Customization alters the design, features, or behavior of a product or service to suit a customer. Customization is directed by the customer. The what, how and when of customization is enabled by the business.
Customization can occur before a product is manufactured, as a product or service is packaged, as it is delivered, or once a customer is using it.
Examples of customization prior to delivery include:
• Designing your own Nike shoes
• Sending your measurements to Levi’s for custom fit jeans
• Adding a monogram to your new shirts
• Choosing the options for your new car
Examples of customization during delivery include:
• Adding HBO to your cable TV service
• Specifying your Yahoo! home page
Examples of customization after delivery include:
• Adding your words to the dictionary shipped with Microsoft Office
• Adding videos to your own YouTube playlist
• Adjusting your settings in Gmail
I am aware that many call these products and services “personalized,” but I use the word “customized” in order to differentiate between actions that adjust the customer experience (personalization) and those that adjust the product (customization).
Does customization fit your business? What would customers want to customize? What type of customization could your business enable?