Mass Customization: individual printing at a reasonable price
The great longing for individuality can be very profitable
Tip: Definitions of terms, such as “individualization” or “peronalization”, are explained here.
More and more people are longing for something special with a personal touch. Even if it is everyday things and gifts like books, photo albums or calendars. Especially the younger generations (e.g. Millennials) are longing for personalized products. A personal approach, and also an individual customer experience. Consumers are willing to pay noticeably more for these personalized products. In addition, people feel more valued through a personalized approach (e.g. in mailings, cover letters).
This great longing for individuality can be satisfied with high quality, personalized and individual print products that are printed using the mass customization process. The companies that commission such projects from innovative print service providers (e.g. Schätzl) benefit twice: from low printing costs thanks to mass production, and increased sales that can be achieved with high quality, personalized products.
Successful examples of mass customization from various industries
Mass Customization combines the advantages of personalized individual printing and cost-effective mass production. It is fascinating because it is a big trend – and actually is nothing new! For example, Mass Customization has a long tradition in car manufacturing. The models of German car manufacturers (e.g. Porsche, Audi) can be configured down to the last detail, even online.
Other very prominent examples of successful mass customization are individual Nike shoes or Burberry trench coats which are co-designed by the customers. But things also work very well on a smaller scale – and above all on paper! A beautiful example of successful Print Mass Customization is lovingly designed children’s books that can be personalized by the target groups before purchase and printing.
An example would be Hurrahelden, one of our customers.
Online configurator plus digital printing = Print Mass Customization
In this equation, the “online configurator” comes first. With good reason. After all, the end user is not interested in mass customization. They just want to have excellent results in their hands as quickly as possible. But they do enjoy configuring their own personalized products. Whether it’s a T-shirt or an invitation card.
The possibilities offered to people for individualization must, therefore, be as simple and intuitive as possible. And, of course, they also should be online! In order to optimize sales, only a few and necessary customization options should be offered. It is therefore not a question of individualizing at any cost, but of serving the personalization desires very specifically or solving a problem for the customer sustainably.
We gladly admit that this restriction can be quite difficult. Modern printing and finishing machines can now be used not only to print and finish paper, but also fabric, wood, and other materials. Everything individually and at the same time cost-effectively. More about “print finishing” and its advantages can be found here. You can see how print finishing can look here in our showroom.
Mass customization in printing fundamentally changes the value chain
In the mass customization of personalized products, the customer is no longer at the end of the value chain as in traditional mass production. He is at the very beginning. The passive consumer thus becomes an active “prosumer”. He is now an essential part of the production process. Smart companies, therefore, involve interested parties and customers in the further development and differentiation of their products. If it is not possible to convince customers directly and online of the quality of personalized products, there may be no value chain at all. The user experience, clarity, and accuracy of online configurators are correspondingly quite important.
Print Mass Customization, whether digital printing, 3D printing or textile printing, is a decisive trend because the products produced satisfy deep psychological needs. The user experiences a positive feeling of control through personalization and individualization in the online configurator. In a good configurator, the ubiquitous information overload for the user is reduced to a few simple choices.
Customer-specific mass production combines the advantages of high quantities from classic mass printing with the flexibility of digital printing. And leads to increased customer satisfaction and increased sales for your company.
Summary for urgent readers: tl, dr / too long, didn’t read
People today are increasingly striving for more individuality, even with products. Strong growth can be seen, for example, in the following areas: personalizable books, sound storage media and T-shirts, individual greeting cards, mailings and also letters to business customers.
Mass customization as an innovative printing service. Therefore it is the key to targeting and addressing demanding target groups individually. It does that with personalized products and advertising media in the future.
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