Customization of products in business is its individualization, “adjustment” for a specific consumer, creating the illusion of its exclusivity in the consumer, while the product itself acquires the properties of “exclusivity”. Customization is carried out through the introduction of a constructive or design change to the product, which makes the product non-standard, non-banal, gives it personality.
There are several varieties of customization:
1. Vertical (expert). When the goods are fully manufactured for a specific consumer. For example, a vintage armchair is made according to individual sizes and with a specific pattern of wooden trim, or a shirt is made with a monogram on a pocket or collar with an individual monogram (initials) for a gift to a particular person. Vertical customization is applicable in many industries, even in food, for example, in the manufacture of gift or wedding cake for a specific consumer. When his family and friends are asked to make individual inscriptions on the cake with wishes or to make a cake in the form of a favorite typewriter or baby doll. In some industries, this technology is used very rarely. For example, in agriculture, however, Italians, in the production of Nudo olive oil, assign a specific tree “for rent” to the consumer, and then produce oil from his fruits. Of course, this oil has a special premium margin.
2. Horizontal (modular). With this type of customization, products are assembled from finished modules or blanks, but the final configuration is determined by the customer. According to this principle, car customization is performed for customers. Or customized coffee in a restaurant: varieties of coffee beans are selected, the strength of the drink is regulated, and cream and sugar are added according to an individual desire. Customized chocolate can also be made according to the same principle - under the supervision or even with the participation of the customer, who can add ingredients with his own hands: nuts or candied fruits. With such a modular approach to the manufacture of goods, modern customization began.
3. Outdoor (cosmetic). Basically, these are changes regarding packaging, packaging, details of the appearance of the goods, or giving it additional functions at the request of the customer. For example, individualized wrappers or labels for a product. Often such customization are clothing or food. Special individual packaging for confectionery, chocolate, ice cream, alcohol, meat and fish delicacies, cheeses, yogurts, spices, etc. When selecting and delivering an individual grocery order to your home, you can also talk about the option of customization. And, of course, services for organizing celebrations: there, external customization plays, perhaps, a key role. All specially composed “toasts”, “congratulations”, “jokes”, individualized according to the customer’s furniture, are all from the category of cosmetic customization.
4. Massive. When the goods are initially produced with the potential for partial changes (for example, the color scheme of the product) inherent in them at the request of a particular consumer. It involves either a modification of the product, or a change in its presentation.
Customization of goods is most often found in the segment of consumers with high income, as well as among consumers with incomes above the average. They value individualized things more than others, made to their tastes and whims. In the low income consumer segment customization is also applicable, but it is not so popular. Customers of customized goods are most often private users (more than 58% of cases), small businesses, especially services and entertainment (more than 21% of cases), government agencies (11.5% of cases) and large business (9.1%).