strategic customization, the company saw a major rise in sales. Later, the brand started introducing customization with surnames as well. Customized products offer a sense of identity to the customer, helping them connect with it better.

With hundreds of thousands of products available in the market today, customized products add a human touch to your brand by making your business consumer-focused rather than product-focused. Personalized products will help your brand come closer to its customers by making it more human and authentic as it caters to each customer's specific preference.

Better insight into consumer behavior to build a loyal customer base

Allowing customers to personalize products will certainly offer you better insight into consumer behavior. While they are customizing their products, you will be able to learn the current trends, and their preferences better, which will invariably allow you to alter/design your products accordingly. These insights will act as a boost for your sales and will bring more revenue along with a loyal customer base. A loyal customer base is an aspect that most businesses strive to achieve. Product customization in a way helps build a loyal customer base. What better way to build customer loyalty than to allow them the freedom to design their products? Providing your customers with sufficient options to personalize their product will attract them further towards your brand and will considerably improve customer retention.

A unique take on products

When the products are not customized, there can be hundreds of products similar to the one your brand builds. However, customization automatically makes the product unique, edgy, and enables it to stand out. Apart from this, when a product is personalized, the perceived value of it goes up due to its uniqueness.

Customized products can help you be prepared for the future in a better way. The year 2020 might not have gotten off to a great start but brands can definitely make the best use of opportunities they find and cater to the customers' needs to build their business further. When businesses flourish, the economy of the country will progress.

Bharath Sastry

CEO, Vistaprint India

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