Consumer Trends in Customization

in Strategy & Trends | by David Capece

Founded 13 years ago, Build-A-Bear Workshop was an early entrant into mass customization. With more than 400 stores world-wide, it has successfully scaled to become the largest chain dedicated to the create-your-own trend. Much of today’s innovation is centered around empowering customers to customize products and enjoy truly unique customization experiences. The customization trend ranges from products that spice it up with customized features, to products that are customized from the inside-out.

Customized Features
Many brands are taking products to the next level by offering incremental customization to refresh established products. For example, Heineken enables you to customize your own 6-pack app with its design your own Heineken app.  Go to the website, choose a category (party, sport, triumph, summer, celebration, just to say or color), add a personalization (message and/or image) and then buy your six-pack. The ‘Design Your Own Heineken’ app is currently only out in Ireland and a six-pack will set you back $36.

Creative Spark
Closer to home, the new Hills’ Converse shoes are a creative way to show your devotion to the near-ending reality show. Trendhunter notes that the shoes are “composed of numerous pictures of the different stars on ‘The Hills.’ These kicks will have you walking around in style while fronting your love for the colorful bunch. Customized personally by an obsessed fan, these shoes will aid lovers of the reality TV show in remembering the show’s legacy when it reaches its final episodes.” Likewise, Keds latest campaign offers customization by artists.  In the spirit of creativity on canvas, Keds launched a collection by conceptual artist Jenny Holzer. PSFK credits Keds with extending “their support to younger artists in a collaboration with The Whitney and Bloomingdale’s, the brands are providing three MFA students with support to showcase their work. Once the work is completed, it will be showcased at the museum, during the Whitney Live summer concert series. For creatives outside MFA programs, Keds is encouraging users to customize their own shoes for themselves or to sell online and receive a percentage off each sale from their creations.”

Created Entirely by and for the Customer
Canadian RedMoon Custom Pet Food takes customization to the next level by enabling customers to design the food they buy for their cats and dogs. RedMoon offers fully customizable dry pet food based on a variety of meats, produce and supplements. Dog owners choose a base formula, indicated their dog’s activity level, select the kibble size, and in supplements. Cat owners have similar options, including base food made from salmon. For humans, Belgian coffee vending machine manufacturer, Saeco uses fingerprints to make custom coffee.  The coffee machine that adapts to personal user taste through fingerprints to make a custom cup of java. Just touch the fingerprint reader of the Xelsis Digital ID and it references your personal user profile with your own name on the display to brew the perfect cup of coffee every time. Customization can help turn an everyday item into a luxury as evidence by the Xelsis Digital ID pricing at $2,500.

Image by Billy Alexander from Stock.Xchng