From fast food to the perfect pair of trainers and all sorts of weird and wonderful new gadgets, customers now have the ability to ‘create’ the product they truly desire. For manufacturers and retailers, it’s a far cry from a century ago when Henry Ford famously stated: “You can have any colour you want, as long as it's black!”
For many retailers and manufacturers, customisation will be essential to their future survival. Clothing, accessories and footwear were retail categories at the leading edge of customisation, which makes sense when you consider that these items are important means of personal self-expression. Customisation enables people to wear their ideal fashion item and be 'on trend', while at the same time feel unique by giving that item a personal tweak. For example, Nike shoppers in the US can use NIKEiD to customise their athletic shoes. What about a customised hydration platform for athletes? Absolutely.
A cautionary tale
The quest for innovative brands is to leverage the latest technologies in ways that enable people to easily customise the products they actually want. Unfortunately, what people say they want and what they will eventually purchase doesn’t always match up, so it pays to be careful with your market research and new product developments. Shoes of Prey offers one such cautionary tale of the gap between intended and actual consumer behaviour.
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