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Product uniqueness as a driver of customer utility in mass customization

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  • Nikolaus Franke

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  • Martin Schreier

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Abstract

Mass customization (MC) constitutes a promising strategy for companies which aim to provide products which are better adapted to individual customers’ aesthetic and functional preferences. Drawing on commodity theory, we argue that the perceived uniqueness of a self-designed product is a second driver of utility in MC. We find that in addition to the significant effect of aesthetic and functional fit, the perceived uniqueness of a self-designed product (1) contributes independently to the utility a customer experiences, and (2) that this effect is moderated by the consumer’s need for uniqueness. In product categories which can serve this counterconformity motive for consumers, this suggests that MC toolkits should be constructed with the objective of facilitating the creation of unique products as well as providing affirmative feedback that this uniqueness has been achieved. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolaus Franke & Martin Schreier, 2008. "Product uniqueness as a driver of customer utility in mass customization," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 93-107, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:mktlet:v:19:y:2008:i:2:p:93-107
    DOI: 10.1007/s11002-007-9029-7
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11002-007-9029-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Steven J. Stanton & Janell D. Townsend & Wooseong Kang, 2016. "Aesthetic responses to prototypicality and uniqueness of product design," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 235-246, June.
    2. Fogliatto, Flavio S. & da Silveira, Giovani J.C. & Borenstein, Denis, 2012. "The mass customization decade: An updated review of the literature," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 14-25.
    3. Oksana Loginova & X. Henry Wang, 2009. "Customization: Ideal Varieties, Product Uniqueness and Price Competition," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(4), pages 2573-2581.
    4. repec:hal:journl:hal-00649498 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Maria Antonietta Raimondo & Gaetano Nino Miceli & Stefania Farace, 2013. "Self o mass branding? La relazione tra personalizzazione e marca," MERCATI E COMPETITIVITÀ, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(4), pages 149-171.
    6. Alves, Helena & Fernandes, Cristina & Raposo, Mário, 2016. "Value co-creation: Concept and contexts of application and study," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1626-1633.
    7. Mazodier, Marc & Merunka, Dwight, 2014. "Beyond brand attitude: Individual drivers of purchase for symbolic cobranded products," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1552-1558.
    8. Frances Turner & Aurelie Merle & Pauline Fatien Diochon, 2011. "How to Assess and Increase the Value of a Co-Design Experience: a Synthesis of the Extant Literature," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) hal-00649498, HAL.
    9. Wong, Hartanto & Lesmono, Dharma, 2013. "On the evaluation of product customization strategies in a vertically differentiated market," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 105-117.

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