Definition of 'Mass Customization'
The process of delivering wide-market goods and services that are modified to satisfy a specific customer need. Mass customization is a marketing and manufacturing technique that combines the flexibility and personalization of "custom-made" with the low unit costs associated with mass production. Many applications of mass customization include software-based product configurations that allow end-users to add and/or change certain functionalities of a core product. Sometimes called "made to order" or "built to order."
Investopedia explains 'Mass Customization'
B. Joseph Pine II's 1992 book "Mass Customization: The New Frontier In Business Competition" describes four types of mass customization:
1. Collaborative Customization - where companies work in partnership with individual customers to develop precise product offerings to best suit each customer's needs.
2. Adaptive Customization - where companies produce standardized products that are customizable by the end-user.
3. Transparent Customization - where companies provide unique products to individual customers without overtly stating the products are customized.
4. Cosmetic Customization - where companies produce standardized products but market the products in different ways to various customers.