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Mass Customization Monday #10

This is an other Mass Customization Monday where the Twikit team scours journals, publications and the web to find you the most relevant and interesting mass custom news.

Handmade Eyewear company Lafont turns to in store Mass Customization

Lafont a high end hand made eyeware company is turning to in store mass customization. Lafont has been in the eyewear business for over 90 years and manufactures its glasses in the Jura in France by Thierry SA. 95% of the collection is manufactured in France and the company makes over 330,000 pairs of glasses per year. 

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Lafont’s glasses are made by hand usually using acetate.

Lafont has now opened an in store boutique where customers can (starting from $550 per pair) customize a number of glasses. The individual shape and fit of the glasses is determined by the customer working together with a Lafont employee. The customer can choose from a wide array of materials or even get their own unique materials made just for them.

This is yet another example of a high end luxury company turning to mass customization and customization. Handmade again seems to fit hand in glove with mass customization. What would it take for a company such as Lafont to offer online customization? Or is experience such an important part of the retail experience now, that the company should stick to doing it only in store in Paris?

Customized Paper and Plastic Bags

Procos introduced a customizable paper bag. With this convertible type bag companies can print seasonal and short run inserts for the bag while mass producing the rest of the bag. This is a cost effective solution letting a company order large quantities on the one hand reaping from their scale but still giving them the opportunity to have relatively inexpensive timely marketing messages added to their bags.

 

mass_customized_Paper_bagSame bag, but with different inserts it can be easily and inexpensively updated to match a season or sale.

 We really like this kind of thinking because many more complex things can be inexpensively customized using inserts of some kind. Also, if we just look at the mass customized packaging implementation, just how narrow can you make it? Could company’s’ print on demand close to their locations to offer bags in response to the news of the day? What can be done exactly in a store with custom label printing? 

ColorWare customizes the colors of the Nintendo Switch

ColorWare is a company that mass customizes the colors of popular consumer electronics devices. The company designs custom skins for devices and lets people customize their own unique skins online. ColorWare is now offering skins and customization for the Nintendo Switch.

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ColorWare skins on a Nintendo Switch.

ColorWare is in effect an aftermarket company. Interestingly you can buy the Switch and other consumer electronics directly from them. The company in this way aims to exert more control over the purchase and also have a direct path to the customer while having increased revenue from the sale of the consumer electronic.

What is an OEM to do? What happens with warranties and other claims on the consumer electronics device itself? Should OEM’s like Nintendo pay such an aftermarket on their products no heed? Does it strengthen their their ecosystem and platform and would this kind of service actually strengthen them? Or must Nintendo set standards and partner with companies such as ColorWare in order to make sure that its brand does not suffer from low quality coloring services? Skins and wraps are now becoming popular in consumer electronics and have had a boom in car wrapping. What other products could easily be wrapped to add mass customization to them?

Lost My Name publishes new mass customized book

Lost My Name is a UK based publisher of mass customized books for kids. Lost My Name sells books directly from its websites and lets you enter a child’s name which is then used in throughout the book. The content of the book can also be adapted. In its first title the letters of the child’s name were spelled out throughout the book. The company sold over 2.6 million versions of its first book.

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Personalized books with the kids’ names inserted.

There are many applications where digital printing could be used to personalized gifts and mementos for children. Adding a name or shaping the gift in a personalized way could really make these gifts more personal and meaningful.

Mass Customized Candles sold online

Candle Lab is trying to bring mass customized candles online. In Candle Lab stores customers can decide the sizing of their candles, selects their scents. They then answer questions about scents and may receive samples. Candle Lab then creates a unique candle with a unique blend of scents.

candle_lan_customization_parties

The CandleLab also organizes parties where you can with your friends pour and customize your own candles.

Customized candles is something that one would think would be tricky to sell online with scents being such a big part of the experience. The company is trying to port its immersive customization process to online and is running into the same delicate balance as other firms have.

“We (it) think (will) all work, but we need to figure out how much control the customer wants,” “We don’t want to overwhelm the customer with choices. We want it to be user-friendly.”

Mass Customized sauces?

MySauceFactory is a Japanese company that is letting you mass customize your own sauces. The company will make a unique sauce with all natural local ingredients for you in Japan. The customer journey on the site starts with choosing from one of seven base sauces you can then add or subtract ingredients to it. The sauces can then be bought for between €5-€10 for a 100 or 200 ml bottle.

mass_customized_saucesThe base sauces for MySauceFactory.

If people can customize smells and sauces online, where does the limit lie exactly? Or will this simply not work for consumers to customize a thing for which the sensory experience is such an important part? How would one successfully customize a scent or a taste? Apart from some kind of Smell-O-Vision breakthrough we would be inclined to believe that a test or sample kit which allowed people to smell or taste the different parameters and do the custom scent or taste at home may be the best way forward for these kinds of implementations. Or perhaps a DIY test which you could do yourself with common foods could help guide this process? How hot on a scale of one through ten do you find one drop of Tabasco sauce? To offer customized “passion foods” online is surely a huge opportunity, but how does one let a person mass customize the taste of something or its smell online?

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