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A counter-trend amid the ubiquity of mass-market products and brands is the search for more bespoke, personalized products and services. ""Mass customization"" is being adopted as consumer-facing companies seek to capitalize on demand for greater product variety and individualization. Products that meet more personal needs are perceived as offering superior value, and positively impact perception.
Greater digitalization has made shoppers more informed and able to more easily optimize their choices depending on their needs and situational circumstances. If consumers do not need, use, or value a product feature, then they ignore it and/or replace it. This places additional pressure on new product development (NPD) to ensure that consumer expectations are consistently monitored and met. It also demands more open systems of consumer interaction.
• More individualistic, digitally connected consumers feel empowered to express and act upon their opinions and beliefs by making ""identity-related"" purchases.
• Global economic development and urbanization in emerging markets is making consumers wealthier, creating a greater sense of personal entitlement, which is driving self-congruent consumerism.
• Escalating threat of private label products in FMCG is putting pressure on brands to adopt a differentiation strategy. Personalization/customization can be both a functional and emotional reason to trade up and can provide a route to premiumization.
• Self-responsibility for health and wellness is driving consumption of products that enable consumers to control their diets more directly to meet their personal health needs.
Personalization and customization facilitate differentiation by creating a product offering that the consumer perceives as possessing a unique value that matches their needs more closely. Increased personal relevance enhances engagement and creates more involved buying behavior. It also leads to higher consumer satisfaction at a time when people's preferences are becoming stronger and more forcefully expressed. Companies can command a price premium, differentiate their product offerings, and, at the same time, be rewarded with greater loyalty.
Product Specificity is currently in the maturity stage, with pet care, alcoholic drinks, and household care sectors seeing strong development at present. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are in the maturity phase, as the concept of positioning products around specific holidays or socializing occasions remains a popular marketing strategy in these sectors. Additionally, demographic segmentation and tailoring product offerings to satisfy personal health needs are common differentiation strategies adopted by food and drink brands.
The report “Trend Sights Analysis: Product Specificity; Addressing the consumer need to share products, services, and experiences” covers different facets of Product Specificity, why it is important, and how brands and manufacturers can capitalize. The research concludes by identifying where the trend is heading next and future growth opportunities for this trend by sector.
Companies mentioned in this report: KitKat, Procter & Gamble, Tide, Lily's Kitchen, Chapstick, Ribena, Cheerios, MAC Cosmetics, Coors Light, Arla, Heineken, Dior, Air Wick, Marks & Spencer, Tetley, Mondelēz, L'Oréal, Nivea, Coca Cola, Nutella, The Body Shop.