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Today people do not only want personalized communication, but also products and services that are either personalized to show off properties or creativity, or customized to fit preferences. Consumers can also choose the design and color for their own unique products. The office sector responds to this demand by offering individualized stationery products.
Thanks to the digital revolution products can be adapted online by customers according to their own needs with the help of computers, mobile internet and smartphones. Research shows that this option stimulates online sales. However, that does not alter the fact that some products are better suited for offline sales in a physical store. People like to listen to high-end audio speakers before buying them. One example is Coolblue with an online web shop for consumer electronics and office products and physical stores in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Stationery products are easy to personalize. The data can be printed on most products, such as Stabilo's writing instruments, which can be provided with a name according to a favoured design. Sometimes a laser is used on leather products such as notebooks and books with a leather cover. Individualizing is also possible, for example, with the Posca markers from Faber-Castell, producer of writing and drawing materials. Graffiti and comic artist Sebastian Lohmeier (alias KL52) showed that during the Kitesurf World Cup Sylt by decorating bags, skateboards and a kiteboard. Young people are an interesting target group. This is why manufacturers think of cool events or offers to draw the attention of youngsters to their products. Pilot Pen, manufacturer of writing instruments, for example, had the campaign "Cool to School - Design your FriXion". Buyers could upload their receipt, then design their personal FriXion design online and have it sent to them for free in the form of a sticker.
A personalized shopping experience encourages impulse and repeat purchases. Manufacturers recognize this and offer their dealers software for online shops with possibilities for personalization. This is also the case with Trodat, manufacturer of stamps with their uTypia software. With this, an online shop can be adapted to the individual needs of the dealer and other articles can be personalized in addition to stamps.
The highligt of individualization is the combination of customization and personalization. A product is tailor-made and then printed with your own photo and text. Products that lend themselves perfectly to this are greeting cards. Manufacturers such as Greetz and Hallmark respond to this by offering extensive options for personalizing greeting cards. These are then printed and delivered by mail. In short, individualization plays an increasingly important role with stationery products.
Show your customers what is possible. Draw their attention to all the ways they can personalize gifts – either by putting up a poster in your shop or creating a separate section on your website. When the gift-giving season approaches, a themed table in the run-up to Easter or from mid-October to the end of November adorned with personalized examples will inspire your customers who are on the lookout for a more personal gift.
About the author:
Jan van Holten, a Dutch journalist, is active as a journalist for magazines in the fields of office, graphic industry, IT (Information and Communication Technology) and human interest. A good environment is or paramount importance to him. Green products therefore have special attention