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A firm favourite from Business Schools across the country is the case study of the Ford Motor Group.  Henry Ford’s revolutionary company changed automotive history and production, but with his famous ‘You can have any colour, as long as it’s black’ statement, I wonder how he’d view the incredible variations that are available to us all today.

After the post war years of mass production and economies of scale, things started to shift when digital technologies enabled greater variety in production and advertising changed to persuade us to buy with our hearts and emotions.

There have been great marketing campaigns with various sorts of personalisation at their centre; Coca Cola and Nutella have both famously created bottle and jars with names on, this ‘bespoke generalisation’ certainly gave the companies headlines but were not true personalisation.  Nike offers the opportunity to customise your own trainers online, a great idea.  But how far do we want this to go?   I found a Scottish business offering the chance to personalise your own whisky by selecting various botanicals.  Although this sounds fun, I wonder whether it might be best to leave it to the professionals or I can imagine some less than palatable bottles?  Moonpig are surely the trailblazers of this trend, allowing the personalisation of cards. Such a simple but effective concept and one that keeps us going back again and again.



But why?

Personalisation makes us feel special, it makes us feel that the person or organisation has invested some effort, in the time-poor world most of us live in, this can make us feel valued.   These products can create conversations and draw attention.  In business this can be a very useful tool to stand out and get a dialogue going, either with current and prospective customers or with staff.  Customised products (such as notebooks!) can be statement pieces that reflect individuality and style or differentiate us.  Equally they can bring us together.  Personalisation doesn’t have to mean simply a name but could be an event or phrase that suits a person or group.  A real sense of belonging can be created by everyone in a team or organisation having a common name or phrase emblazoned on their notebook!  Giving out your own smart, branded, high end notebooks as a marketing exercise can be very effective.  It’s likely to be kept, used and put under the noses of lots of potential customers. Who doesn’t love a notebook?

Branding and personalising your notebooks and diaries with Woodblock could not be simpler, we are here to hep every step of the way and have variations to suit every need, but if you just want it black like Mr Ford then that’s ok too!