“Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”, said Henry Ford in 1914.
A century later, and the standardisation of production that the famous American manufacturer humorously advocated is no longer in vogue. Today, the major groups prefer to listen to Stan Davis, another American, who, towards the end of the 1980s, was the first to come up with the idea of mass customisation.
In the automobile industry, you can now choose much more than just the colour of your car and the power of the engine. Manufacturer’s showrooms have become real luxury treasure troves where the customer can personalise the smallest detail of their future saloon. Among the classic customisable elements are the rear bumper, the rocker sill protectors, the colour of the dashboard or rim, while more sophisticated customisation extends to the fabrics, coatings, the design of the roof or even the colour of the top stitching for leather seats…
When it comes to packaging, where mass production at low prices has been the norm until now, personalisation is now making its mark, in response to the major luxury brands who prefer smaller customised runs.
The strong growth of events packaging has also strengthened demand for packaging that stands out amongst the over-saturated product displays.
Thanks to new digital media, manufacturers now have the possibility of mass-producing customised products, with almost the same output as traditional mass production. It is today estimated that for labelling, the penetration rate for digital is around 10%. In the packaging market, it is still early days.