Thinking - 8 steps for successful product customisation

8 steps for successful product customisation


Customisation and the creation of personalised offers has gained a lot of attention over the last few years and there has been much focus on the empowerment of consumers in a digital era. A recent study by Bain & Company showed that consumers would pay 20% more for customised products. However, this is not the only benefit from the higher involvement of the consumer. It also increases product identification and can have a positive effect on loyalty by creating a stronger relationship with the product and the brand.

But before you embark on a product customisation programme we suggest you consider these 8 critical factors.

Evaluate ROI
Offering a greater range of options is always a question of costs and profitability. Therefore, organisations need to consider carefully what the actual value is they are creating, rather than blindly following a market trend. Not only assessing the costs for production but also considering the ways in which consumers will benefit from the customisation and understanding their needs to know if the offer will be valued and bought.

Understand your production capabilities
Organisations must carefully assess their capabilities and the feasibility of the customisation option they want to offer. One of our clients, a luxury automotive manufacturer wanted to increase sales by offering customisation for one of their top models. One of the changes made was offering 22’’ wheels as an additional option. However, their manufacturing plants only had capabilities up to 18’’ wheels, the bigger wheels would have to be fitted post-sale, impacting upon profitability and customer experience.

Identify the most suitable product in your portfolio
Not every product is suitable for customisation. Businesses need to think about what in their portfolio gives them the greatest flexibility for alteration, also taking into account how they can attract a broad range of their consumers, without the risk of losing customers. For example, Cadbury invariably launches product innovations with their core line of Dairy Milk to have greater flexibility and limit risks.

Engage customers in the process
Give your customers a feeling of ownership. A recent study found consumers are willing to pay more for a product when they were involved in the assembling. This ‘IKEA-effect’, which gives a higher level of value and appreciation of the final product as a result of being involved in the product’s creation.