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Mass Customization Monday #30

As eagle eyed millennials seeking out industries to kill, we’ve sought out the most relevant mass customization news of the week.

One of a Kind Denim Offers Custom Embroidery 

Custom_Denim
One of a Kind Denim offers custom embroidered denim pieces. Personalized and unique denim art is something that other firms are also looking towards. We love the touches and personalization this can give but would this not be something that many other firms can copy? Or would unique design insight and unique designs lead to a sustainable long term business? According to founder Sarah Darby,

“We want to make fashion that feels like it’s been created especially for you. Instead of following trends, we encourage our customers to celebrate their own brand of fabulous. Plus, if it’s truly about you then you won’t throw it out at the end of the season.”

3X1 has customized jeans for $2000

Customized Jeans

Meanwhile in other jeans customization news, Manhattan’s 3X1 store now offers customized jeans for $2000. As well as type of denim and fit buttons and cloth can be decided. We have noticed that once companies embark on a premium type of customized product, as 3X1 is doing, they do tend to introduce a lot of new vocabulary to the customer such as Selvedge ( a type of denim that is resistant to fraying). Apparently denim also has Red Cast and Green Cast variants. The introduction of vocabulary and new terminology is ever present in premium markets. Some things have become very widely understood terms indeed: such as mouthfeel and terroir. New terminology could also confuse customers and make it more difficult for them to embark on a new product journey. Words like carat, vintage, balance, aftertaste underpin tens of millions of retail spending while at the same time requiring effort on the part of the consumer to be used correctly. This terminology paradox may raise the exclusivity on a product if done correctly or may confuse and alienate if done incorrectly.

Commonworks Pottery Turns your Voice into Pots

Custom_Pottery

Design studio CommonWorks can turn your voice into pottery. We’ve seen a lot of similar customization systems before whereby voices are turned into jewelry, pottery or a customized product. Designers are very attracted to this idea. But, does the wave pattern of a voice print implemented in a vase shape really say something about you?

Moonshine University Lets You Create Your Own Custom Spirit

Custom_Moonshine

A week long class at Moonshine University will set you back between $15,000 and $20,000 for three to six day courses. You can learn how to make your very own absinthe, whiskey, gin, rum or brandy. Artisanal and high end liquors have exploded in popularity over the past few years. Where once bars had one or two gins now some have fifty to sixty gins and many other niche spirits. The Moonshine University course takes things further and lets you have a course which leads to your very own unique spirit, made just for you.

By capitalizing on the niche artisanal alcohol trend the Moonshine University courses are sure to find interested parties. Such a course, if it were adequate and well organized, would also be an interesting experience. And it is experiences that a lot of people cherish nowadays. By offering a mass customized artisanal product that is also an experience Moonshine University have put themselves at an intersection of a lot of big and interesting trends. What other similar mass customized product experiences are out there? Your own smoked salmon, your own chocolate, your own coffee? We think that there are many such business opportunities that could be found at the same intersection of trends.

Stuart Weitzman Offers Mass Custom Boots 

MassCustomizationBoots

Stuart Weitzman is letting customers customize boots from $535 to nearly $2000. The company is letting people customize eight different types of boot with 14 different materials. You can also select the width of the shoe size for your boot. This marks yet another shoe company letting customers customize their offering. We do think that the greatest value will be unlocked with effective mass customization that would increase the utility and fit of shoes. Custom sized boots with custom soles would be a huge leap forward for the shoe business.

Turn Yourself or a Friend Into a Bobble Head

Custom_Bobblehead

For $99 you can turn yourself or a friend into a bobble head. Personalized puppets, dolls and toys have been around for a number of years now. We’re still not sure why none of these has lead to significant commercial success. Do people simply not want dolls that have familiar faces on them? Or has someone just not cracked the right kind of personalized puppet?

OtterBox MountCAD engages the 3D Printing Community

uniVERSE CAD

Case maker Otterbox has released the CAD designs to its uniVERSE case system. This will let designers customize, create and add onto Otterbox cases. By engaging with 3DHubs, Lulzbot other companies in the 3D printing community Otterbox hopes to unlock the creativity of 3D printing people the world over and to let people design to extend the functionality of their products.
Tens of thousands of mobile phone cases, stands and other designs are already available online. People have made attachments to attach your phone to airplane seats, bikes, battery packs, tables and many other things. If Otterbox handles the rights of its case system correctly and honestly engages the community in an open way then they could see their devices extended and improved in unexpected ways. We applaud such engagement by Otterbox and other companies. Will more companies embrace these kinds of open innovation/mass innovation approaches? Or will companies fear the lack of control they have and not sufficiently understand the opportunities?

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