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During April’s Boston Marathon Adidas created 30,000 unique videos, one for each runner. The athletic brand’s ‘Here to Create’ initiative collected data and footage of each runner via RFID chips on race bibs, a 20-person camera crew and street mat radio signals. Several hours after the marathon participants received personal highlight reels of their race. Adidas ran the campaign to celebrate their 30-year partnership with the Boston Athletic Association.

Smashing two consumer mega-trends together is a powerful innovation tactic, and this Adidas campaign is a great example. First, personalization. We’ve already seen the one-in-four-million Absolut vodka in 2012, personalized names on Coke bottles starting in 2014, and the one-in-seven-million jar design from Nutella (three million-upping Absolut!) last year. Those examples of en-masse product personalization, along with the data-driven curation exemplified by services such as Spotify Discover Weekly, are fueling expectations that brands serve the much-discussed ‘segment of one’. Second, self-improvement as a status signifier. We all know that in affluent societies consumer status is becoming ever-more entwined with hitting – and showing off about – personal goals, including health and wellness goals. The ‘Here to Create’ campaign hits both these powerful mega-trends, offering a totally customized video that taps each individual’s deep quest for status.

Personalization is an evergreen subject for every innovation team, marketer, strategist, product developer and more. So gather your team, point to this example and ask: how can we create a personalized offering or experience that celebrates consumers’ self-improvement wins and delivers a powerful status hit?

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