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征服客户空间 品牌世界

征服客户空间 品牌世界

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products and brand building
products and brand building

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Published by: ffll68686124 on Feb 14, 2009
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01/28/2013

How does mass customization work? Modularization is one way to
achieve it.Components are broken downinto modules, andthen each
is mass-produced at low cost and assembled in different configura-
tions. Using this approach, Motorola’s pager division was able to
offer its customers twenty-nine million possible configurations while
reducing the number of parts used and cutting manufacturing time in
half.

Restaurant industry insiders refer to a similar process called indus-
trial cuisine
(not the most appetizing description one could think of).
In the 1980s, Taco Bell was one of the pioneers of this technique.
The fast-food firm reengineered its processing systems and centralized
production in large commissary facilities. This enables the company
to deliver fully prepared components to local stores, where bags of
lettuce, tomatoes, beans, etc. are combined to form tacos, burritos,
and chalupas.

Modularization is only one way to achieve mass customization,
however. James Gilmore and Joe Pine, the ‘‘gurus’’ of this approach,
describe four different ways to customize and provide helpful exam-
ples:2

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121

From Pawns to Partners

1. Collaborative Customization: Conduct a dialogue with the
consumer to articulate her needs and make customized products for
her. This approach works best for people who get frustrated when
forced to select from numerous options. Gilmore and Pine note that
Paris Miki, a Japanese eyewear retailer, spent five years developing
the Mikissimes Design System. This process takes a digital picture of
a person’s face, analyzes her features, and elicits statements from her
about the look she wants. The customer receives a recommended lens
size and shape in the form of a digital image superimposed on her
photo.

2. Adaptive Customization:Offer onestandard productthat users
can alter themselves. This is most appropriate when the consumer
needs the product to perform in different ways on different occasions.
For example, lighting systems made by Lutron Electronics Company
connect different lights in a room. The user can program varying ef-
fects for parties, romantic moments, or reading.

3. Cosmetic Customization: A standard product is presented dif-
ferently to different customers. Each uses it the same way, differing
only in how they want it presented. Hertz’s 1 Club Gold Program
gives its preferred members a standard rental car. But, instead of wait-
ing in a long line, the customer can look for his name in lights, go
directly to his car, and find his name displayed on a personal agree-
ment conveniently hanging from the mirror.

4. Transparent Customization: Provide the customer with unique
goods without letting him know these have been customized for him.
This approach is recommended when needs are predictable and
when the customer does not want to have to restate his needs repeat-
edly. ChemStation of Dayton, Ohio, sells industrial soap that is used
in car washes and for cleaning factory floors. The company custom-
formulates a soap mixture that goes into a tank on the customer’s
premises. ChemStation monitors usage patterns remotely, so it can
deliver a refill before the customer has to ask.

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122

Conquering Consumerspace

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