October 17 2018
Personalisation has been a hot topic in every industry this year. In the FMCG sector beauty has really been taking strides with tech, social media and products all acting as bespoke offerings. But food and drink, understandably, have been slower to adopt a personalised offering.
It’s hard to manufacture products with individual differences, but there are definite ways for food and drinks brands to create personalised offerings.
The most obvious example of personalisation is Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. With a simple switch of their logo to 250 top teen names, people instantly felt connected. It reached a huge audience as more and more people engaged with it, because it spoke directly to them. Either it was their name, or a friend’s, or a family member’s. There was a name in there somewhere that people knew. We want to see ourselves represented and this campaign did that.
(Image: Food Stalkers)
It even prompted them to create a website where people could order whichever name they wanted. Sales grew by 2.75%, just because they added the names.
Although this doesn’t exactly seem ground-breaking (after all they’re not the first brand to offer personalised packaging) the fact that it was done en masse definitely made it different. It was a regular bottle of Coke, bought in a regular shop, but it just so happened to have an emotional connection.
— Stephanie Budde (@StephanieBudde) September 6, 2018
Consumers don’t want to go out of their way to find and order bespoke things, they need brands to present it to them in their everyday lives. 42% of consumers say they want to be led by brands and pick from options rather than design/choose it themselves.
Although the Coke campaign plays to the emotional side of buying, other brands opt for preference personalisation. This involves switching up flavours and ingredients to suit individual preferences.
(Image: Pepsi Spire)
PepsiCo have played to this with their new Pepsi Spire. The drink dispenser lets customers add shots of flavour to any of their PepsiCo drinks e.g. Tropicana, Mountain Dew, or Pepsi. This lets users customise drinks to their own preference.
Unfortunately for many, this machine is limited to restaurants and similar businesses. So unlike the Coke campaign, it only reaches consumers in limited spaces.
(Image: MSNU Roundup)
However, it does let people create something personal to their preferences, which is overall a more bespoke offering.
Similarly, Onken ran a competition that let people win a personalised yoghurt. Consumers could enter by creating a new flavour using three of the twelve options available (pumpkin, mint, chilli, agave syrup etc). Three people won each day and had their special pot of yoghurt (with their name on it), delivered straight to their door.
Again, this gives consumers freewill over their flavour choices, but in a limited setting. At the moment, it’s not financially viable for brands to offer bespoke preferences every time. But having these limited options can help fill the void for those consumers that want something specialised sometimes.
One simple way lots of brands have started incorporating a personalised idea into their products is with ‘added benefits’. Following on from the wellness trend, brands are incorporating certain offerings that suit different consumers.
(Image: Pukka Herbs)
Pukka Herbs have used this to broaden their tea options. Some teabags have active turmeric to invigorate, others have matcha to clear the mind and one has aniseed to aid digestion. The variety they offer means people aren’t just opting for a hot drink anymore, instead they’re tailoring a wellness routine to themselves.
(Image: Pukka Herbs)
Having added benefits means consumers pick and choose what suits their personal needs without brands having to offer solutions on an individual basis.
Personalised campaigns aren’t always what brands think they should be. Consumers don’t want cosy one-to-one relationships, but instead appropriate services at the right time.
And sometimes personalisation can happen before consumers even get to the products. Some brands use their communication to create a more individual experience.
Nutella, like many other food brands, uses social media to share recipes and ‘Nutella Stories’ which showcase the different ways people use their chocolate spread. This lets the consumer personalise the story by how they use the product.
(Image: Nutella Stories)
Although not every product can be personalised via flavours or packaging, highlighting the unique ways each consumer interacts with it can do the same thing.
(Cover Image: Coca-Cola)