Mass customization

Between cost containment and unique relationship with the customer

Mass customization is an emerging trend: customers benefit from the unique experience of an (apparently) tailor-made product and brands can save costs scaling production.

The evolution of technology made possible this new way, where the creation of each product is a collaborative process between manufacturer and client.

Examples of product co-creation are the M&M service for designing personalized candys...

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... or the online tools many brands offer, as Havaianas does, letting clients customize their product on their own.

Mass customization does not concern only the product features, but can also be applied to marketing and communcation, operating on the way a product is placed on the market and presented.

An example is the famous Coca Cola campaign “Share a Coke”: the brand placed almost 800 million personilized labels on store shelves so that each customer could have a personalized brand experience.

The campaign was developed on the European scale and would require 150 top names for each of more than 32 different countries to be printed on labels for three different Coca-Cola products, in 15 different languages, using 5 alphabets.

In order to reach their goal of combining personalization with costs containment, Coca Cola used the Variable Data Printing technology which makes it possible to personalize any print job’s images, text, and colors creating unique product graphics. 

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In the end, mass customization is the next frontier to create unique and individual products in order to reach deeper intimacy with customers and drive a closer relationship with brands.