What is 'Mass Customization'

Mass customization is 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 products with the low unit costs associated with mass production. Mass customization products may also be referred to as made to order or built to order.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mass Customization'

Mass customization allows a customer to customize certain features of a product while keeping costs closer to that of mass-produced products. In some cases, the components of the product are modular. This allows customers to combine different options to create a semi-custom final product. Many applications of mass customization include software-based product configurations that allow end users to add or change certain functions of a core product.

Mass Customization Offerings

Most products created based on the mass production model start with a base package that customers can add to, subtract from or alter to suit their needs or tastes. Mass-customization products are generally made to order, but they are based on templates to allow production companies to keep costs lower than truly custom pieces.

Examples of Mass Customization Product Lines

Certain furniture companies offer mass customization by offering multiple options for various components or features. This can include different fabrics, furniture legs or sectional pieces that can be combined in a large number of configurations. Modular home builders also use mass-customization models by allowing customers to make changes to base home packages.

Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition

B. Joseph Pine II's 1992 book "Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition" describes four types of mass customization:

• Collaborative customization refers to companies that work in partnership with individual customers to develop precise product offerings to suit each customer's needs.

• Adaptive customization includes companies producing standardized products that the end user can customize.

• Transparent customization refers to companies who provide unique products to individual customers without overtly stating the products are customized.

• Cosmetic customization includes companies that produce standardized products but market the products in different ways to various customers.

Pine focused on the concept of creating a small number of interchangeable pieces that can be brought together in a large number of ways. This aims to produce a cost-efficient production model while allowing customers to pick and choose how the pieces went together. This allows customers to achieve a higher level of satisfaction from the product while simultaneously keeping costs lower for both the production company and the customer purchasing the final product.

  1. Mass Production

    Mass production if the manufacturing of large quantities of standardized ...
  2. Customer

    A customer is an individual or business that purchases the goods ...
  3. Customer Service

    Customer service is the process of ensuring customer satisfaction ...
  4. Critical Mass

    Critical mass is the point at which a growing company becomes ...
  5. Mass Payment

    Mass payment is a method of paying multiple recipients online ...
  6. Mass Index

    Mass index is a form of technical analysis that looks at the ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Saving Toward and Maintaining Your Retirement Goal

    Your retirement plan should include deciding how much money you need to save, how you will save it, and how you will maintain it.
  2. Tech

    How Big Data Has Changed Marketing

    Big data has enabled marketers to enhance their customer engagement and customer retention strategies by providing insight into behavior and thoughts.
  3. Investing

    The Importance Of Analyzing Accounts Receivable

    While investors often focus on revenues, net income, and earnings per share, they should not overlook the importance of analyzing accounts receivable.
  4. IPF - Broker

    Best Online Stock Broker 2018

    Investopedia's Best Online Brokers for Stock Trading is here! Find out which broker is best suited to your trading style.
  5. IPF - Broker

    Best Web Trading Platform

    There are still advantages to trading on a website, primarily that more tools and research capabilities can easily fit on a page.
  6. IPF - Broker

    Best Online Brokers for Options Trading 2018

    Options trading has become extremely popular with retail investors over the past 15 years. Read more about the key to this growth.
  7. Investing

    Twitter Aims to Humanize Customer Service Dealings

    Twitter wants you to know when you are dealing with an actual human on the other end of that DM.
  8. Investing

    Top 3 Customer Experience Companies (PG)

    Have the top three customer experience companies rewarded their investors?
  9. IPF - Broker

    Best Brokers for Beginning Traders 2018

    Investopedia's Best Brokers for Beginners is here! Find out which broker is the best to get you up-to-speed and ready to invest.
  10. IPF - Broker

    Best Brokers for IRAs

    IRAs are a great investment vehicle for retirement. Picking the right broker is important to reach your retirement goals. Read more to find out which brokers are the best for opening up an IRA ...
  1. How did mass production affect the price of consumer goods?

    In general, once mass production was developed and perfected, consumer goods could be made for the broadest possible market, ... Read Answer >>
  2. What strategies do companies employ to increase market share?

    A company's market share is the percentage it controls of the total market for its products and services. Learn about the ... Read Answer >>
  3. Why is social responsibility important to a business?

    Socially responsible companies improve their brand, attract and retain top talent, and improve relationships with their customers ... Read Answer >>
  4. How are period costs and product costs different?

    Product costs are the direct costs involved in producing a product. Period costs are all costs not included in product costs ... Read Answer >>
  5. How should investors interpret accounts receivable information on a company's balance ...

    Analyze accounts receivable information on a company's balance sheet carefully. Receivables offer confidence of future cash ... Read Answer >>
  6. Which businesses use market segmentation?

    Find out what types of businesses use market segmentation, and how this strategy helps companies market their products more ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center