“What can you offer me that others cannot?” – a typical question that a consumer may ask. “We know what you are looking for”- an answer that a consumer wants to hear.
Listening to the consumers is the key to the success in a highly competitive market. Today’s world is so unpredictable and unstable that even strong well-known brands cannot feel safe and secure. Customers are no longer willing to pay for just a brand name, there should be something more behind it. The company should give people the feeling that there is nothing more important than satisfaction of their customers’ needs and wants.
“Is there something that brands can do in order to be closer to consumers?” The answer could be – “let people get what they want”. The brand should put customers into position where people become the “designers” of the products which they are willing to buy.
In my opinion, everyone at least ones in his/her life was in the situation when you really liked the product, but there was something that you were not satisfied with. You would rather go and search for the product that will have all the requirements you want, but the chance of not finding one is very high. The other option would be to buy this product and deal with its imperfection.
Would you be much happier if you would have a chance to change something you do not like and make the product perfect to yourself? Of course you would! You would be grateful for this opportunity, because you would finally get what you wanted with no need to search for something else.
The customization is what some brands should consider in their marketing campaigns. Making people a part of the company will increase the number of loyal customers and attract new ones which is highly important in terms of tight competition.
“NIKEiD allows you to customise your performance, fine-tune your fit and represent your style.”-Nike.com claims
NIKEiD is one of the most famous examples of mass customization implementation. The company allows its customers to create new designs for shoes and accessories online and to share it with others. You can literally become a designer for Nike and create your own unique product.
The company gives the image to customers that they care, they want give you more than just a service, they want you to become a part of a company, part of the large community. They give you a chance to express yourself and your vision of the product. The service was introduced in 1999 and already in 2009 the revenue for NIKEiD was over $100 million. What is more important, it allowed the company to obtain a larger market share and millions of people in online community through these years.
However, companies should realize that mass customization is about brand building and not so much about profit making. It may cost a company a fortune if it concentrates only on mass customization. Personalization and customization should be a side business, not the main one. Only in this case the company could not only create a brand name, but also receive some revenue.
Mass customization has its own pros and cons, but it certainly gives a people the feeling of importance and participation. It creates a strong connection between the company and consumer. In this case, there is no problem for the brand to say “We know what you are looking for”.
Zhang J. ,Wedel M.,”The Effectiveness of Customized Promotions in Online and Offline Stores”Journal of Marketing Research, 2009