Engaging Mass Customization Customers beyond Product Configuration: Opportunities from the Open Innovation Field (pp. 241-251)

Martin Stoetzel
Mass customization in the sportswear industry has become an established business for many of the leading brands. Adidas is running its mass customization program (mi-Adidas) for over a decade now. This case study investigates how the mi-Adidas program has evolved over the past 10 years and how it has become a strategic business for the Adidas Group. Furthermore, by examining other customer involvement approaches, specifically customer-centric open innovation models, this paper presents different opportunities for further exploiting the creative and innovative potential of the mi-Adidas customers. Especially two open innovation approaches, design contests and the suggestion box, seem to be highly applicable and therefore meaningful potential extensions of current mass customization offers. It is remarkable however that the linkage of the concepts of mass customization and open innovation has received rather little attention so far, both in theory and practice. The discussion in this paper suggests further investigation into this area in the future.