We live in time of self-expression.
And it is in this time that a new generation of consumers has emerged. People are increasingly encouraged to present their best qualities to the world. And the reward; self-validation. This has been in-part due to the boom of social media, allowing us to view, interact, and compare ourselves with our friends and peers.
Whatever the cause; we’re all hyper-connected. And this has given birth to a social phenomenon – Individualism.
Our pursuit of self-improvement used to be material possessions such as the latest technologies, and newer, innovative more products. But this has changed. Our pursuit for materiel has been a pursuit for spiritual self-expression.
The fact is, we want to be different. Consumers demand more from their products, and seek to pick specific attributes to make their possessions truly theirs. This does not mean a rejection of big brands, but rather an ‘augmentation’ of the brands. Our cars, smartphones, and our clothes have become increasingly customizable, and major brands are beginning to notice.
For this reason, fashion brands have taken cues from the auto industry, creating ‘Entry Luxe’ product lines. These ‘affordable luxuries’ have graced shelves, providing youth with an intro to their clothing and accessories, ultimately with the aim of building brand loyalty from an earlier age.
This strategy is yet to be properly evaluated. But all the while customization has developed into an affordable solution to luxury brands. The main reason is that it gives a cost-effective option to ‘standing out’ from the crowd, once again, satisfying our desires to self-express.
With this in mind, only time will tell if luxury brands can successfully compete with the likes of personalized and user-generated brands.
The certainty remains – customization has made a comeback. It’s a great time to be you.