Recently we posted about the importance of an offline customization experience. NikeID is a great example of a retail-based customization experience that invites customers to build-their-own version of their branded products. In this case, Nike invites customers to sit at a creative workstation and design their own Nike T-shirt.
Customers can select any combination of colors, but the basic layout and design is pre-defined. Nike presents a cookie-cutter swoosh graphic design, but the user can hand pick color combinations. The experience is guided and curated in that shoppers can only select from available color options. This is not a blank canvas design experience. The customer assembles a collection of colored pieces like Lego building blocks or puzzle pieces.
By definition the experience is ‘modular customization.’ Once the customer has assembled their design from an available assortment of components, they choose a base color t-shirt and have the shirt screen printed for them right in the store.
Related, Nike has created geo-specific graphic designs for hundreds of NikeID stores around the world. These are not build-to-order designs, rather they are regionalized and localized for specific customer communities. Indeed, regional personalization is an extension of customization. Local customers will feel that the geo-specific graphics fit their needs better than standard, mass produced logo-wear that anyone in the world can buy.
Indeed, Nike is one the market leaders in customer co-creation and mass customization. They created one of the first consumer facing product configurators back in ’99, and they sold over $100M in custom products in 2010.
The in store experience is a great way to give customers a hand-on design-your-own experience in the context of a pre-defined product. The process is playful, interactive, and inviting. Customers aren’t just shopping, they are controlling and making. Allowing customers to get their creative juices flowing with your brand is a great way to create customer loyalty and differentiate your brand.
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