Thursday, November 20, 2008

My stuff is an Extension of ME?

My clothing and shoes make me unique? Sounds shallow, but the truth of the matter is that that’s often the first thing people see or know about us. Maybe you don’t realize it, but as people we are constantly trying to portray an image of ourselves to others, an image that is consistent with how we see ourselves or how we want others to see us. Say, what? That's right.

Take for instance me, the aspiring skater (more like longboarder). As good as I am at hoping on the board and making left and right turns… I’m no pro. However, I know that if I want others to see me as a longboarder and if I want to convince myself that I'm a longboarder, I'm gonna have to rock the wardrobe, get a descent to expensive skateboard, and other accessories (e.g. pocket chain, P-Rod skater shoes, etc). Nutty, but sometimes we aren’t even aware we’re thinking or doing those things. We just do them.

Recently, I was able to get the inside scoop on a study done by Skinit, Inc that shows that one of the product categories most personalized by consumers is clothing and apparel. So what does that mean? That means that the thing we often use to reflect our uniqueness and our identity is our clothing and shoes. No-brainer, right? Well, we’re constantly looking for ways of finding clothing and shoes that say something about us, whether it’s the t-shirt with a eco-friendly logo or the type of suit we wear to work everyday, or the brand of shoes you insist on buying.

The great thing about technology and the power of consumer demand is our instant access to on-demand personalization. I’m constantly looking for ways of personalizing the things I own, recently I got a skin for my IPod. Of course it had my picture on it, and my name, and had some of my favorite colors. I’d rather cover my things in d├ęcor that says “ it’s mine”, “this is me”, and “I’m unique …and cool”. You don’t decorate or personalize these things just for your own enjoyment (sure that plays into it), but you also do it to show others. That, my friends, is the reality of human social interaction.

Anyway, I know some of you are dying to click off of here to analyze your belongings. We personalize our lives in every way possible, from the cell phone case we use, to the custom shoes we made online, to the color we painted our bedroom. All of these things are somehow representative of us. What does your stuff say about you??? Hmm…

Check out these cool online personalization retailers: