Customisation Nation

Customisation Nation

From trainers and clothing to jewellery and even cans of cola - these days, everything can be customised. Personalisation is surging, and GenZ is leading the charge. We find out why.


Empowered by digital devices and social media, Gen Z is increasingly demanding a personalised service for the products, services and gifts they buy.  In a world of mass production, no one wants to be generic, least of all Generation Z, who place a high value on authenticity and individuality. So it’s no surprise that 41% of Gen Z love personalisation because it gives them something unique, and 28% believe personalisation expresses their personality.

The desire for personalisation


The desire for self-expression also leads 58% per cent of Gen-Zers to say they are willing to pay more for personalised products. It’s also why personalisation now ranges from the obvious - fashion and accessories - to the sublime, Marmite, Cadbury's, and Coca-Cola!


Research from Deloitte shows that Gen Z wants products that allow them to express all the facets of their identity: 

  • 53% want personalised clothing

  • 48% custom footwear

  • 45% bespoke electrical

  • 43% personalised jewellery and accessories.


At GoHenry, we see this for ourselves with a high demand for our personalised cards, where kids can add their name (e.g. GoAva, GoKai) and choose from custom cards, ranging from the popular gaming and animal cards for tweens and marble to solid cards for teens.

How personalisation works for Gen Z


Part of the appeal of personalisation is that it gives Gen Z more involvement than simply buying off the shelf. For teens, it's about choosing the design, colours, materials, and even the message to be engraved or printed on the item they buy. 


Brands like Nike were among the first to venture into the world of personalisation when Nike launched Nike ID in 2000. Its customisation offering has since been rebranded and grown from being a feature on its website to include over 100 in-store 'studios' worldwide where customers can book an appointment and create custom trainers on-site. 


Nike By You has vast sales as it allows customers to customise the left and right shoes independently, covering every shoe area, from the tip to the logo, tongue, and swoosh.


Create Your Own Shoes at Vans follows a similar route, with an extensive range of creativity available for Gen Z. Customers can choose from over 90 colours, patterns, and materials. You can even add photos, art, or embroidery.


JD Sports, another Gen Z favourite, also offers personalisation on bags, shoes, caps and football shirts. 


On the high street fashion front, Uniqlo offers a custom embroidery service on bags and shirts, as well as a chance to design your own t-shirt, encouraging customers to "Express yourself with a unique creation, make a thoughtful gift for friends or loved ones, or create matching T-shirts for your whole team to wear."


Zara also has items that can be embroidered, engraved or stamped with personalised text. With embroidered items, you can choose the text, the font style, the part of the garment to be embroidered and the thread colour.


Finally, Apple - one of the first companies to offer personalised devices- cleverly offers all customers the chance to engrave AirPods and more with a mix of emojis, names, and initials, all for free.


The future of personalisation


As for the future of personalisation, Gen Z's need to customise their belongings to express their individuality is likely to spread into the world of work as they come of age.


By 2025, Generation Z will account for 27 per cent of the workforce and, according to one study, could change jobs up to 10 times between 18 and 34, looking for something personalised that aligns with their priorities.


Companies, jobs, and brands that empower Gen Z to personalise their lives are likely to attract more customer loyalty, which could create a ripple effect that influences all of our choices, shaping the future of how we shop, work, and choose to live.
Written by Anita Naik Published Feb 12, 2024 ● 2 mins