Individuals make all purchasing decisions. Whether it is a 20-yearold unemployed in a poor urban area looking for a cheap meal, a wealthy housewife in the city centre buying a new handbag, the pensioner in a small town splashing out on a box of chocolates, or the buyer of cable for a building company, a marketing director buying advertising space, a chief executive negotiating to buy a manufacturing plant, they are all decisions made by individuals either on their own or as part of a group.
Yet, almost all brand marketing assumes that we are all the same, that we are part of a target group definition. If the definition is tightly made, as it should be, most probably only a minority of the actual customers will be part of it. If it is not made that way and a wide definition such as 'housewives 25–50 years old and ABC1 social class' is used, it is not a homogeneous group and thus the message, product or delivery system will not be all that appropriate to all that many.
The reality is that the closer we get to each individual, the more we understand about the individual and his/her circumstances, the better we can communicate, the better we can provide and offer something that is truly relevant and different. We can also offer a price that is optimal from the perspective of the individual transaction and it can all be delivered the way the customer wants.
That is one part of the rationale for customized branding. The other part has its origin in pure branding theory and is that the brand is a reflection of what happens in the minds of the customers.