Mass Customization and Dog Food

Annie May~Sensitive Stomach
Annie May~Sensitive Stomach | Source

Dog Food & Mass Customization


Mass Customization

This is the providing of a good or service or information that is customized for specific users. The good, service, or information must be mass produced because the user is a large sub-group of an even larger group of users.

The product, good, or service must be able to be manipulated to create a large number of the specific items. This is not a discussion of a one-of-a-kind cottage I industry!

Mass Customization is a relatively new concept. In order to have mass customization the producer must have the ability to make a large number of the custom items. There must be the ability to drill down to a specific user group allowed by sophisticated marketing and that is covered in basic Marketing! The ability to manufacture, create, and deliver the goods to this group is necessary as well and that is covered in Logistics!

When Henry Ford published his autobiography he was quoted as saying “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” My how things have changed! Henry Ford introduced assembly line manufacturing to the mass production of automobiles and he is an interesting business man to read about.

Dog Food and Mass Customization


In Grandma’s and Grandpa’s time there were table scraps and basic dog food. Grandma and Grandpa went to the feed store and eventually to the grocery to purchase dog food for the dog.

In the past twenty years the market for dog and all pet food has changed. With the advent of such stores like PetSmart in 1986, mass customization has entered the pet food market. PetSmart allowed the segmentation of markets for pet food users in a multitude of locations. This made the manufacture of specialized pet foods a good return on investment (ROI.)

Evolution of Dog Food

· dog food

· puppy food

· puppy food for big dogs

· puppy food for small dogs

· breed specific dog foods (which failed in large part!)

· dog food for sensitive stomachs

· dog food for skin problems

· dog food with probiotics

· natural dog foods

· organic dog foods

· etc. etc. as far as the imagination coupled with a need can go!

These are all examples of Mass Customization. However, this mass customization was made possible by the change in the marketplace.

Question: Name a business that relies on mass customization to create their customer base? (Hint think who sells dog food….)

What product could you mass customize that has not been mass customized already?


Do you think Grandma and Grandpa would spend big bucks on 'Australian lamb organic' dog food?

See results without voting

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Comments 31 comments

Lily Perez 5 years ago

I have to admit that I am one of those tiny dog people. I own 2 two-year-old yorkies, Spike and Gigi. I personally feed my dogs Beneful IncrediBites which is just the original but in a smaller size. However, the reality is that my dogs would eat ANYTHING I put in front of them or anything they can snatch off a plate. But I feel like I'm being a good dog parent by feeding them "smaller" food.


Andrew Pena 5 years ago

I currently don't own a dog but in the past I have and we fed our dogs table scraps plus regular dog food as well. Dogs are like humans you put dog food in their bowls they look at it for awhile but eventually they'll eat when they get hungry. Now put table scraps that are greasy and unhealthy for them they'll eat that in a heart beat, lets put it this way dogs deserve something better tasting then a doggy treat.


Mengqi Li 5 years ago

Q1: Nokia. Though it is not so popular today, it did designed different series of cellphones?

1000 – Ultrabasic series

2000 – Basic series

3000 – Expression series

5000 – Active series

6000 – Classic Business series

7000 – Fashion and Experimental series

8000 – Premium series

and Cseries optimized for social networking and sharing, Eseries for enterprise-class, Nseries for advanced smartphones, Xseries for music and entertainment.

Q2: It's quite difficult to answer for most products today has been segmented by marketing guys. However, I think salt has not been mass customized though there are some different products.

To mass customize it, maybe we can care for special nutrition need of different people. For example, there can be low-sodium salt, vitamin-C added salt and high-calcium salt.

Besides, this article reminds me of the long tail theory. Mass customization is highly based on the decreasing cost of small-volume production nowadays.


BusinessOpsMngmnt profile image

BusinessOpsMngmnt 5 years ago from USA Author

Great comments all!

Good dog food comments.

Salt is on the way to being mass customized!


craybu profile image

craybu 5 years ago

I have a 5 yr old lab and anb 11 month pit bull. I feed them an all natural diet no kibbel! I have tried different kinds of raw diet (I cooked the meat! but you don't have to) including Urbanwolf and the honest kitchen . It's a lot of work but I think they appreciate it!

http://www.urbanwolf.cc/

http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/products/?gclid=CI...


BusinessOpsMngmnt profile image

BusinessOpsMngmnt 5 years ago from USA Author

First, you have very lucky dogs! Second, nice links.


Jolinger23 5 years ago

Dog food customization is something I deal with on a daily basis when I go to work. I work at Long Leash On Life, and we have a huge variety of dog food and cat food. We have small breed dog food all the way up to large breed dog food, and everything in between. We have grain free food for dogs and cats with allergies, we have food for animals with diabetes, I mean anything you are really looking for we have it.

www.longleashonlife.com


asipe02 5 years ago

After we discussed this in class it brought to my attention how many companies are doing mass customization of their products. I saw a Lazy Boy commerical on TV, typically when we think of Lazy Boy, we think of only recliners. However, Lazy Boy also makes sofas, chairs, loveseats, sectionals, sleepers, etc. On their web page it says "Think Lazy Boy does just recliners? In my business that is called typecasting." This is a way for them to be competitive in different aspects of the furniture market, rather than just selling recliners. lazyboy.com


cjurado 5 years ago

I was never a real "pet person" so i thought it was quite funny how many different types of foods, services and even accessories are available for pets. lets say when you run out of dog food i would assume you just go and buy the regular food brand no matter what breed of dog you have, they are all dogs. like humans am i going to go buy a special kind of salad because of my ethnicity?

However after our class, out of curiosity i went to a pets-mart and was amazed on the details of food to actual health problems or needs.

Maybe all i needed was to be open minded and actually go into one of these stores and see for my self that some of this mass customization is not all that bad. I mean once you have a pet they kinda become family and of course you want to take care of family.


isathlli profile image

isathlli 5 years ago

I believe that mass customization has transformed the relationship between customers and companies, as the latter seek to approach the needs of their customers through special and personalized products and forms of communication.

I think that somehow this makes the customer feel extra special - he can have something that just suits his needs and preferences.

Q1 = An example of a company that relies on mass customization is Blanklabel http://www.blanklabel.com . On this website, the customer can customize their own dress shirt, depending on what he likes.


BusinessOpsMngmnt profile image

BusinessOpsMngmnt 5 years ago from USA Author

Very nice comments all!


Dee Bluehorse 5 years ago

After reading the book and reviewing the comments above, I definitely have a better understanding of mass customization. I am not much a pet owner; however, we do have a family dog which I adore. I have been very particular about what I feed her and the types of treats we provide for her. On occasion, she does receive a few table scraps and we can tell she like it.

Q1- An example of a company that relies on mass customization is Native American products like jewelry. Here in New Mexico, Gertrude Zachary's has featured many types of Native American products especially the beautiful jewelry. On the company's website, the customer can view the items and place an online order.

http://www.gertrudezachary.com/

I have been to both her shops here in Albuquerque, and the art displayed is very nice!


BusinessOpsMngmnt profile image

BusinessOpsMngmnt 5 years ago from USA Author

Dee, This is a hybrid of mass customization. Maybe we can coin a phrase, Fashion Mass Customization!

The fluidity of business is one of the things I love most about studying business!


Iris DuFresne 5 years ago

Mass Customization is interesting. Not being a dog person myself, and not being able to have pets since my son is allergic to most, at times I do think it is a little silly to spoil a dog with special food. To each his own. I do think that another item that is being mass customizized is clothing for pets.


wwhite02 5 years ago

The petsmart website you showed us in class shocked me! This really helped me to understand the concept of mass customization. I have a vizsla (not a very popular dog) but when I went to the website I found a ton of details that would help me find products I need for my particular dog. Great example!


Mandy Wittenbrink profile image

Mandy Wittenbrink 5 years ago

I didn't understand mass customization until this example was provided. Some people consider dogs as humans (not literally physically but mentally) so I think its good that dogs have all the varieties in food just as humans do considering they have similar health problems and/or diet problems.

Question 1: Some possible companies that rely on mass customization are Johnson and Johnson, Kellogs's, hair brand companies (herbel essences, biolage, etc- all customized for different types of hair)


bkhodaie 5 years ago

Mass customization is a great idea in the business world the producer tailors each item for a specific target sub-group. This makes it very easy to expand a company and its product line. Would cereal be a form of mass customization? I swear every time i go in to the cereal isle there is ten new kinds i have never seen before. I know Frito Lay potato chips does mass customization with its flavorings and locations which carry certain flavors. When i was in Africa We found only one place with lays and all the flavors were sooo bizarre like Thai Chile and sweet onion. I have never seen those particular flavor of chips in NM and i work at gas station that Frito Lay delivers to once a week


BusinessOpsMngmnt profile image

BusinessOpsMngmnt 5 years ago from USA Author

My favorite potato chip find was Curry while in Singapore. You can't find curry chips here. I did find them in Canada, though!


eestes66 5 years ago

I think mass customization of dog food is excessive. But, i see how it has deveolped this way in the dog food market. Dogs are more than animals for most people, they have become more then pets and are now family members. They have become family members with special needs and interests that their owners wish to accomadate. The dog food market has adjusted itelf to meet these needs customers desire.


Leslie Jaramillo 5 years ago

I think mass customization is a great thing. I think it eliminates a lot of unknown answers when looking at a website for special food for your dog type. Instead of having to researcher call and ask My vet says my dog need a food that is small and soft and for puppies which should i get? you can narrow down your options. Also when you dog is sick and vet suggests he stay away from some types of ingredient you can also pick it that way. I think what they have done is great for the customer. It eliminates and lot of questions and hard decisions so that you can narrow your options and pick the best one to suit your need. I think Starbucks has a mass customization only it is made to order right there. There are so many option from tall grande or vent to shots of caffeine to cappuccino frappauccino etc. One business I would mass customized as well is cat food because cats needs special diets as well. Especially when health issues occur.


Lesliesara88 5 years ago

I think mass customization is a great thing. I think it eliminates a lot of unknown answers when looking at a website for special food for your dog type. Instead of having to researcher call and ask My vet says my dog need a food that is small and soft and for puppies which should i get? you can narrow down your options. Also when you dog is sick and vet suggests he stay away from some types of ingredient you can also pick it that way. I think what they have done is great for the customer. It eliminates and lot of questions and hard decisions so that you can narrow your options and pick the best one to suit your need. I think Starbucks has a mass customization only it is made to order right there. There are so many option from tall grande or vent to shots of caffeine to cappuccino frappauccino etc. One business I would mass customized as well is cat food because cats needs special diets as well. Especially when health issues occur.


MelinaChavez 5 years ago

I actually think that mass customization of dog food is quite necessary. Personally, I have a rather big chihuahua who at one point was gaining a lot of wait due to lack of exercise so the vet suggested that we start buying him dog food that focused on dogs trying to lose weight. I forgot the name specifically but it was Beneful Healthy Life or something of that sort. I also have a friend whose dog is allergic to generic dog food so they spend about 60 dollars for a specific natural type of dog food so that the dog doesn't have an allergic reaction to regular dog food. Some may think this is a bit absurd but dogs also have some of the same health issues we face as humans. It is nice to know that there are alternatives for our pets diets.

Question: A lot of make up brands mass customize in order to target various cusumers of different races who have varying skin tones. I know Maybelline and L'Oreal focus on the different skin tones with mutliple different types and colors of foundations and concealers. For example the old Maybelline commercials that targeted different skin tones and races.


Varissa profile image

Varissa 5 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

An obvious business that relies on mass customization would be Pedigree. Over the years they have been adding more products to their line of dog food in order to meet customer demands. Recently Pedigree and many other dog food companies have shifted towards the "all natural" trend that has been taken over the food industry. There are various types of food offered from organic dry or wet food even fresh refrigerated meals for dogs.

Now and days there is so much emphasis on companies that provide variety to their customers. Every product that I use on a daily basis offers other alternatives to the product I use. Many products offered are required to provide a variety of options to the customer in order to be sucessful.


Aaron Major profile image

Aaron Major 5 years ago

With current technology, dog food makers are able to take it to a science to know exactly what each breed needs at each stage in their life. Atleast that is what they make us think... Is there any way to really tell whats in the dog food? There isnt any nutritional facts on dog food. There might be ingredients on there but do we know what that stuff is? I understand mass customization for dog food is a smart move but as you can see, bread specific dog food was a failure so there is a limit to how far you can take it before you wont make any money. Still, mass customization of foods for humans with things like chips and sodas is a hit so of course dogs were next in line. What is even better are the actual retail stores that make cakes and custom treats for dogs. They are still in business so there is a good market for this type of thing aparantly.


Nkeller profile image

Nkeller 5 years ago

This Mass Customization of dog food is very interesting. Since my group just did our report on PetSmart we really got to see how it's place is in the store. There are so many different types of dog food that the entire back right side of the store is dog food. Also their storage room only holds dog food, cat food and litter because they have so much on hand. The website breaks up each category of different dog foods. They categorize it in ways that people can choose just what they're looking for: Canned Food, Dry Food, Food Pouches. Food Toppers, Fresh Food, Natural & Organic, brand, life stage, Health benefits, pet size, flavor, and price. They also offer many choices within each category. It's amazing what changes have come in pet food.


Alejandro Ga Ce 4 years ago

I think that mass customization for dogs food is amazing. If I would read this article 4 years ago I would said that this was crazy and its too much for a dog! But since I have a dog he cannot eat the normal food that you can buy in wallmart or another retailer store. He has to eat a special hypoallergenic dog food because otherwise he wont be able to digest the food. I think that mass customization is a perfect way to create or expand a business now a days!


lrivas 4 years ago

As from the website of PetSmart, I could not even believe that there was food based products that could help dogs fight against allergies. It is unbelievable what owners would do to protect their dogs form health problems. For example of my brother's dogs, they are spoiled. They have their own beds in the house. They are always constantly checked at the vet for health problems at least twice a month. Lastly, they have their food properly checked by the employees of PetSmart to make sure that it will not hurt their dogs. This is a great profit for al businesses that are in this field of work. The next thing I can see happening is bedrooms in hotels made just for dogs so they can feel at home as well.


Raa6012 4 years ago

My dog as well will snatch anything off of a plate if left alone. But she won't eat dry dog food, we have to mix part of a can and some hot water to make it have a sort of gravy with it. What a brat right?

Mass customization can help a ton of different types of businesses, but it's kind of crazy how many different types of dog food their are. I wonder what the competition is like among them.


jtal6956 4 years ago from Albuquerque

Dogs are like humans they are very picky when it comes to dogs foods. If you want them to keep eating dog food never give them the pleasures of human scraps or any type of human foods. If they dog eat their dog food, just wait eventually they will eat because they won't starve themselves. I think most dog foods are the same no matter what brand it is. As long as the food has meat flavors the dogs will enjoy it.


rongqing profile image

rongqing 4 years ago

I do have my own dog, and he is 2 years old. he is real cute.so I real understand dogs, and love them. Dogs are like humans you put dog food in their bowls they look at it for awhile but eventually they'll eat when they get hungry. Now put table scraps that are greasy and unhealthy for them they'll eat that in a heart beat, lets put it this way dogs deserve something better tasting then a doggy treat.


Coopis 4 years ago

Jordan Cooper Op 300-001

Mass customization is a great selling point for online stores and small businesses. While amazon offers a large variety, what if I want a certain item to my specifications.

Companies like http://www.cafepress.com print custom t-shirts to your specifications

http://www.scrapblog.com/ you can order customized scrap books that you create and purchase online.

http://www.bluenile.com/ you can order customized jewelry.

in all these cases the companies have seen huge growth, as much as 80% increase in year over year sales. Blue Nile in particular shows 20% growth when the Jewelry industry as a whole is in a massive slump. It really shows the power of mass customization and how it effects our purchasing choices.

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