What is customization? Definition and examples

Customization refers to the action of altering a product or service to suit a person’s or company’s preferences or requirements. We can also use the term when we modify something for a specific task. In other words, we can use it when focusing either on customers or functions.

If something is customized, it is similar to saying that it is tailor madecustom madebespoke, or made-to-order (but not exactly the same).

Definition of customization - image with examples 439389989
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Customization of online ads and streaming services

  • Advertising

In the world of online advertising, customization refers to targeting ads according to where the users are, who they are, what they have been looking at online, and perhaps also their age, profession, and their socioeconomic status.

Advertisers want to target their ads. A company that markets lawn-mowers, for example, expects its ads to appear in gardening websites and not hairdressing or aviation ones.

  • Subscription-based streaming services

Streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix try to find out as much as they can about your preferences. They do this partly by analyzing what you have chosen to watch and what part of the world you live in.

If you are, for example, a Londoner, you would be extremely annoyed if you opened your Netflix home screen and saw five Russian TV shows, an ad for a Japanese movie in Japanese with no subtitles, and two TV series you had recently watched.

Netflix and other streaming services customize their services to please viewers and boost customer loyalty. When users open their home screen, Netflix has customized its what it has to offer according to their preferences, and maybe even their age if it has that information.

Customization is crucial for companies that offer subscription-based streaming services. Not only do we expect it, but we also get upset if our provider doesn’t customize our home screen properly.

We increasingly expect or demand customization

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, consumers and businesses want things their way. We all expect businesses to provide custom options. Put simply, we are becoming increasingly used to customization. In many cases, we have come to expect it.

If you want your business to become competitive, you will need to be completely aware of what your consumers want. You will also have to keep a close eye on what your competitors are doing. If you offer something much more specific to your target audience, customers, or prospects, your chances of succeeding will be much greater.

Customization is one feature you could offer that your customers would appreciate. If you don’t but your competitors do, your business will struggle to survive.

Bluleadz.com says the following about customization:

“To stand out, you have to figure out how to create a fully custom experience – from the design of your website, to the ease of ordering, to the items you offer, and how you can make them unique.”

“About one out of every three consumers indicate that they want the ability to personalize a product and will look for that specific ability when shopping.”

Customization also plays a crucial role in differentiating products in a crowded market, giving businesses a competitive edge by catering to the unique preferences of their clientele.

Your customers are not all clones

Your customer base or target audience does not consist of people with identical preferences and needs. Product customization takes this factor into account. If you can tailor your product slightly according to what each consumer or group of consumers want, you will help boost sales and improve customer loyalty.

Your customers are also more likely to recommend your company to their friends, family members, business associates, and colleagues.

According to Freshdesk.com:

“Product customization is the key to serving your customer base successfully. Not all of your customers want the same thing or use your product the same way.”

“Product customization is essential for delivering a personalized customer experience to each segment of users, and can drive customer loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.”

Personalization vs. customization

Many of us would say that the two terms are one and the same, i.e., synonyms. They are not. Their meanings are different.

  • Personalization

With personalization, the aim is to give the client or customer a sense of identity. They no longer feel that the company is treating them like one of the masses. They appreciate being treated as individuals with unique needs and wants.

In one of our previous articles, Alexander Joe wrote:

“Personalized marketing gives customers a sense of identity. They cease to be one of the masses, and instead become an individual with unique wants and needs.”

“Personalization is all about providing a tailored experience based on an individual’s wants, needs, and behavior.”

  • Customization

In this case, the focus is more on altering an existing service, product, or experience to suit one specific consumer or a group of them. The customer is guiding the changes.

Put simply: personalization is when you decide what to alter, while customization, on the other hand, is when the customer tells you how to adapt your product or service.

Customization empowers consumers to be part of the creative process, fostering a deeper connection with the product and enhancing overall satisfaction.

The Root word of “Customization” is “Custom”

“Customization” is a derivative word of “custom.” There are many other derivatives. Let’s have a look at them, what they mean, and how to use them in a sentence:

  • Customize (verb)

Modify (something) to suit a particular individual or task.
Example: “He decided to customize his car with a new paint job and a more powerful engine.”

  • Custom (noun)

A traditional practice or usual way of doing something.
Example: “The local custom is to greet someone with a bow rather than a handshake.”

  • Customer (noun)

A person who purchases goods or services from a shop or business.
Example: “The store offers discounts to returning customers.”

  • Customization (noun)

The action of modifying something to suit a particular individual or task.
Example: “Customization of the software to the client’s needs was essential for the project’s success.”

  • Customary (noun)

(As a noun) According to the customs or usual practices associated with a particular society, place, or set of circumstances.
Example: “It is customary to tip the waiter at least 15% of the bill in the United States.”

  • Customary (adjective)

(As an adjective) According to what is traditional or usual.
Example: “The customary response to a sneeze is saying ‘Bless you.'”

  • Custom-made (adjective)

Made to order for a particular customer.
Example: “She wore a custom-made gown to the gala.”

  • Customarily (adverb)

In a way that is in accordance with what is usual or traditional.
Example: “She customarily starts her day with a cup of green tea.”

Three Educational Videos

These three interesting video presentations, from our sister YouTube channel – Marketing Business Network, explain what ‘Customization,’ ‘Custom Made,’ and ‘Made-to-Order’ are using simple, straightforward, and easy-to-understand language and examples.

  • What is Customization?

  • What is Custom Made?

  • What is Made-to-Order?