A very good article on the current popularity of mass customization by Kimberly Palmer, titled The Store of YOU, appears in the US News and World Report. The article mentions many of the brands that are well known practitioners of customization, plus a few more that are new to me. Some interesting quotes:
“…because consumers at all income levels have more options and access to information, they are less willing to compromise. More than half of respondents said an essential consideration when choosing a brand is how well it represents their unique tastes and individuality.
“At Reebok, customers can design their own sneakers, mixing various colors, styles, and materials. In early 2009, a new program created by designer John Maeda will transform customers’ photos into designs that decorate their shoes.
“…parents (of Generation Y consumers) are often drawn to customization for an entirely different reason—frugality. Dan Butler, vice president at the National Retail Federation, says consumers are more price-conscious now because of the economic slowdown, so they are applying a higher standard to the products they buy. They want to make sure a purchase “really meets their needs,” which a product designed specifically for them is more likely to do.”
More links and posts tomorrow!