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Mass Customization Monday #21

After scouring the web once again we’re bringing you the most relevant mass customization news.

Supreme brand collaborations

We’ve pointed out before that brand collaborations and limited editions are an effective way to market products and obtain revenue. Brand collaborations, capsule collections and limited editions have been used to great effect by H&M, TopShop and other fashion retailers. Exclusive brands lend their cachet to mass market brands for a limited time to both company’s benefit. In other markets outside of fashion brand collaborations are a lot less common.Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 4.14.41 PM

After copying and parodying the Louis Vuitton Logos Supreme ended up collaborating with the brand.

We think that more brands should be more adventurous with collaborations and limited editions and think that they can drive growth in many areas. Often however brand managers are very conservative when thinking about collaboration. Managers worry that their brand could become diluted or suffer from the collaboration.

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Supreme also worked with venerable raincoat brand Aquascutum. 

One brand that has benefited more than most of collaborating while still (for now) maintaining an enviable loyalty and cachet is Supreme. Highsnobiety details all of Supreme’s brand collaborations to date. The list is indeed expansive and eclectic showing that the company worked with Nike, Lacoste, Brooks Brothers, Schott, Hanes, Levi’s and Stussy while keeping its relevance. This New York Times article from 2012 tells you the story of Supreme, while this 2016 article by Vice goes deeper into the extreme brand devotion that Supreme’s fans have.  

Better patient outcomes with customized knee replacement implants

A study published in Arthroplasty Today examined patient outcomes in total knee arthroplasty patients who got total knee replacement implants. The 248 patients were all treated by the same surgeon at the same institution and were given off the shelf implants or  individualized custom implants. Some of the findings of the study were:

  • “Fewer patients treated with customized implants experienced adverse events at both discharge and 90 days after treatment.
  • Patients who received a customized implant were more likely to be discharged in less than three days.
  • Fewer patients treated with customized implants required blood transfusion.
  • The total average costs between the two implants were nearly identical, with customized implants costing $16,192 and standard implants costing $16,240.


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3D printed knee implants and tooling made by ConforMIS

Much research has gone into patient specific medicine and into developing customized implants. Studies are beginning to show that customized and custom fit implants are cost effective and in some cases provide for better patient outcomes. This particular study was carried out at the behest of ConforMI, a company that makes customized 3D printed knee implants and surgical tools needed to carry out these surgeries. We hope that other future research will confirm these results and enable more mass customized medicine to deliver better outcomes to patients worldwide.

Custom Lotion Made at the Mixing Bar

This review on Bustle details how the reporter made her own customized St. Ives body lotion at the brand’s pop up store. We are seeing more emergent customized skin care solutions pushed by boutique and mass brands. By having an in store Mixing Bar shopping for skin care or lotion can be transformed into an experience and create higher satisfaction, engagement and loyalty.

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At the mixing bar you can choose your formula, ingredients and scents and the lotion is made right in front of you. We think that this kind of mixing bar implementation is a huge opportunity. If a company got the formula right and gave people actually personalized more effective skin care coupled with customized scents they could seriously disrupt the cosmetics industry. In store mass customization for skincare and scents is a huge opportunity for the retailer or cosmetics brand that rolls this out effectively at a global scale.

Mixed Reality research points to new ways of showing patients themselves

Researchers at Birmingham City University’s Digital Media Technology Lab are creating a gesture based mixed reality tool that will display patient data to them. The mixed reality system will let doctors show patients virtual models of their own bodies or ailments in order to make them better understand their treatments.  

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Dr. Ian Williams said: “We are developing this system as a platform to allow medical professionals to interact with genuine patient data and manipulate it by hand to educate and inform patients. The real advantages this brings are being able to visually demonstrate parts of the anatomy, using virtual models which can be customized for each patient and show how they have been impacted by lifestyle choices or how they may be changed following treatments or surgery.

Guiding patients through choices and making them understand often complex procedures is an oft overlooked element of modern medicine. By visualizing lifestyle choices, pathology or procedures on a virtual model of you, this kind of mixed reality tool could make a real impact on patients’ lives. There is a huge difference between seeing an image of a diseased lung or being shown your own diseased lung.


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