The power of customized experiences – what the leisure industry can learn from 5 other industries

Customized experiences March 22, 2022
the power of customized experiences

There is a growing demand from customers for customization throughout various business industries. Each industry uses customization to improve their products, services or customer experience in their own (custom) way. Let’s see what the leisure industry, where personalized experiences are key, can learn from the way other industries have embraced customization.

Customization goes beyond the adaptation of the actual product or service to a niche. Industries have applied customization in many more areas, such as on their website, webshop, and in their communication and marketing. The concept of mass customization, in which custom-made products and experiences are combined with low costs of mass production, plays an important role in the great demand of customization. 

What does that mean for the leisure industry? Let’s dive into 5 industries that use customization to improve their products, services or customer experience in their own (custom) way.

1. The travel industry offers tailor-made trips

When you travel you follow your interests. Most likely you’re looking for specific activities or experiences that are especially awesome for you, in other words: a tailor-made trip. Whenever you can personalize your trip or get in touch with well-marketed trips that play into your specific interests, you’re more likely to book that vacation and it will lead to a happier you and you’ll become more loyal to that company too.

Personalized travel packages

Travel companies nowadays give you the option to book a fully custom trip. Besides choosing the duration and the dates, you can also book special packages for holidays with friends, family, for a honeymoon or romantic getaway and even solo. There are special deals for travelers that love nature, adventure, water activities and wildlife. Even if you enjoy traveling for religious reasons, you can find the perfect destination for you. 

Travel agents, online or in person, are there to help the traveler find their ideal vacation. People can explore destinations at their own pace and will receive tips for fun activities and must-see attractions at their destination.

2. The food industry has something for each taste palette

Subway lets you customize your own sandwich.

Did you know that there are 37 million possible sandwich variations at Subway? All different breads, fillings and sauces make an almost unique sandwich possible for everyone, all while remaining fast food – quick and automated.

Automation has long been a part of the food industry, but customization is becoming more and more prevalent. This makes sense, considering the growing need for personalized products in bulk. Manufacturers are not only expanding their product ranges and introducing new variations, they’re making each product customizable for the public.

The Magnum Icecream bar in Venice, Italy, is another great example of a place that sells personalized and automated food. You can create your own Magnum ice cream bar by selecting flavors, toppings and coatings. The ice cream bar is a big hit on social media and attracts customers from all over the world.

3. The entertainment industry knows what you love

Netflix offers custom entertainment by recommending shows and movies to subscribers based on their preferences and behavior.

The entertainment industry is one the industries that has been shaped by personalization. Custom entertainment is all about recommending shows and movies to subscribers based on their preferences and behavior. Various online video on demand streaming platforms focus on enabling a custom streaming experience. Companies as Netflix, YouTube TV, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu add all kinds of features to make the customer experience as unique as possible. 

Streaming platforms such as Netflix also take great advantage of Artificial Intelligence to recommend personalized media content based on their choices and behavior. For example, the recommended section you see when you sign in to Netflix is unique for each subscriber. The algorithm takes into account the user’s favorite genre, the actors they like the most and other content-related data. Netflix even displays different trailers for the same movie to different users.

Netflix took customization to new heights with their interactive TV show Black Mirror. In this show, viewers can directly influence the storyline by selecting the flow of the events. 

Another example is the streaming service Amazon Prime Video that offers a personalized “Watch Party” feature to its users. Through this feature, different users can watch any movie or show simultaneously on their preferred devices. This is a great option for groups of friends, or family members that don’t live nearby to have a movie night from far away. 

4. The fashion industry lets you customize your style

Where customization in the fashion industry used to be associated with luxury, tailor-made clothes and high-end brands, it has become common for brands to offer customizable clothes, shoes and accessories. One-of-a-kind products are aiming to bring about a deeper connection between client and brand.

Product customization in the fashion industry

Many fashion brands have already started using product customization. One can choose fabrics, colors, style and fit and add special numbers or initials. Clients can for example design their own Nike sneakers by adding colors and designs. More high-end brands such as Burberry and Gucci offer clients to apply different designs on jackets or create custom prints on luggages.

5. The automotive industry gets you to express your personality with your car

The automotive industry gets you to express your personality with your car.

Last but not least, customization also made its way into the automotive industry. We’ve seen an increase in car model changes and a growing demand for customization. Built-to-order cars are more and more commonplace. For example, BMW lets you build your own car

and personalize anything from exterior body paint, interior styling to vehicle technology. 

MTV’s series Pimp My Ride highlights the worldwide interest in custom vehicles. Each episode consists of restoring and customizing a car in poor condition. Each car is tailored to the personalities of the owners. It was one of MTV’s most popular shows with viewers all over the world.

Automating customization in the automotive industry

Traditional mass manufacturing methods can’t produce on demand cars and would necesite individual attention from manufacturers. That’s why the automotive industry makes use of modern automation software and customized machines that can process each individual car automatically and cater for multiple variants. 

Each designed car consists of a combination of elements that essentially become a package of data. By creating smaller batches, the manufacturer can listen to the customers needs and adapt to trends and demands. This ensures more consistency between supply and demand and reduces waste.

Customized marketing throughout all industries

Did you know that all 5 industries above have 1 thing in common? They all put effort into personalized marketing to advertise their products.

Data collection to enable customization

Customized marketing starts with collecting in depth information about customers. With this data, companies can offer tailored recommendations before, during or after the buying process. 

The fashion industry, for example, uses data products for in-store personalized through Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. Sales advisors receive notifications with interesting offers for each client, according to the client’s search history, web search and other purchases made. 

Similar data is used for online customization. Companies in all industries adapt online content, offers and even pricing to customer’s history and behavior. The aim is to understand the wants and needs of each customer before they actually do themselves. Through different marketing channels – mailings, social media and ads – relevant products and information are delivered to the customer at the right time. 

Personalized email marketing

One way to reach customers after the buying process is through email marketing. Travel companies, for instance, send out customized emails with specific travel packages that suit the customers interests. Another example could be a hotel that might send out an offer for a customer’s birthday, encouraging them to treat themselves with a vacation. 

EasyJet celebrated its 20th anniversary by gathering data of each customer and creating individual stories about guests’ first flight with the airline and the destination. The opening rate of this email was more than 100% higher than usually, and the email had 25% more clicks. 

Custom social media content

Many travelers use social media for pre-travel research. For that reason, travel companies also make use of personalized social media advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to market their products and services. By using the right hashtags, pictures and captions, they can attract a specific audience for each vacation offer.

Spotify’s #yearwrapped is a successful example of personalized social media marketing. At the end of last year, Spotify launched a campaign where users could see their most listened artists, genres, songs and other fun data. At the end, Spotify suggested that you share your highlight on social media and tag your favorite artist. The campaign was a trending topic and has been mentioned in at least 1.2 million Twitter posts in the month on the launch.

Customization of online advertising

Have you ever looked into a vacation online and then continuously saw similar deals on Google or Facebook the days after? Online advertising, whether it is through social media, search engines or other platforms, is widely used to target and retarget specific customers in all industries. Especially for industries in which customers don’t buy straight away and do research first. Travelers, for example, usually take a lot of time researching their trip.

Travel marketers stay up-to-date with seasonal trends as well as demographics. People from different countries, states or areas often look for different travel destinations. For example, customers in Florida may be more eager to book a trip to Key West for a weekend than people living in Michigan, since they live more far away. 

What to take home from these 5 industries as a leisure business

Customization is important for all industries. It doesn’t only make your products, services and experiences more appealing, it also improves your customer experience, makes you stand out from competitors and brings about customer loyalty. 

All industries learn about their guests’ wants, needs and interests to provide products and experiences that suit them by collecting and analyzing customer data. Knowing your customers is just as important for leisure businesses. Are you interested in making data-driven decisions to get more bookings? Download our free ebook.

Personalization starts the moment your guest gets in touch with your venue and brand. A great website and a webshop with a seamless booking journey make a customer feel special. Your communication and marketing, online as well as offline, needs to be adapted to each type of guest you welcome at your venue. 

Create a personalized customer experience with Briq

At Briq, we understand the importance of customized experiences. With Briq’s booking and scheduling software, you enable a seamless and personalized booking flow. On top of that, you can sell multi-activity packages with all kinds of extras to make each booking unique. 

You can also stay in touch with your guests with Briq’s smart email and marketing integrations. And with our articles and ebooks and E-commerce Academy we help you improve your online marketing strategy based on your customer data.

Also, learn more about why setting up a customer loyalty program for your guests might be valuable for you and discover what FECs can learn from Disney.

Learn more about Briq’s possibilities for your venue. Get in touch with us or try Briq for free.

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