Personalization (def. Wikipedia.org) involves using technology to accommodate the differences between individuals. Once confined mainly to the Web, it is increasingly becoming a factor in education, health care (i.e. personalized medicine), television, and in both “business to business” and “business to consumer” settings.
Personalization of brands is nothing new. M&M’S® has been doing it for years with their personalized candies. Here is an advertisement for personalized M&M’s® from Christmas 2007.
The scope of personalized brands and products is expanding. For example, using Facebook, Heinz Soup UK has rolled out this cold and flu season a ‘Get Well Soup’ campaign. By ‘liking’ its Facebook page, Heinz Soup UK Facebook page fans can send their friends actual personalized cans of soup. They can choose the soup flavor (tomato or chicken), and personalize the can with their friend’s name and a message. Forget get well cards!
In Greece, the popular Lacta chocolate bars who’s wrapper has been a symbol of love, used by lovers to write love notes, has now incorporated Facebook and Augmented Reality to take this brand association one step further. Now, Greek Lacta Facebook fans can send a personalized note to Facebook friends to be read with a Smartphone, the Lacta Augmented Reality App and of course chocolate bar wrapper in hand. I can see this being very popular over Valentine’s Day.
Now, Google is trying to personalize your search with ‘Search, plus Your World.’ This will use your Google + data when you are signed into your account to personalize your search results. It will be interesting to see the public reaction to this new personalized content search.
So as you can see, personalization is hot! With technological advancement and the aggregation of target market data it is becoming easier to really make consumers feel unique.