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Why do we prefer a personalised customer experience?

Personalisation is now a well-established and effective marketing concept. With its well-known “Share a Coke” campaign, featuring a common name printed on the iconic bottle, a giant like Coca-Cola led the way. Consumers no longer want a Coke; they want their Coke. Since then, personalisation has become a rising trend and offering customers a service tailored to their needs has become a must in all marketing strategies. Today’s challenge is combining the demand for individual products/services in a world where automation and standardisation processes are necessary to increase productivity. 

Why do we crave customised products?

We can better understand customers’ choices and behaviour by using psychology. A study at the University of Texas investigated the scientific motivation for this tendency, identifying two key factors that establish its mental functioning: information overload and the desire for control, i.e., a functional and an identity-related motivation.

These two factors impact consumer choices, influencing them to choose the product or service that best satisfies their needs. Therefore, the first step in creating a successful personalisation strategy for your company is to understand the demands of your target market to identify the functional needs or identity needs that are crucial to their choice.

Identity-based drivers: a peculiar way of controlling the world

It may sound unexpected, but personalised experiences give consumers the illusion of greater control over their choices. Although no one enjoys being driven by relentless marketing, the web adverts chosen based on our interests are less annoying. When you know you’re getting something tailored to your interests, you still perceive having control over what you’re engaging with. 

“Even if this sense of control is an illusion, it’s still powerful and can positively affect your psyche. According to Psychology Today, people who feel an internal sense of control — i.e., believe that they are in control of their life outcomes, as opposed to thinking external forces are responsible — tend to be healthier physiologically and more successful.”

We all want to be recognised as unique individuals, whether buying products from local or international companies. Customisation can help clients express themselves in a way that allows them to imprint their distinctive individuality on a generic, mass-produced good. A study in Brain Research found that hearing one’s name triggers a unique response in the brain (as opposed to hearing other words). More specifically, hearing one’s name causes more brain activity than listening to other words, especially in the cuneus, the superior temporal cortex, and the middle frontal cortex, which are all involved in social behaviour, long-term memory, and auditory processing.

Cocktail party effect: untangle an intricate web of information

It is pretty tricky to untangle oneself from a dense web of information. The internet has substantially increased the range of available possibilities, rising to what we call the Messy Middle (we have already discussed it here). Personalisation is one of the winning strategies to differentiate a product from the competition because it effectuates a selection among all the information the consumer has at disposal. 

Personalisation exploits the concept of selective attention theorised by Dr Rachna Jain. This ability to focus on one bit of information while ignoring other information is controlled by the RAS, a kind of attention filter that selects the information sent to the brain. Most commonly, the RAS is associated with selective attention, which means that we naturally orient ourselves to the information or ideas in which we are invested.”

One of the most common examples of your RAS in action is the “cocktail party effect.”  Here’s how it works: If you’re at a party with dozens of people chatting, you can easily ignore or tune out those conversations. They’re just background noise. But you magically tune on that conversation if someone says something you’re interested in. Your RAS will outweigh the noise.

Personalise a medical consultation

Medical consultation is in itself a unique experience; in the case of cosmetic medicine and surgery, the study of the patient’s body, the analysis of their demands and the psychological approach to the procedure is essential to satisfy patients. Despite this, improving the patient’s shopping experience is possible by remaining present at all customer journey stages. Arbrea Labs offers its clients all the most advanced technological tools to create an experience tailored to each patient. Augmented reality can create a unique interaction between the doctor and the patient, improving communication.

For instance, using Arbrea Breast can replace bra sizers and instead offer an immersive digital experience, allowing your patients to visualise the possible outcomes straight to their bodies. By mirroring themself on the screen, the patient can see an improved self-image reflected closer to her wishes. It is also possible to later share the simulation images with the patient and compare them with the final postoperative result.

🟣 If you want to learn more and find out how to create a tailor-made consultation experience for your patient, contact the Arbrea team. We will advise you on the most suitable strategy for your target audience.

Bibliography

  • Bright, Laura Frances. “Consumer Control and Customization in Online Environments : An Investigation into the Psychology of Consumer Choice and Its Impact on Media Enjoyment, Attitude, and Behavioral Intention.” The University of Texas at Austen, https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/18054.
  • Johnson, John A. “Freedom and Control.” Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/cui-bono/201104/freedom-and-control.
  • Carmody, Dennis P, and Michael Lewis. “Brain Activation When Hearing One’s Own and Others’ Names.” Brain Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 20 Oct. 2006, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1647299/.