Starstrukk | Additional Research

2 ديسمبر
2010

Our field research gave us an idea of consumer’s needs to express their individualism and some qualities they look for when shopping. To expand our understanding of this market we must analyze merchants who have already ventured into mass customization. We strived to grasp the pros and cons of each business model and began to brainstorm how they could be improved.

NIKEiD is the most well-known online service offered for customization of Nike products, primarily shoes, and was launched in 1999. Over the years it has expanded tremendously, allowing customers to choose the colors and even fabrics used to produce their own Nike shoes in various styles. You can even add logos and lettering then store your design in personal online locker. In 2007, the company began to introduce NIKEiD studios to give consumers a unique design experience, which includes design consultants.

Threadless is essentially an online t-shirt community. Users are asked to submit designs for scoring by the community and every week the winning designs go into print. There is truly an incentive for good design because if yours gets printed you’ll receive $2000 in cash and a $500 gift card. In addition, if your design wins a bestee award or is reprinted you are rewarded once again. The site is always full of one-of-a-kind individual designs.

Bang-On is both an online and retail custom t-shirt store. We actually have one located here in Little Five Points. The service allows you to go into the store, choose a design from a massive flip-book, choose your t-shirt color, and watch it get pressed while you wait. This is similar to the NIKEiD studios, but you have the ability to walk out with your product, which is not yet feasible with shoes.

Takeaways: Each model has several qualities that we collectively liked or disliked. NIKEiD allows you to add lettering to most shoes, making it truly individual. Unfortunately others can also buy your design though and there is no way to get rid of that infamous swoosh, which is great for “sneakerheads,” but not us. Threadless is extremely clever because their designs are chosen by their consumers, meaning there is a market before the shirt before it even goes into print. The downside to this is that although the design is individual, it will be mass-produced. Bang-On appears to be the best option for custom t-shirts, but the options are limited and the price is undesirable.

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