Mass customization is an upcoming trend that many businesses, irrespective of their size and scale, are willing to explore. This practice is especially relevant in today’s consumer-driven marketplace, where businesses can create custom offerings to fulfil the specific demands of their customers. With innovative customization product ideas, several small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) spectrum could have gained significant success in their mass customization efforts.
If you as an SMB entity choose the suitable customization model, you can acquire desired customer loyalty and leverage a strong position in the market. Following are the four approaches to mass customization that help you gain the basic understanding about the concept.
Four Approaches to Mass Customization
This approach involves working with individual consumers, usually during the design phase. It ensures developing an offering that satisfies the precise requirements of the consumer. This approach works well in the distribution stage as well, where consumers can demand exactly where, when, and how they wish their purchase delivered to them. More often, companies have representatives to help consumers figure out their needs. Thus, this approach serves the consumers who are not sure of what exactly they want or who are overwhelmed by the sea of options presented to them.
With this approach, users can customize one standard product after they purchase it. This consumer-centric approach allows consumers to add their own value to the product as it can be permutated for them. With technology at hand, consumers can easily alter the product without any direct interaction from the company. This method makes the product usable for multiple purposes.
This approach presents the product in different ways to different consumers. Although various consumer groups use the product the same way, its packaging varies from consumer to consumer. This implies that the product’s advertising and promotional campaigns need to be designed and articulated differently for each consumer group.
This approach provides consumers with certain products that fulfil their needs without informing them that their offerings have been customized. This approach is applicable when it is easier to predict what consumers want. Consumer preferences are identified through research and observation conducted by the company.
Mass customization for small businesses
Usually, profits attained from mass customization are not that significant for many corporate giants. SMBs, on the other hand, are considering mass customization to design offerings that engage the niche market and not simply to the masses.
Product customization on a large scale enables businesses to deliver what consumers really want by eliminating unnecessary processes and complexities. Additionally, consumers also prefer products that resolve their problems aptly without requiring them to make adjustments after purchase.
By accommodating consumers’ specific need, companies can increase the overall demand for their products. Thus, small businesses can consider utilizing collected data to gain insights into consumer’s actual requirements and become ‘information aware’.
Customized offerings are cost-effective as businesses need to stock raw materials for assembly rather than personalized finished products. This is realized through collaborative customization. Besides that, through adaptive customization, companies just need to design a standard product, as consumers will do the customizing without needing interaction from the company.
With cosmetic customization, companies simply need to make changes in packaging and presentation. It does not involve alteration of the product itself. Moreover, transparent customization demands preliminary data collection to suffice customers’ needs.
Thus, it is safe to conclude that mass customization is affordable and feasible for SMBs. Moreover, consumers can design products independently with the help of technology, and companies who manufacture them do not need to make interventions. It makes both production and delivery of custom offerings easy and efficient.
SMBs have a more significant share of advantage over big corporates when it comes to business customization products because of their ability to cater to a niche market while ensuring a profit. Thus, small business units must consider a mass customization approach to meet their customers’ requirements precisely. A custom offer also helps companies deliver high-value products to their customers. Thereby companies can build a solid customer base and create a unique place for their brand with mass customization practices at their resort.