Have you considered adapting your business' products and services to meet the demands of your customers? A Business Development Bank of Canada report on 5 must-watch trends states that "in 2013 nearly 75% of consumers claimed to want personalized products and services."¹ Personalizing your offerings could raise awareness and brand loyalty for your business and keep your customers and their friends coming back.

Let's say you are a tour operator offering fishing excursions. How could you customize the customer experience? Could you offer a day's excursion that features the customers' choice of fishing location? Could you have a personalized lunch menu where they could choose a fish perhaps they have never tried or that includes the one they just caught? How about a framed picture of their catch, a contest for the biggest fish or adding their selfies to your website or social media channel? What about using your 3D printer to create souvenir lures or a replica of the big catch?

Customization may incur additional costs and expenses so be sure to do some planning and market research, as you weigh the pros and cons of offering personalized products.

Here are some of the questions you could consider before personalizing your products or services:

  • Will customization benefit my bottom line?
  • What are the additional costs? Will I need new software or hardware?
  • Will I need to increase my resources or decrease inventory?
  • Should I create a new product or change an existing one? Act on a new idea or concept?
  • How will I handle cancellations of services or refunds on customized products?
  • Will it increase brand awareness?
  • Are there any risks associated with offering personalized products and services?

You want to be sure that you are offering something that clients truly want and that you are able to quickly adapt your product to the changing tastes of your customers. Try seeking input from your existing customers on ways that you could deliver a more customizable product or service. You may want to start slowly by testing the waters to ensure your ideas will float with your customers!

Find out more on how to take advantage of trends from our blog entitled "Be trend savvy and keep your competitive edge".

1. http://www.bdc.ca/EN/Documents/analysis_research/Infographic_Five_must-watch_trends.pdf