Is Customisation Key for Successful Product Design?

According to the GBrief, millennials (a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century) are forcing companies to offer a more personalized approach to shopping, or in other words “they want to know that a company is paying attention to their specific needs.” This is something that companies need to take note of if they want to stay in the game as millennials are set to become the largest group of consumers, having finally outnumbered the Baby Boomers in 2015.

However, it’s expensive for companies to customize product design, especially as so much could change along the way. Yet, creating variants on an item and giving the customer a choice is almost as good as a complete customization, this is mass customization (the ability to make variations of products in high volume). Such customization in the automobile industry is now routine, you can choose everything from the buttons on your steering wheel to the stitching in the leather of the seats.

A lot of the results from mass customization so far have been popular as well, because it helps companies gain insights from designs that they may not have thought of themselves. This keeps them one step ahead of the competition and maintains customer loyalty.

Looking back at the GBrief study, it also suggested that Millennials distrust faceless big businesses and want to be treated like a partner rather than a purchaser. Offering customization and plenty of variation give consumers the impression that they are involved in the whole process and mirrors the feel of being a partner. Even if the product is already being manufactured, the fact that the customer is in control makes the process feel a lot more personal.

With all of this in mind, it’s clear that product design will be successful with the use of customization, you will be achieving exactly what the consumer wants. Through this, you ensure that your company is remaining competitive and successful by keeping up with the consumer.

Whether you provide this personalization tool through face-to-face contact or over the Internet depends largely on the size of your business. For example, hospitals require a lot of different equipment and they may look for some supplies online, such as online castors, but meet with a supplier for the hospital bed itself, it just depends on the customers’ situation and the use of the product.

So, if you want to stay relevant as a business and keep on creating successful products, it‘s key that you offer some sort of flexibility and customization. The Raconteur has even gone so far as to say that the “new manufacturing revolution will be defined by speed, quality, flexibility, and customization,” so it’s definitely something your business needs to consider.