We know that using a one-size-fits-all approach will not create the kind of buy-in needed to get the total organization working together. In addition we know that to be competitive, the offer has to be branded consistently but also to fit a need.
So what separates between the need to standardize vs. the need to customize?
Research conducted by Jaynie L. Smith for the book Creating Competitive Advantage, states that only two CEOs out of 1,000 surveyed could clearly define their company’s competitive advantage. A new wave in customization is the use of data analytics. Where it would take years and years of research to create and market the next generation of a service or product, can now be obtained within a few seconds. Case in point, car manufacturers are gathering more data than ever to eliminate waste and improve efficiency as they try to create next-generation vehicles. In 2012, Mercedes-AMG began to deploy an in-memory platform across business functions to analyze large amounts of data in real time. The goal for Mercedes-AMG was not to quickly deliver data, it was to deliver information that can improve processes that lead to competitive advantage.
Another example is that of content advertising. Today, more people than ever are watching digital video on hand-held devices and laptops, meaning that each viewer can customize what they watch, and when. The amount of user-generated content has also exploded, fragmenting viewers among many markets and making it tricky at best for brand advertisers to get the biggest bang for their buck. This shift in viewer habits has caused huge disruptions to the traditional advertising model.
For many people, real luxury is about ordering bespoke items with heaps of customization. These are made either entirely for them or simply not available to anyone else because they are completely unique creations. In times of computer controlled production real craftsmanship has gone lost. The McDonalds of the world are now far and between. Starbucks is the McDonnalds of today. Perfecting that Latte to the dot within a few minutes with a mass customization approach of adding the hazelnut, soy, or skim details. Because of the downturn in the economy even with a limited budget, people are no longer willing to settle. Whether using professional services, or products such as, food, luxury goods, travel or any other, there is virtually no competition, and size doesn’t matter if you are able to offer a product/service that is needed, and unique. The global economy calls for customization and only customization and only organizations that are able to deliver customization with a mass formula can do well.
Business leaders should not become overwhelmed by the amount of data. The key is to identity important information and gain insight to improve business operations. Finding your brand, defining it to the core, and delivering it uniquely to your unique customer is the overall value proposition. Is it a coincidence that the word Customer is a derivative of the word Customization?