Coffee shows how to personalise and premiumise commodities (Taiwan)

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In a world where many products are becoming increasingly commoditised, how can brands create experiences that consumers are willing to pay a premium for? One clear answer is personalisation: after all, if it’s personalised, it can’t be a commodity.

Let’s Café, a chain of coffee kiosks in Taiwan, has brought this approach to the world of coffee with new coffee machines that allow customers to print pictures of themselves (‘Selfies’) in the foam on their lattes. This Youtube video explains that the company was looking for a way to distinguish its customer experience from those provided by larger coffee chains: the initiative generated positive responses in the press and on social media, resulting in increased sales at a premium price.

Whether or not drinking coffee made in your own image excites you, it points a clear route for brands to create premium and differentiated experiences. As premiumising increasingly becomes the last bastion of margin, other companies and industries will increasingly be following this route. We’ve already seen ‘simple personalisation’ with credit cards personalised with photos, and beer chalices engraved with names – but with print-on-demand technology becoming more accessible and a host of other technologies facilitating more sophisticated and useful adaptations, expect to see the world of personalisation move to a whole new level.



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