Brands And The Future Of Personalization (Part 1)

Franco Varriano
December 17, 2020
 min read

At Creative Layer, we're passionate about (and maybe a little obsessed with) personalization.

And we don’t mean any old personalization—we’re interested in product personalization.

We love nerding out about the tools that creators and their fans need in order to dive into the world of product creation and personalization. We’re also into the experience and process that’s involved in creating something completely unique to customers—a one-of-a-kind product shaped by photos, memories, or elements of a person’s life.

Here are a few thoughts on this topic that we’ve shared so far:

Product personalization is the future of several industries, including commerce, manufacturing, marketing, customer experience, the list goes on... Nothing gets us more excited than seeing how this concept—and the technologies that are being created or improved to enable it—is continually being pushed forward by innovative brands.

This is part one in a series of posts exploring these brands and what they’re doing. If you know of an example we've missed, or have an idea for a brand or industry we should include, feel free to share in the comments below or tweet us.

Personalization in the fashion and apparel industry

We’re kicking off this series by diving into the fashion and apparel industry.

Our posts on The Product Personalization Matrix & The Four Generations of Personalized Experiences, are recommended reading. They provide some helpful framing for where these experiences currently fit.


Nike is one of the most innovative companies out there.

Much of their work focuses on translating a science/R&D-based approach (studying and improving athletic performance) into an amazing customer experience. This influences everything from Nike’s stores, to their shoes, to their technologies and communities.

A few examples of how Nike is driving the future of personalized products forward:

Nike By You

We’ve showcased this example in our post on The Product Personalization Matrix . While we've technically listed it in the "high customization" quadrant (and not on the personalization side), it wouldn’t be a big stretch for Nike to make personalized products with more technology and new production methods.

Nike Fit - Nike Fit is a great example of a Low Personalization product experience (and we'd classify it alongside the other augmented reality examples). It enables the customer to save some time finding the right products, and gives them an augmented reality (AR) experience. While this part of the experience does provide personalization, it ultimately drives them back to the customization side of the matrix.

Nike House of Innovation - This is their new retail experience - and really pushes the traditional aspect of personalization forward as you're able to walk into the store and bring your digital Nike profile with you via the Nike app. Look for much deeper, personalized experiences here in the future.


Alibaba is the Amazon of Asia—only much bigger.

Founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Jack Ma, Alibaba is now a massive organization that is using emerging technologies to build some really innovative and personalized customer experiences.

That includes FashionAI, a concept store designed in collaboration with fashion retailer, Guess. FashionAI is an entire ecosystem and a game-changer in personalized customer experience.

Some notable highlights that stick out to us:

  • Lots of focus on immediately pulling the customer into an end-to-end, personalized, digital-physical experience (we call this immersive personalization);
  • Several touch-points where this experience branches off to provide personalized recommendations (maybe even in the future scanning your body and enabling your to custom tailor or fabricate the final product on-site?);
  • Combination of digital & real-world, white glove service (recommendation & design algorithms, staff at your disposal to provide high-end service)
  • Integration into other popular apps with key identity variables that could add many more creative (or even social) product creation elements.


Luxury brand Gucci is also innovating in the personalization space—and you don’t even need to own a Gucci product to experience it.

Like Nike, Gucci is extremely innovative on several fronts. The brand’s modern luxury marketing creates new forms of personalization to deliver a unique experience. 

Gucci App and AR website

In the Product Personalization Matrix, we see that AR experiences are a simple way to deliver basic personalization experiences because they enable customers to immerse themselves in a brand’s world.

Gucci is a market leader in delivering these types of product experiences via mobile and web apps. The Gucci app and the brand’s eyewear website use AR technology to enable customers to “try on” sneakers, eyewear, hats, and lipsticks, and personalize products in the Gucci DIY section. So much more than a shopping app, a number of other playful features boost brand identity among Gucci customers, present and future.

Gucci ArtLab

A similar concept to Nike's House of Innovation, the Gucci ArtLab is described as a "37,000-square-meter hub of creativity."

While it’s currently more of a corporate office and internal lab for futuristic product innovation and experimentation, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to one day see customers and top-tier influencers congregate here to co-create the future of the Gucci Experience.

Gucci and Genies avatars

Gucci continues to push its cultural innovation and the future of personalization by enabling new fans to discover and accessorize their Genies avatar.

This presents a very real opportunity to not only sell "mass produced" digital goods, but to also enable fans to design and create the next generation of completely personalized products both for and with Gucci—right from their phones!

Both new and long-time Gucci fans are using these creative tools to shape products that are truly unique and representative of their own identities. These digital products can create micro-economies of their own, and later in this series we’ll explore how innovative business models can quickly be scaled through cryptocurrencies and platforms like Genies or online video game, Fortnite.

With personalization experiences like this, the next fashion label or product line could be launched by your own kids from your living room!

What's next?

We hope this article has gotten you excited about the possibilities of personalization—for brands, customers, or your future business.

While so much progress has been made, what’s still missing in many of these examples is a product personalization experience. Fortunately, the reality of being able to deeply personalize a specific product—with basic or advanced personalization—is coming quickly!

Learn how by signing up for early access to Creative Layer.

Comment below with any questions, and be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to join this journey towards the future of personalization!