Home > Consumer Driven Trends > I Want It My Way

I Want It My Way

Written by: Kim Musel

No one wants the same thing that everyone else has, even if it is essentially the same thing that everyone else has.

Ford assembly line, 1913.

Image via Wikipedia

We all want to add our own personal touch to whatever it is that we have and there is barely an industry that has been immune.  I’ve listed some examples of our quest for individualization below:

  • Even before Henry Ford told consumers that they could have their car, the Model T, painted whatever color they wanted, as long as it was black, we’ve been trying to make things our own.  Today, you can not only have your car come from the factory any color you want on the outside, you have a choice of options on the inside.  The art of “tuning” vehicles has grown into a multi-million dollar business.
  • Don’t want same laptop that everyone else has?  Customize the cover of your laptop, changing it whenever the mood strikes you.  Want more RAM, a faster processor, a better video card?  No problem.  You can custom order what you want you for components and features based on your budget and your needs.
  • I personally think cherry pie is the bomb but you might like apple.  Groceries and food is probably the most customized industry on the planet if you really think about.  What other product can you buy that is more easily customizable?  If you don’t like the orange juice that is available, you can buy oranges and make your own.  Don’t want to make your own orange juice…there are a huge variety of choices in the fresh juice aisle or in the freezer section.  We’re very lucky to be here in the greater Madison area where we have such a great choice of fresh foods.
  • We’ve all heard the Geico commercial for the “name your own price” options.  These companies allow the consumer to customize their coverages and deductibles based on how much they are willing to pay.  Other examples are Nationwide offering a “vanishing deductible” and State Farm offering a safe driver rewards bonus by giving you a cash back reward for not having any accidents.  This trend in the insurance industry is not just for automobiles or homes however.  It also extends to health and life insurance.  For people who are unlucky enough to have to buy their own health insurance there are options for different coverages and deductibles based on your health and ability to pay.
  • Within home decorating there are websites that offer to make blinds and window treatments based on selections that are offered, or you can upload a design or pattern of your choosing to make a completely customized, one of a kind look.  The customized home décor options are growing as more and more people are wanting to redecorate or renovate their homes on a budget but still want to have it be their own.
  • Even within business to business selling manufacturers are offering customized options to their clients.  For instance, the company that I work for, Bock Water Heaters, offers the option for certain models of our water heaters to be sold in customized colors based on what the individual company buying them for re-sale wants.  You wouldn’t think that the color of a water heater would be that important, but as homes are being built in more efficient ways, the use of basements and utilities rooms are shrinking.  In Europe where the utility rooms with furnaces and water heaters are within the main living space of the house the color and look of even a water heater is important.

So I guess good ole’ Henry Ford was wrong.  I can have everthing and anything I want just the color, shape, size, flavor and price I want.

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