Is there a trend towards individualisation?
Last week, I once again read various reports about a trend towards individualisation. The world's largest manufacturers of software for apparel design and product management as well as manufacturers of digital printers and cutting machines for the apparel industry invoke this trend in their current marketing mailings. They refer in their relevant marketing mailings to the statements of the hippest fashion bloggers in Milan, London and NYC, who praise the desire for individuality.
ISPO Personal Design Award 2007
This alleged trend has been on everyone's lips in our industry for many years. Already in 2007 the ISPO, the world's largest sporting goods fair, presented the "Personal Design Award" in Munich. While I am writing these lines I am flipping through the glossy brochure for the award that was created at that time. I was able to count myself and my company among the proud winners in the category "Sports Design Award". One of the main sponsors of the event was the automobile group VOLVO. At that time, they had tried to sell a middle class car with individually designable colour concepts.
13 years later
And today - 13 years later - we are still talking about the same trend. But I see mainly dark grey, silver grey, black and white vehicles on the roads. And instead of individuality, I see a massive trend towards the brand. Has TESLA become the most popular car brand because the vehicles can be individualised? Or do we express our individuality by the fact that we can or want to afford a TESLA?
It's true, I can configure my smartphone - which of course, if I want to be "in", should be an IPHONE - very individually. But how individually do we design our smartphones, our cars and our flats and houses? Don't we rather still follow the big trends and use the same apps? And in fashion? Do we wear our trousers short and wide when hip fashion labels have it pretended? Who, who wants to be socially accepted, dares to appear in public with long and tightly cut trousers? In this case, individuality would not only mean not following fashion trends in colour and shape, but it would also mean dressing completely differently.
The question is, are we really doing this?
Do we as consumers really know what we want, or do we actually like to be guided? Are we cleverly steered by the trends and specifications of major brands, in whatever area of life? And is someone who completely opposes trends and thus actually expresses his individuality really recognised in society?
I have a clear opinion on this: I cannot see a trend towards individualisation in my industry. What I do recognise is a trend towards "wanting to have it right away". From my point of view, however, that is something different.
Ask for your opinion
I would like to ask you this question this time? What is your opinion on the subject of individualisation? In which areas of life do you choose absolutely individual solutions? And where do they like to use products and services that also inspire others to a high degree? I am very much looking forward to your feedback!