Julie Yessin is an industrial designer who recently received her MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. I first met Julie at the MCP 2007 Conference in Boston, and agreed to be the topic advisor for her thesis: “CREATING HOLISTIC CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS: The Role of Design in the Mass Customization Process”. Part of the thesis involved analysing the customer experience offered in the mass customisation of sports shoes, which she has kindly agreed to let me reproduce here:
I recruited three study participants, Stephanie, Corey, and Jordon, who are Industrial Design students at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The study has a slight bias since the students all said they would not have participated in the study if not given a fifty dollar compensation fee. As college students, they found the shoes to be expensive, but seized the opportunity to receive compensation so that they could purchase custom shoes at a lower price and have the experience of using their imagination to design customized footwear. At this stage in the development of customization, the early adopters are predominantly creative consumers who tend to be leading edge, and are intrigued by experimentation (Hippel, 2005). Although Nike is a brand that has a broad appeal, the NikeiD experience is clearly targeted to a younger demographic who are particularly interested in style. Therefore, it can be strongly argued that design students are ideal candidates for the study.
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