MEANING OF MASS CUSTOMIZATION.. • Production of personalized or custom- tailored goods or services to meet consumers diverse and changing needs at near mass production prices. • Customer is integrated during co- design, configuration and product specifications.• Mass customization is designed to deliver highly customized products with mass production efficiency..
MI ADIDAS.. This case examines adidas “mi adidas” initiative aimed at delivering customized athletic footwear to retail customers. It discusses the practical implications associated with expanding the initiativefrom a small pilot to a wider operation with a retail presence.
• Mi adidas was launched in April 2000 to provide consumers with a chance to create unique athletic footwear produced to their personal specifications. It was an entirely new idea to customize product, test consumers’ demands and fulfill their expectations as far as possible.
Phase 1: The mi adidas Pilot It paid attention towards the evaluation of the feasibility and prospects of masscustomizing athletic shoes . The objective was to offer a customized product to test customers demand for the product andfulfill their expectations as far as possible. It included the following steps-
Product selection Free shoes as for testing Marketing Customer feedback Check on competitors activitiesThis led to a positive impression of the brand amongst the customers.
Phase 2-The mi adidas Retail Tours• After the success of phase -1 & satisfying customer, mi adidas entered phase-2 where it paid more attention towards the retail stores. Retail units were set up which were more durable and customer friendly.• A large number of retailers were willing to take part in this phase but only 50 were selected.• Adidas paid more attention towards the small specialty stores where in their products can be easily marketed and customer can easily access the customization process.
• As the first phase was fully event based, now the second phase was 90% on the shoulders of retail outlets and 10% event based.• There were some problems faced by the retailers regarding the geographical location and the fee of promoting and marketing the brand. This also hampered the engagement of customers in the project.
The main stress was laid on the customized fit over customized design. For this purpose the 3D foot scanner was replaced by a simple foot scanner unit for the best measurement for length and width.The prices of the customized shoes were also kept at premium about 30-50% over the catalog price.After being successful in the field of soccer shoes, mi adidas was now ready to enter into the running shoe market and launched its customized shoes during marathons.
• As the demand for the customized shoes increased, Mi adidas faced some problems but slowly and steadily it tried to maintain fit, design and performance of the product.
Competitors... Nike New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. Custom Foot Corp. Creo Interactive GmbIICustomatix.com of Solemates, Inc.
Phase-3• This phase will pay more attention towards bringing of new shoes under customization process such as basketball and tennis foot wears.• Targets has been set for the shoes like Precision, Supernova, Bromium and Barricade.
Phase-4• This phase will pay more attention towards setting up of permanent MC units in adidas stores and selected specialty stores.
Future of mi adidas• Consumer feedback was enthusiastic and enticing for adidas to repeat the offerings of mi adidas. •In the long run only those mass customization systems will be successful that manage the tradeoff between the benefits and costs of customer integration sufficiently.
Imaginepersonalizing yourshoes on your feet without even removing your shoes?
What was Adidas Distribution strategy for mass customization approach?Can you suggest an alternate distribution strategy for Adidas? Discussion..
Alternative strategies..Emphasize on Horizontal Growth Strategy with Focus on Diversification- expansion of its products in other geographical locations, for example, in emerging countries like India, Brazil and Russia where the market is growing very rapidly.
Also consider to diversify its sports products by using price strategy. For instance, under pricing strategy there are premium prices with high quality products, medium price with high-high quality or high medium quality of products, or low price with average quality. By diversifying such many pricing strategy, customers will have much choice and more can choose according to their affordability.
Stability strategyAdidas can stop or limit its production towards some products to have an innovation and redesign. This can help to increase the company’s products image and reputation. This is because over produced products will cause products low value and it will not be appreciated as it will be easy to get.