Marketing & Sales

How Can Mass Customisation Work for Small Businesses?

Keith Coppersmith
Written by Keith Coppersmith

Value is a relative thing. Ask a group of customers what they value the most about a brand, and they will tell you one story. Ask a different group of customers, and they might focus on an entirely different set of qualities. A brand that can appeal to vastly different customer groups successfully usually uses a very specific approach: mass customisation. The idea of personalising services and products is far from new. On the contrary, when businesses were mostly family-owned or one-person operations, it was more than possible to accommodate the individual needs and wants of each customer.

If multiple customers come into an auto-body shop requesting the same type of paint-job then the body shop can add that service to their catalogue of service offerings. Demand for this product may then dramatically increase, even amongst people who may never had considered that particular option. The new, customised product meets a market niche that the business owner has discovered by simply listening to what customers need, like or want. Mass customisation can be applied to businesses of all sizes helping small businesses massively increase in scale by successfully reaching new customers and markets. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Reaching new customers

Sometimes it’s not about the product or service, but about the presentation. A single product may have a range of attributes and different qualities may appeal to different customer bases. You can advertise different elements or attributes of the product to different sets of people . Put simply, emphasising different qualities of one and the same product will make it more appealing to each individual market. Mass customisation works great for small businesses because it allows you to keep your product range small, meaning you can focus on quality, growth, innovation, etc.

For example, a clothing company may advertise the design, colours and styles of their products to a fashion-conscious group of customers. To appeal to an eco-conscious crowd they might emphasise that their fabric is organic and sustainably grown. One product, two viewpoints, double the customer base and hopefully double the profit!. 

Expanding local engagement 

The Australian market is highly competitive, and it can be hard to make your brand stand out from the crowd, especially when you are just starting out and may not have a large PR or advertising budget. Let your customers to do the hard work for you through the process of customisation.

Not only will you drive engagement rates with your local community, you will also be able to better meet their needs. You can use reliable printing services in Sydney to spread the word about your new offerings. Use your findings from online or in-store customer feedback to mass-produce unique items, making them available to other people in the same demographic with the same tastes. This way you can mass-produce your product without losing that personal touch. 

Recognising trends on the rise

Not only will mass customisation draw in the customers, it will also provide your business with helpful tools to make your range and products more relevant and therefore more purchasable for your target audience. A great form of customisation is transparent customisation. It’s great if your customers seem tired reiterating their needs over and over again.

Once  you’ve figured out what your customers want, customise your products accordingly as soon as you can. Customisation will be a part of your company’s DNA, and your customers will learn to expect unique products as a part of your regular service. It takes time to reach that moment, but small businesses that use mass-customisation actually become forerunners of new trends, leading the way to success.

Better targeting via digital channels

I know that mass-customisation sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s actually an incredibly clever way to satisfy each of your customers without overwhelming your logistics and your entire business operation. You can even apply mass-customisation to your marketing and advertising strategies. Your social media ads, landing pages, and your product descriptions can serve that purpose of customisation from the moment you have a chance to interact with your audience. 

Digital marketing can sometimes be impersonal, and many users scroll past or otherwise avoid sponsored or advertising content. Implement mass customisation and use this information to refine your targeting efforts and reach a wider audience through your digital outlets. This will also help you in creating content that is relevant and engaging, the kind of content that potential customers will not scroll straight past.

It may take time and effort to master the art of mass customisation, but it’s actually really simple and can yield great rewards for your business. Take this approach if you want to be a trend leader, expand globally, or simply reach a wider local audience.

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About the author

Keith Coppersmith

Keith Coppersmith

Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. As a regular contributor at Bizzmarkblog, he enjoys writing and providing insight of the marketing industry based on both practice and theory.

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