Do consumers want highly-personalized fridges?

Discussion
Photo: Samsung
May 23, 2022

Samsung, promising a “new level of customization in home appliances,” has introduced a program, MyBespoke, that lets consumers personalize the front of their Samsung Bespoke fridge with their original art, family portraits, vacation photos or “whatever your creative side dreams up.”

Customers can submit a design for one or two of French door panels ($250 per panel on top of what the fridge itself costs) and have them printed and delivered by Samsung. Customers can either offer the design when they initially purchase a refrigerator from Samsung.com or swap out their existing fridge panels with custom designed panels.

“Whether it’s a favorite personal photo or a bold print you designed, the possibilities are endless because it’s your one-of-a-kind Bespoke fridge,” said Shane Higby, head of home appliance business, Samsung Electronics America, in a press release.

The personalized design options builds on the success of Samsung’s expanding Bespoke series that allows consumers to pick the colors, materials and functionality of refrigerators, microwave ovens, ranges, dishwashers and air purifiers.

Do consumers want highly-personalized fridges?
From Samsung’s Bespoke series, panels designed by Alex Proba – Photo: Samsung

Customization options have become increasingly available across numerous product lines but are just getting started in kitchen and home appliances. The use of imagery to personalize products is most common for mugs, but can be found on pillows, canvas bags, water bottles and wine bottles.

According to Samsung’s internal research, 39 percent of European consumers report that they view their home as a place for expressing themselves more now than they did before the pandemic. Twenty-two percent believe that the aesthetics of a purchase — how it will look in their home — is more important now than before the pandemic.

Aiding in the rapid growth of Samsung’s Bespoke lineup since first launching in Korea in 2019 have been online customization tools, including virtual assistants and augmented-reality technology that let customers envision how a customized fridge looks in their homes.

Mr. Higby said in a release for its 2022 line-up of refrigerators, “Bespoke brings a new level of personalization and choice that wasn’t offered in home appliances before, and we’re excited to see how people express their unique style with our new products this year.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How would you rate the opportunity for customization around kitchen and home appliances? Do you see Samsung’s MyBespoke as the future of customization or a fringe opportunity?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Samsung is spot-on with personalizing the color, material and modules with its bespoke products, but a static image on the front of a fridge is fringe at best."
"This is a great marketing move and will get some attention, but I don’t see it as something that will be a big seller."
"This is another example of, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” If this is the future of refrigerators I’m investing in iceboxes."

Join the Discussion!

15 Comments on "Do consumers want highly-personalized fridges?"


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Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

My question is, what happens when you no longer like it or simply want to change it for something else? I do not foresee replacing the panel as being as easy as taking down a painting or your child’s drawing or changing the photo you have posted on the fridge door. I see this as something some people will want but it will not have widespread demand.

Perry Kramer
BrainTrust

Personalization will continue to drive add-on margin for almost all retail verticals for the foreseeable future. In everything from sneakers to sunglasses to clothing, consumers are driving personalization with monogramming and custom designs on what they wear. This extends to what they see and use daily, from a Yankee Candle to artwork to custom floor and wall tiles. It even extends to their automobiles. There is no end in sight for personalization of products. It is usually very high margin and can often create reoccurring revenue. Maybe Samsung will run a promotion to change the door cover every other year.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

People with too much money to spend may love this idea. I’m hoping that these images come off the panels easily, otherwise resale would be an issue – I don’t want a picture of your kids, no matter how adorable, on my refrigerator. What does it do to returns when the product is defective? A huge problem for Samsung refrigerators which have a lot of initial defects. This is a fringe play at best.

David Slavick
BrainTrust

The future for that two-door refrigerator with custom pictures or graphic images is dependent on how in love the family is with the selections made. Papering your fridge with pics of family members, favorite pets, and Post-it notes is an American tradition. After the $500 is spent to create this masterpiece, how long afterwards will the pics go back up? As a point of differentiation, I give Samsung credit for taking the innovative step. Practically speaking, when the house goes on the market you better believe the buyer will be asking for the fridge to take a hike out the door!

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

I’m not for this kind of “personalization,” but I certainly think there is an opportunity around the kitchen and the rest of the house for better leveraging IoT. The Internet of Things is here. Everything is talking, some things are listening, but there’s little automation going on. Smart home hubs need to get smart enough to do things like prevent home fridge stockouts.

I was lucky enough to be hired by a retail/restaurant chain to leverage IoT technology. The premise was that everything a store manager does can be broken down into functions, activities, tasks, and steps. Many of these can be automated by listening to in-store devices and automating related tasks. Eventually, we could increase the span of control for a store manager to the extent that they could essentially manage more than one store from one location. 

Karen S. Herman
BrainTrust

There is nothing creative about personalizing your fridge doors. MyBespoke is going too far with personalization here. Samsung is spot-on with personalizing the color, material and modules with its bespoke products, but a static image on the front of a fridge is fringe at best and will appeal to a very select group of consumers at best.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

This is another example of, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” If this is the future of refrigerators I’m investing in iceboxes.

David Spear
BrainTrust

Credit goes to Samsung for taking the initiative, but after a couple of months when the novelty wears thin — then what? Spend another $500 for another pic? This is an expensive proposition for the average consumer. I’d rather see Samsung offer additional design elements that reinforce the integrity of the fridge lineup or additional functional features that differentiate the brand from competitors.

Mel Kleiman
BrainTrust
Mel Kleiman
President, Humetrics
6 months 11 days ago

This is a great marketing move and will get some attention, but I don’t see it as something that will be a big seller. The novelty will soon wear off.

Joan Treistman
BrainTrust

I’m just in the process of buying a new condo and selling another. Customization of refrigerators would be another barrier to selling this home as it is the opposite of how you want to present the home — without personalization. Add this to the other “cons” presented above.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest

“They can have any colour they want … as long as it’s avocado!” Or so it would seem judging from the poll results. I’m hardly the sentimental type, but I’m surprised by how little enthusiasm this seems to have generated. Do people think it’s not worth the cost or there’s just no demand? hmm…

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Staff

I’d rather they focus on functional and supply chain upgrades, especially given the refrigerator we ordered in February is tentatively scheduled for delivery in August.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

There might be a small niche of folks interested in this level of customization — but for the most part, magnets, calendars, 5x7s and personal stick figure drawings from the kids are quite sufficient for most fridge buyers. Stainless steel has been a generic and attractive trend for years. Experimenting with touch screen controls and integration across appliances, especially when items are out of stock (milk/eggs/etc) might be a better and more profitable alternative.

Brad Halverson
Guest

If anyone wants to spend this kind of money to custom decorate their fridge, who are we to judge? Color palettes are changing, finishes in the kitchen are changing. Yet $500 does seem high when you could spend the same or less for art and photography on adjacent walls.

I’m still waiting for something meaningful towards CX by Samsung and other fridge manufacturers, in partnering with the tech sector as to what’s in the fridge — from restocks, to meal planning and in-store purchases.

Anil Patel
BrainTrust

Samsung’s strategy is excellent, but it is also difficult to implement. Customers may experience choice paralysis and select inappropriate product features, resulting in a ruined product experience, which poses a significant risk to retailers. Retailers must ensure that they limit clients’ options without making them feel restricted. Customers desire the ability to pick, and this is what they should feel when purchasing customised appliances.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Samsung is spot-on with personalizing the color, material and modules with its bespoke products, but a static image on the front of a fridge is fringe at best."
"This is a great marketing move and will get some attention, but I don’t see it as something that will be a big seller."
"This is another example of, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” If this is the future of refrigerators I’m investing in iceboxes."

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