chocri

Mass Customization in the US

Author: Carmen | August 17, 2009 | Customization

Part of my job of introducing personalized chocolate to the US (chocri!) is understanding consumers (you!) and trends. Something I've noticed trend-wise is that there are a lot more personalized products in Germany than I can find in the US (experts call it mass customization). I wonder if that is because American consumers are fundamentally different compared to German (or even European) consumers or if that is a case where a trend has grown in Germany and will soon become as important, if not more, in the USA. What do you think?

One of the cool personalized products I have found in the US is cereal: [me] & goji, custom artisanal cereal. In Germany, chocri already partnered up with mymuesli, and this is effectively the American version of it. I had the pleasure of chatting with Carl from [me] & goji to learn from them how to make a customized product successful in this market.
Here's the two things I learned:

1) A superior product will have superior success.
I've ordered some [me] & goji cereal for myself and must say that it tastes great. Crunchy, yummy, healthy. They have a vast abundance of ingredients - like chocri.
I am very glad that this is one of the most important success criteria. I've skimmed through something like 5000 customer feedback forms from German customers, and let me assure you - they LOVE chocri. Also, I've had a little tasting in Chicago and everyone couldn't get enough of it. Finally, I've tasted it myself :) Also, chocri has ingredients that you won't easily find anywhere. For example candied rose petals - those come from a little farm in the mountains (sorry, but where exactly is a secret), and this farm hardly even sells them to anyone. But chocri has them!

2) Take customer feedback serious and love your customers back.
Thank you [me] & goji for being a good example and reinforcing something we believe in: superior customer support, and interaction. After all, you, who is readings this, are (ok, will be) the creative mind in the production process, and we care about you being happy and the ideas you have. Excellent service is a given, without that we don't even have to begin. A great inspiration when it comes to this is also Tony Hsieh, who just announced that Zappos' objective is now "Delivering happiness".
Why do you think are we trying to integrate you in the process as we "immigrate to the US"? In this blog, you will soon see calls to help us identify delicious ingredients and toppings, as well as packaging, as well as... stay tuned. We are doing this to make you happy and deliver something you really want.

Oh, one last thing. Leave a comment if you may. It's much more fun to know who we're talking to. Leave just a tiny little sign of life before you continue on into the vastness of the internet :)

3 comments


  1. August 17, 2009 | Matthew said:
    I wish it were true that "a superior product will have superior success", and I hope chocri has great success, but there are many examples where this is not the case. I just graduated from business school as well. The first case on the first day of marketing was all about a superior product that failed. It did not solve a customer problem, the channel strategy was off, etc etc.


  2. August 18, 2009 | Carmen said:
    Agreed, there has to be a need for the product. But who doesn't have a need for chocolate? :)

  3. August 19, 2009 | Urs said:
    Hey Chocri Team,
    the idea of launching the chocri concept in the US sounds very exciting!
    When thinking about mass custumization in the US I immediately think of the former mycereals.com project by General Mills. Although they had extensive resources/knowledge of the US cereal market their idea of selling customized cereals failed. (for a description of their past offer see http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/internet_business/71040) I guess that their product was not recognized as a superior one - at least back then...
    For launching chocri in the US, I think that the second point (act according to the customers' feedback) will be crucial. Have you thought of carrying out feedback sessions with the people who try the chocolate at the tastings? Just an idea...

Comment on this article


New comments are possible only up to 60 days after the article has been published.