Greetings. On a recent visit to the local grocery store here in Hamburgsund, Sweden, I was struck by the latest Coca Cola bottles with common Swedish names. Bottles that have generated a lot of excitement among shoppers who eagerly search for their own personalized refreshment. Hanna, Sara, Linda, Lisa, Hans, Erik, Mats, Matilda, Bjorn, Christian, Maria, Eva, Ulla, Sven, Lotta, Peter, Alexander, Mattias, and so on. Bottles filled with the same famous and widely-popular commodity product that has somehow figured out, after all these years, how to become uniquely personal in the simplest of ways.

If only Alan was a more popular name in Sweden then who knows, I might become an even bigger consumer of Coke.

Seeing these customized bottles also led me to recall a colleague who once lamented all of the clutter in his virtual mail box. “I’m overwhelmed by email,” he noted. “All I really want is me-mail. Mail that quickly demonstrates that the sender is thinking about me and only me.” Another hint at the importance and the magic of personalization and how all of our companies and organizations can be much more successful by connecting with those we have the privilege to serve on a way more personal level even when they buy the same basic product or receive the same basic service as everyone else.

So take a few minutes to imagine how you and your colleagues might make things even more personal and meaningful for your customers. And if you are a bit stuck, trying wandering around your community or the web for examples of how other leading businesses are changing the equation.

Coca-Cola

We win in business and in life when we personalize our offerings. Even when we offer roughly the same product, service, experience, or message to lots of different people.

Cheers!