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  • Tania posted an update in the group Group logo of Experiential Branding & Communications Experiential Branding & Communications 6 years, 7 months ago

    Recently I was reading an article about Product Customization. It says “The practice of offering consumers the ability to customize products to their liking before purchasing them is poised to turn manufacturing on its head and revolutionize business.” In 1970 some companies were predicting the dawn of mass customization, but according to a new report by Forrester, in 2011 we truly are on the verge of seeing mass customization arise. Off course, we largely have the Web and related technologies to thank.
    I think we’re definitely bored of mass production, and customers are craving being creative and part of the design of what they purchase. For example, I know the website of Kotex that allows their customers to design their own pad! It´s very catchy and unusual!!! Guys take a look: http://www.ubykotex.com/get_real/design/tool?type=pad

    • Yes ! Mass customization is coming in many forms and in many industries. I still find it interesting that the banking industry has such difficulty with this topic. We have been working with clients to offer more opportunities to customize bank products, but the industry as a whole is moving very slowly in comparison to other industries…. Bankers should really work to catch up, or they may be left behind !!

      • What can banks customize for their customers, though? They only have so many products and services, so what can they make personalized for all those customers?

        • Banks may have a limited number of products and services, but they have a vast number of methods to bundle those services. Rather than just separate checking and savings accounts, banks can bundle those for the right consumer, creating tied accounts that require a minimum combined balance to avoid fees or gain interest. These product packages can be customized for each customer’s specific needs or financial standing. With the variability of rates, the possibilities for creating personalize accounts and loans with individualized rates is seemingly endless.

    • I agree with you, but I think that there are industries which have more possibilities to customize because of the type of products they sell.

      For example, a car, the furniture or a piece of clothing are easier to adapt to the customer’s likes than a mortgage or a loan.

      A start could be to put into the customers’ shoes and think what could be more convenient to them to offer them something adapted to their needs.

      I read an article about experiential branding and I’ve found particularly interesting one point that says that we have to find a little element that triggers the experience.

      “More than five years ago, I stayed for the first time in the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong. In the bathroom on the rim of the bathtub they had placed a bright yellow rubber duck with a red mouth. I fell in love with the idea (and the duck) immediately. This little duck has become part of my life; I mention it in my speeches. They have really struck a chord with this little duck. It’s the one thing that I always remember when I think about the hotel — and it becomes the starting point of remembering the entire hotel experience. The lesson here? Every company needs to have a duck for its brand. That is, a little element that triggers, frames, summarizes, stylizes the experience.” (from Experiential Marketing, by Bernd H. Schmitt, CEO)

      So, what do you think guys? what could be the duck for the banking industry?

    • I think that the duck is a classic piece of memorabilia, but it also works as a vey good signature moment in the hotel experience, helping the customer remember the hotel.

      On the other side of your post, customisation can be designed into anything. Cars for example from the 50s or 60s or 70s, tendedto be designed as one offs, there was no platform sharing, or even much in the way of component sharing.

      Where this gets really interesting is that you can start marketing essentilaly the same product with an entirely different set of characteristics, and make it appeal to a completely different set of people. The difference between a VW Golf, an Audi A3, a Seat Leon and a Skoda Octavia is fairly minimal but the price differentials and differnetial in perception on a number of levels are huge.

      • Your example about cars is a perfect example of how customer perception changes the entire model of business. The sense of prestige and recognition that goes with a certain brand carries value to customers, and this value is what can really drive profits. Like you said, you can take two virtually identical cars, package them with different features and names, and they could have two totally different price points. The customer mindset is what changes how the product can be sold; it is akin to having a huge markup on an item and then discounting it with a sale. Even though the item may be expensive (let us say an Apple MacBook retailing at ~$1500 but on sale for ~$1000 despite comparable computers selling for ~$750) there is still demand and appeal because of the branding. Like the duck was the signature item of that hotel, the Apple brand, especially the logo on the cover, is what sells the item. The perception, the mystique, surrounding the item makes it memorable.

    • I think this is the point – customer perception. How was saying Rocio maybe bank products are not so easy to customize, but customizing for example only the packaging of the bank products the customer is perceiving that it is something made just for him, so maybe he doesn´t give a big importance to the conditions of the bank product. Anyway I think that there are always ways to customize bank services (and not only a packaging), is the matter of investment in the business strategy and not in the super expensive video add with the Hollywood star like Bruce Willis! 😀

      • I don’t think banks like to follow this strategy because changing the business strategy requires a lot of work and retaining for each employee. Having an ad that costs as much as the redone strategy is almost instant since your business will run exactly the same, so it is easier than new strategies. Big stars can give the perception that famous people use it, which sometimes is as effective as the perception that the products fit the customer.