Completely One with Mass Customization

Let’s say you’re ambitious and want to start a business or grow an existing global company that makes things. And let’s say you aren’t fully versed in the changing dynamics in the world of design and manufacturing. And why consumers increasingly expect the ability to customize products as a prerequisite for purchase. What sage advice do you need?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or senior manager, start with reading Custom Nation: Why Customization Is the Future of Business and How to Profit From It. The book is a primer on what one of the CEOs interviewed calls the new Industrial Revolution and “the single strongest driving force in how to please your customers today.”

The authors, YouBar founder and CEO Anthony Flynn and his journalist sister Emily Flynn Vencat, deliver a historical overview of the growth of customization and many case studies of companies benefiting from it. (The appendix includes a table of 783 customizing companies worldwide.) Flynn and Vencat also spell out steps you should follow and pitfalls you should avoid in starting a venture built around giving individual consumers precisely what they want.

Embodee’s interest in the book is no surprise because we empower apparel makers, retailers, and consumers with cutting-edge 3D visualization technology to customize garments online. But the book also has appeal for anyone who wants to understand this sea-change shift in how things are made, marketed, and sold around the globe.

If you’re a millennial and an online shopper, you likely expect the ability to customize. The next generation of shoppers, those under age 13, “are completely one with it—almost from birth,” Flynn and Vencat write. Some gray-haired baby boomers might find the book’s insight and advice as motivation to update their cobwebbed business models.