In today’s world of the hyperconnected, internet savvy consumer, traditional online product reviews are slowly being replaced by trending social media posts. In this new wave of social influence, product uniqueness is king. Products not only need to be reliable, of high quality, offer a great value, but they also need to be appealing to a wide range of customers. To achieve this, many brands are turning to product personalization.
Have you ever purchased a new car? Rather than walking to the car dealership and looking for the one you like best, have you researched from home and built the car of your dreams? You know the one with just the right color, interior, engine, wheels and optional accessories? Even if you didn’t purchase this car, you’ve probably had the experience where you personalized your dream build of a vehicle.
Maybe it’s not a car. Maybe you really wanted to stand out in the crowd. To achieve this, you wanted your very own unique shoes. Well, popular brands like Nike are offering personalization of their iconic footwear styles. Nike by You is a service where, as the customer, you can personalize your own unique pair of shoes. Nike by You allows one to edit a designed shoe and customize colors, materials and even add a personal message. In as little as two weeks, your customized creation is delivered to you. Your very own, completely unique pair of shoes, just to your liking.
This trend will continue as future clients demand new product capabilities in return for their loyalty, including an increasing amount of personalization, contextual interaction and innovative approaches to managing the customer journey.1
Personalization has always been inherent to hearing aids, and the ability to customize differentiates them from other consumer devices. This personalization, however, has mostly been done by the professional. No two individuals will have the exact same hearing loss or needs. And clients have been able to select from a range of styles and colors too. However, as clients needs evolve, the passive approach that was once accepted as the industry standard, is no longer enough; clients want to personalize their hearing experience on demand. With Unitron’s Moxi™ Blu platform of hearing instruments, paired with the Remote Plus app and the features in the app, the in the moment personalization journey begins!
Before we look at what this means, let’s take a step back and look at how we landed here. Personalizing something really only has value if what the client needs or wants to change, is in fact something that can be personalized. If a company allows everything to be personalized, the product may have elements that have limited personalization appeal or if too much is changed, it may actually diminish the overall value of the product as a whole. There is a balance that needs to be found.
In order to get real world input to what to personalize for our Blu platform, we conducted a series of virtual focus groups in 2020 to gather real voice of customer feedback across the globe. In these focus groups, there was a clear desire from hearing care professionals to allow clients to have personalization options beyond just volume and program control.
The feedback distilled from these voice of customer events highlighted two primary personalization requirements: in the moment sound enhancements and out of the box manual programs. For in the moment sound enhancements, many professionals highlighted the need for quick boost controls for speech and noise, without having to switch into a manual program. These controls would be accessible from the home screen on the app, and allow the client to easily enable a momentary speech enhancement or noise reduction pre-set.
For the out of box manual programs, programs to compensate for common challenging environments can be easily selected and can be personalized further by adjusting the amount of speech enhancement, noise reduction or microphone focus, with simple easy to use controls. With the requirements understood, our internal teams begin the process of developing and validating these exciting new features.
This journey brings us to this moment, Unitron proudly introduces Moxi Blu, our most advanced family of hearing aids, with our most personalization options available ever. Paired with our updated Remote Plus app, Moxi Blu offers new automatic program controls, six pre-configured manual programs and three new sound adjustment controls in manual programs. Within the automatic program, customers can enable in the moment speech enhancement boost with the clarity button. Additionally, for noisy situations, there is also an in the moment noise reduction boost with the comfort button.
The six pre-configured manual programs can be enabled on the spot for even more personalization options. These can be enabled in the moment, without any setup from a hearing care professional. These new programs types are:
- Restaurant – understanding conversation at your table when background noise is high
- Television – understanding speech where there is a mixture of speech and other signals
- Outdoors – comfort for windy situations outdoors
- Café – understanding conversation at your table when background noise is lower
- Music – enjoyment of music
- Transportation – clarity for speech with comfort for traffic and road noise
The new personalization setting within all manual programs, apply to both out of box and programed ones from your hearing care professional. These settings allow the client to personalize the amount of speech enhancement with enhance speech and noise reduction with reduce noise within a given range. Clients can also personalize the microphone mode by controlling focus mic. For added personalization, when the manual program uses our new AutoFocus 360 feature, focus will allow the client to control dynamic noise reduction. This feature excels in complex noisy environments when speech is detected from the front.
We are unique and therefore require personalization for products to meet our specific needs. As clients continue to look for products that are flexible enough to meet these evolving needs, personalization will remain paramount as a key purchasing influencer. Products that remain high quality, offer excellent value, and are customizable in areas that appeal to a wide range of needs will become the most valued from a customer’s perspective.
1. Holger Glockner, Sivert von Saldern, 2019, Shifting Baselines, How do we want to live in 10 years?, page 17, Z_punkt BmbH The Foresight Company Paper (© 2019 Z_punkt The Foresight Company GmbH)