Traces of change: Individualisation

In today’s society, individual freedom for self-determination plays a very important role. With changing values and increasing digitalisation, today’s customers are looking for their own niche. They want to help shape, stand out from the crowd and present themselves as individuals. The megatrend individualization reflects this development very strongly.

For this reason, the consumer goods industry recognized early on that something has to change. Whether in chocolate or sportswear, with the help of mass customization and digital platforms, their customers’ products should reflect their individual personality. Whether only with their own name printed on the product or with an individually designed sports shoe or personalised jewellery. In today’s market environment, individualization is used in a wide variety of applications. But the essential remains: Consumer first!

Companies of all sizes must now adapt to this change, because just as a megatrend has in itself, it will remain for the time being and define the business world. The digital consumer of the future no longer wants one-fits-all solutions. Drawers and off-the-shelf products will soon be a thing of the past. They want to consume individually and according to their needs and be perceived as individuals by companies. From this, two different forms of the trend can be derived:



The described desire for differentiation and individualization is expressed especially in the personalization of products, services and experiences. With digital product configurators, customers can design products themselves or have them individualized by the company with the help of released data. This creation of highly individual products is increasingly becoming the status symbol of the future and gives the customer a feeling of uniqueness. One example of this is NIKEiD, where you can use a configurator to design your Nike products according to your own ideas.


NIKEiD Direct Studio – Niketown London

NIKEiD Direct Studio – Niketown London (Source: Nike)


Companies generate real added value when they combine both megatrends and technological trends. The new NIKEiD Direct Studio in Niketown London therefore enables real-time design of the shoe using augmented reality.



Another form of the megatrend individualisation is the so-called co-creation. This form of personalised, unique experience for the customer allows him to help shape the process himself. New products are developed together and the consumer is able to personalize his experience with a company’s product service offer – during its useful life – to a level that seems most pleasant to him. In this way, companies can not only quickly generate new ideas, but also increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Co-Creation: Kunden gestalten Produkte und Services der DB

Co-Creation: Customers design DB products and services (Source: Deutsche Bahn)


Deutsche Bahn has motivated its customers to jointly develop new products in order to fundamentally optimize their individual train journeys.

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The megatrend of individualization will have a strong influence on our society and will continue to gain in importance in the future. Continuous technological progress, in particular, will create new opportunities for the trend that have not yet been imaginable. Companies should therefore already look today at how they can get a little more personality into their services and products.

Translated with

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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