Saturday, December 1, 2012

Technology's Promise: Mass Customization

Technology's Promise: Mass Customization

I have to agree with Halal’s prediction for mass customization. Mass customization refers to industries taking personalized order requests from their consumers. Apple has done a great job of this.  Apple allows consumers to order their products such as ipods and ipads and they allow the consumers to have their purchased items personalized with engraving and other things prior to the items being shipped. Since starting the engraving option, more and more consumers have opted to purchase their apple products online from the apple store instead of other retailers like Best Buy. This simple option of engraving gives the consumer the feeling of their mass produced ipod or ipad is different then everyone else’s because their name or favorite saying has been engraved on the back of the item.  This allows consumers the ability to identify their mass produced item from their friends, neighbors and family members.

As mass customization grows, I think it is going to influence people to be individuals again. and are two blooming websites that encourage mass customization. These sites assign personal shoppers to the consumer and assist them with finding shoes that meet their exact likes and specifications. The ultimate goal is for women to be able to have their own custom shoes so they can express their individual styles.

I recently had a first hand experience with mass customization.  Two weeks ago I purchased a new SUV. I had been shopping around for a while trying to find the SUV that I wanted that met my price requirements along with the options I wanted. Well, it took me about 3 months to finally find what I wanted without having to custom build my SUV.  Well the night I bought it and brought it home my boyfriend immediately let me know that he would be taking it over and I needed to find myself a new one. So the process of finding a new vehicle started all over again. I contacted the dealership and let them know I wanted the same vehicle as the one I purchased but in red. The significance of the red was because red is my favorite color and the original SUV I purchased was black which is my second favorite color. But since my boyfriend was going to be taking over that car, I wanted the same car in my favorite color. Well we were unable to find the exact SUV in red so we had to order it. By ordering it I was able to customize the vehicle to my exact specifications and requirements. As simple as this sounds, it gives me the feeling of my SUV being mine and being different then the original one I purchased that's now being taken over by my boyfriend. Mass customization is the start of individualization again, at least in my opinion.


Halal, W. (2008). Technology’s Promise: expert knowledge on the transformation of business and society. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan

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