This is another buzz word which will most likely only be talked about in the gathering of the “big boys” ( by now, as a Presidential Hustle reader, you should know by “big boys” I mean “Big Brands” – Apple, Tesco, Dell, Sony and the likes. I believe Mass Customization is quite an interesting concept and strategy for businesses that I feel the need to talk about it on this blog so the average small business owner and entrepreneur can be aware of it. In the simplest form, Mass Customization is the customization and personalization of products and services for customers at a mass production price or a price not too far from it.
Mass Customization is the customization and personalization of products and services for customers at a mass production price or a price not too far from it.
I know, it sounds crazy, I thought the same when I first got hold of the concept. How will a customized product be available to customers at a mass production price? Well, am not to be blamed for the term or concept, not to point fingers – Stan Davis popularized the term in his book “Future Perfect ” and writer Joe Pine made it more popular and lecturer Dr Nawaz introduced it to me. If you are one of those people with High IQ, you would have guessed that Mass Customization is the combination of “Customization” and “Mass Production“.
And if you didn’t guess that, that makes two of us. Customization: This is basically a well known concept of adapting a product or service for a particular customer ( this is usually expensive ) e.g Having Diamonds set on your Rolex! ( I love this example 🙂 ) Mass Production: Producing a product or rendering a service at a large scale. ( the product or service offering is usually uniform, hence – production price is cheap) e.g Primark Essentials Tees. ( I have lots of those 🙂 )
It is important to point out that Mass Customization can be made possible by following the Just In Time approach. ( JIT is a strategy used to provide a product or service “just in the time” a customer needs or requests its. This saves production and inventory cost ) .
Below I will be talking about the major types of Mass Customization and examples of companies who make use of them.
Types of Mass Customization Collaborative Customization: This is used by companies where they try to help the customer articulate their needs and then create product that meets those needs.
Example Of Company Using It
- Paris Miki owns the world’s largest eye wear store in the world. They spent 5years developing an IT software for the store which helps a customer create the look and feel of their eye wear right in the store. The system allows the customer to select the type of lens, the shape, the color and every aspect of the eye wear he wants and finally when the customer is done customizing the eye wear, the system shows the customer a photo realistic picture of how the eye wear will look on him and once the customer is done, the store technician assembles the eye wear customized by the customer and it’s done within an hour!
Adaptive Customization: This is used by companies whereby they offer a standard but customizable
- Apple, Samsung, Sony, BlackBerry and any another phone manufacturer. They provide a standard product ( mobile phone ) and you the customer can adapt the phone to your personality. Change the wallpaper, the theme , the ringtone and more.
Cosmetic Customization: This is used by companies whereby they provide a standard product differently to different customers. Example Of A Company Using It
- The Planters Peanut Company sells peanut in various container styles and sizes to meet the preference of its diverse customer.
Transparent Customization: This type of companies provide a customized product to a customer but do not tell them explicitly that the product is customized. Example Of A Company Using It
- An example of a business would be EE. They have been able to study the behavior of their customers. A customer that wants a SIM card would definitely need a phone to use the card and will need data on the SIM card to enjoy the phone. So, they then provide bundles “Phones and SIM card with data on them” .
If you paid close attention to examples, you would see that the focus is on the customer and fulfilling
Give it a shot! It makes the customer feel powerful and the world is moving towards a more customer-centric business environment where the focus is on customer satisfaction