Despite increasing interest in customization-related topics, little is known about the relation between customization and brand. The authors identify two main archetypes of product customization based on the degrees of freedom given to the customer in the design process: Combination-based Customization (CbC), which is the selection of product modules provided by the company, and Integration-based Customization (IbC), which is product customization by means of signs and symbols provided by the customer. The authors propose that customer attitude and dispositions towards CbC and IbC depend on the presence/absence of a mass brand logo upon the product. Results of three studies, based on web toolkits for t-shirt and trolley bag customization, demonstrate that in the presence of a mass brand logo CbC shows higher customer attitude and dispositions than IbC. In the absence of a mass brand logo, the opposite pattern holds. Additional findings show, however, that the advantage of CbC over IbC for branded products disappears when there is high congruence between the customer self and the brand, and when creative brands are considered. (C) 2013 Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Self branding
- Identity communication