Garin Online

Case 1. Mass Customization | January 27, 2010

Nike ID and Puma, two of the largest providers of athletic footwear in the world, and seemingly, two very different methods of creating shoes. With the passing of mass production comes the rise of mass customization. Allowing customers to chose every little aspect of a product allows them to identify far greater with it and makes them more likely to make a purchase. Consumers like when they can see themselves in a product, and with the inovation of Nike ID and Puma’s Mongolian BBQ, we have that not for the athletic shoe industry, but with athletic products in whole.

Nike ID: With literally dozens, maybe hundreds of base models of shoes to start with, I am immediately impressed with that fact that you can customize the color pattern for any time of Nike shoe. I have gone with the limited edition Jordan, being a Michael Jordan fan and liking the look of the shoe. The Nike ID process does not fall short on my expectations, except with maybe color options, not providing any ‘Celtics green’ color. For the shoes I selected, you can customize the color on about 12 different parts of the shoe, as well as inserting a custom ID tag on the side or back of the shoe. There was the option to get (RED) laces and donating money to the charity, which I thought was a nice touch. One of the nicer features of the Nike ID program was the ability to take your show, add a cool graphic background, and make a wallpaper out of it. Not only does it allow you to look at the show until you want it so bad you cry, but  it presents the shoe in a professionally graphic looking fashion that looks good on Nike. Here is what I created.

Puma Mongolian BBQ: First off, I did not understand the name at all. After looking at the website, it seems that they are attempting to differentiate themselves from the competition, but it seems out of leftfield to me. When I got past that, you realize how much more simple this is to navigate, asking you right up front what size your foot was, if you were a male or a female, and then giving you the options. This is the weak point of the Puma shoe customization. Where at Nike you have probably a hundred options, you have only three for Puma, all with very different looks. When you do pick a shoe model, you than move into picking colors and patterns. Puma’s customization allows you to get far more in depth with color choices, making 20 or so spots that needed choice. And with Puma, you are not getting typical colors of red, green and blue. There are a lot of patterns, metallic colors and textures. It creates a very interesting show when all put together. And now you can see what I did with Puma’s Mongolian BBQ.

What you can’t see from the photo of my Puma shoe above, is that I had to copy a screenshot of my completed shoe onto my desktop and that crop out the rest of the page. It was far more of a hastle that getting a nice, professional looking wallpaper from Nike.

While seeming doing the same thing, customizing athelic shoes, Nike and Puma have found ways to do it completely differently. It seems to me that Nike has taken a slightly more complicated fashion of customization, that ultimately gives the consumer a lot more options to work with in all areas.

However, I believe both systems are good ways of conveying this interesting product model to the consumer. It is just a matter of brand preference which company you should go with, and while I like Puma, I have been a Nike user for most of my life.

But the model of mass customization should be greately payed attention to, with technology and apparel being at the front of this. I see many industried following in their footsteps, while many have already made the change over.


1 Comment »

  1. That’s one hot looking shoe that will definitely burn up the dance floor. Good review of the user experience on both sites. I appreciate that you picked up on the differences in sharing designs between the two sites (wallpaper vs. screenshot). I really love your blog – it’s going to be a good asset for our class.
    Grade – 5/5

    Comment by Kurt Komaromi — February 7, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

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