The customized brand –
introducing the concept
Not so long ago everything was customized. The product you bought was made especially for you by people who knew who you were and who personally understood your needs and wants. The seller knew a lot about the customer, the customer most of the time knew a lot about the seller. The customer still knows a lot about the seller, some of it positive, some negative. He or she will have had some personal experience or, if not, a friend or colleague may have. There may have been some advertising or something may have come through the post. The experience may have been a positive – 'I like that advertisement' – or negative – 'What a rude shop assistant'. With more communication, more access to information, the customer will gain more and more knowledge about his or her supplier.
On the other hand, in most cases, the seller rarely knows a lot about the customer. Who he or she or they really are? What do they really want? What kind of product? What kind of service? More features or less? Unless there is a personal contact, the actual knowledge and information used is minimal. Sales records, market research data and qualitative feedback from the company front line is the maximum amount of information in the vast majority of companies – and most of it is 'faceless', based on limited data aggregated up to an 'average'.