Bespoke is the new black
Luxury retail has always catered to the one-of-a-kind purchase: that piece of jewelry made expressly for her, that suit tailored just for him.
Today, that desire has filtered down to more everyday shopping.
Millennials are driving the bespoke movement — a trend that can differentiate retailers looking to stand out in customer service.
Bespoke is something made "just for you."
It is the shirt made on Savile Row, from the material selected by the customer and personally tailored for the perfect fit.
It is "super-charged" customization.
Today, bespoke suits are still prized, but today's workplace often has a casual style.
Millennials are leading the charge for a more dressed down look, while looking for clothing and accessories that allow them to stand apart from the crowd.
In addition, they are not expecting to pay luxe prices and are not as brand conscious as other generations, although they do consider brand "promise," or what they consider the brand stands for.
For example, NikeID offers a relatively inexpensive way to customize pairs of sneakers online and has an agreeable brand promise to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete/body in the world.
Levi's also offers a bespoke experience to rival that of Saville Row.
Customers can choose from organic cottons, canvas and chino-cottons, as well as different weights of denim from 8 oz to 22 oz.
Shoppers can select rivets and special accommodations, such as removal of belt loops.
The bespoke service is available in the Champs Elysées Levi’s store in Paris, London, New York and San Francisco.
Being unique takes time, however; the wait time for jeans in London is roughly 14 weeks, including one fitting.
The price: Approximately $610 for the first pair, with every subsequent pair in the same style $550.
Offering bespoke products is increasingly seen as a profitable means of brand extension for both affordable brands such as Nike and Levis, as well as luxury brands such as Gucci DIY and Burberry Bespoke.
Research by Deloitte in 2017 found that 71.4% of U.S. millennial consumers were ready to pay a premium to get a product in some way personalized to them, indicating a huge market potential.
Another benefit to retailers is the ability to learn what trends may be coming, based on the bespoke items being requested.
Discovering trends from these unique items can help provide market research for brands' future offerings.
Growing demand for bespoke
Bespoke is not new, but the growing demand for everyday brands to offer some interpretation of it is.
That push, driven by Millennials but embraced by other generations as well, is likely to motivate marketers to offer more customization in their products.
As retailers escalate their data collection efforts by adopting artificial intelligence and leading-edge business analytics, personalization will become increasingly granular.
Items that may not currently be offered as bespoke may be identified as not only possible but also as desired.
Buying off-the-shelf, customized and bespoke may one day be just a few choices of several purchasing options, even at the department store in the local mall.
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