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Mass Customization and Dog Food
Dog Food & 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?