Smitha Dunwell

Managing Principal

  • Data
  • CX
  • Customer Analytics

26 Jul, 2022

Personalisation is great, but brand trust is even better

You can download our infographic here.

In the digital world, brands need to compete and excel on customer experience they provide as much as they compete on price and value.

When it comes to creating magical moments most brands can seek to learn from Disney – one of the most admired brands of our times – for their fantastic customer experience. They do this from the moment their customers purchase tickets to the moment they exit the park – consistently, and they do this through personalisation of experiences.

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”

– Walt Disney

Brands such as ‘Amazon’, ‘Stitch fix’ also rely on data and use machine learning to curate personalised recommendations for millions of their customers based on detailed insights on their past purchases, preferences and predict their preferences.

Personalisation a key growth driver for brands

Personalisation is not only  a crucial capability, it’s one that punches above its weight, no matter whether the company is a digital native, a brick-and-mortar player, or a behind-the-scenes producer*1.

Our LinkedIn poll (with over 400 responses) to understand consumer behaviour and attitude towards personalisation indicates that 70% are willing to purchase from a brand if they curate more personalised experiences and 60% are even willing to pay more for personalised experiences.

Personalisation is a key growth driver for brands – using data to predict what customers want and expect at a particular point in time. Based on granular data such as location, search patterns, past purchases, channel preference, order history etc – tailored messages, product offers are crafted that specifically cater to their needs.

To successfully capitalise on personalisation trend, brands need to also be careful how frequently they engage with their customers via an offer or product suggestion, it must be relevant (ie when they are ready to buy), seamlessly connecting offline and online experiences to be consistent.

All the above requires quality, trustworthy granular data about customers, their behaviours, and a lot of analysis on data to distil key insights and a culture of experimentation (test and learn mechanisms).

Are customers willing to share more ‘data’ in exchange for personalised experiences?

Customers demand personalisation but they are wary of sharing additional data. Our poll had mixed responses from respondents - 50% respondents were not willing to share additional data with brands for personalised experiences, around 48% said they would only with brands they trust.

Recent research indicates that customers are more comfortable sharing their data with providers in financial services or health care*2. This is because significant life events like receiving personalised medical treatment, mortgage or loan approval are reliant on additional personal data and far more critical than a product or service offering. Due to the heavy regulated nature of these industries also mean there is implicit trust when doing business with them.

Transparency is key when collection additional customer data

Most other industries struggle with issues such as customer trust, data protection, secure data collection, and striking a balance between asking for personal data that is required as part of their transactions vs asking for too much information that might not be relevant.

Transparency is key when organisation put initiatives to collect additional personal data. They need to ensure there is explicit consent when capturing personal data, efforts are made to clearly communicate to the customers the purpose for collecting the data and how it would be used.

Loss of privacy, misuse of personal data diminishes the trust customer have with brands and impacts negatively on loyalty and future purchases. While personalisation is a key growth driver, not giving serious considerations for personal data privacy, protection and transparent guidelines on data collection is a huge deal breaker for customer loyalty and trust.

Leading organisations who have mastered personalisation are constantly experimenting, testing their communications, implementing transparent data collection policies, identifying potential issues, and putting actions to resolve potential problems.

If you’d like to know more about some of the strategies we have built to help our clients drive value through personalised experiences at the same time build trust through ethical data collection strategies or hear more about our customer analytics offerings, feel free to contact us.

Smitha Dunwell


*1 McKinsey, 2021

*2 McKinsey, 2020

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