Customers Catering to Customers

Converse is extending their campaign with a new sales approach onto Facebook. Users can design their own pair(s) of Converse and sell them to their friends and/or can even open their own store. Since the program only launches in the UK and US, I wasn’t able to try it, however, this post deals more with the underlying principle rather then the execution.

With this app, Converse basically outsources risk. The risk of failing to recognize trends. The brand provides their customers with the infrastructure and technology (store & shoe) and let them do the job of adapting it to their individual or peer group’s lifestyle and need. By doing so, Converse can focus on creating great products (the shoe), while it outsources costly and constant adaptation to somewhat fleeting design trends and consumers’ wishes.

In a wider sense, Apple is doing the same with its iOS platform and the AppStore. Apple provides the infrastructure and an excellent product and leaves the catering for fleeting consumer wishes – the creation of apps – to third parties (of course not without keeping a stern eye on those products).

With the massive spread and adaptation of new technologies, companies can finally stop guessing on consumers’ current needs and wishes and just let them give answers – not in a survey but right on the product, while – and that’s the important thing – the product and its development stays under total control of the brand.


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