Now what exactly is mass customisation? Well, investopedia describes mass customisation as the ‘process of delivering wide-market goods and services which are modified to satisfy a specific customer’s need.’ But what does this mean?
It essentially means that you sell products/services that the consumer can modify to their own personal tastes, whether it be to solve a need of theirs, or to fulfill a want/desire.
But where does the consumer’s need for customisation come from? Hubspot references a study from the University of Texas, attributing the need for customisation down to 2 major factors:
- Desire For Control
- Information Overload
People hunger for control, we want that sense of individuality in terms of how we can be our own person, like nobody else. Customisation can help us achieve this in that aspect.
The desire for control works in that it gives the customer ‘more control’ over their buying experience. From buying tshirts with your face or name on them, to crafting your ideal gourmet pizza, you aren’t getting what everyone else is getting, and that gets the ego pumped up.
In reality, the control you have is minimal, however getting something specifically tailored to you, makes you feel in control. This control is all an illusion. A powerful illusion, but an illusion nonetheless.
In terms of information overload, it seems that we are constantly bombarded by information whether we are actively searching or not. The reason why customisation/personalisation works so effectively is because it reduces the consumers perception of information overload. Knowing that the content or product or service can be specifically tailored to you and your needs, it all of a sudden becomes a lot more clear and focused on what you are meant to do.
Customisation helps you to cut through the chaos and truly reach customers, customers who are given that ‘control’ and thus are more likely to purchase or enquire.
Examples Of Customisation & Mass Customisation
There are examples of customisation prevalent in nearly every industry worldwide. Some of the most successful companies in the world provide amazing customisation opportunities for their customers. It is not only great for their product offering, but it is also great for your makreting strategy.
I know you have probably read this next phrase a million times but: Let’s take Coca Cola for an example.
Back in 2012 the beverage giant launched their ‘share a coke’ campaign which was a roaring success. The campaign allowed people to add their name to Coca-Cola cans and bottles globally and purchase them. Let’s look at what the campaign achieved for Coca-Cola. During the summer beginning December 2012 in Australia, the following was achieved:
- Facebook Page grew by 39% in terms of fans
- 870% increase in traffic
- 76,000 can mockups were shared among friends and communities online
- Over 370,000 custom cans were printed across Australia
- Built the brand further, had the campaign as a talking point in conversation, in a positive light
Why was this campaign such a success? The largest part is due to the customisation element, we are all attracted to personalised/customised goods/services/experience as mentioned earlier. The consumers believed the were creating great memories customised for themselves personally, rather than just promoting the corporate giant, which is why the customisation was so effective.
Coca-Cola isn’t the only international powerhouse using customisation in their product offering and as part of their marketing strategy.
Nike, the biggest clothing company in the world uses customisation in their strategy, launching as Nike iD and now developing into ‘Nike By You’ where you can put your own mark on some of the most popular apparel in the world. This customisation gives the consumer ‘power’ over Nike, and is amazing for prompting user generated content.
In fact, here is a quick example of some shoes I mocked up, the JB range, just look at all the parts of the shoe you can change, from text, colours, materials and more, it’s obvious that you have the power. The shopping experience is enhanced, you have the power over many of the elements that make up the shoe, and it excites people to share their creations online, building out the brand even further (not that Nike needs any brand building)
Customisation has quickly become an entire business model for some. In fact, using websites such as Printful (who’s entire business model is a platform for customisation and to launch other clothing stores) you could build a whole wardrobe for you personally, a group of friends or the company you work for.
Customisation is more prevalent than you may think, the place we see it very often is in the fast food industry.
Everytime you head to the local Subway for lunch, you choose the base of your meal e.g. a meatball sub, and then from there it is completely up to you (bread, sauces, salad, salt and pepper) and this is one of the reasons the fast food company is so successful. Similarly, you can now craft your own pizzas for order online without having to leave the comfort of your home. And even look at the success of McDonalds ‘create your own taste’ feature.
Where else is it prevalent? All professional services, such as accountants, financial planners and yes, digital marketers utilise customisation (not mass customisation) for every client. The services may remain the same, however the specific focus on you is what makes it customised. But how can your business further this customisation? Giving more power to the customer? Personalising your advertising?
Why You Need Customisation In Your Business Growth Strategy
Simply put, if you have no customisation in your product/service offering, and no customisation/personalisation in your marketing strategy and funnel, then you are missing a great opportunity, falling behind competitors.
Even something as simple as using smart creatives, or customer names in email campaigns to give a personalised touch can be huge in turning those who are interested or open to purchasing, into purchasers.
If you want to customise your products but are unsure whether it is suitable, below is a checklist of what you need to ask yourself when deciding whether product/service customisation is right for your business, or whether you just need to stick to personalised advertising and communications.