The key to building a successful business is creating a culture in which your product, or service, becomes the standard, which subsequently creates a demand. This is how the Apple “I” brand (iPhone, iPad, iMac) has become such a monumental force in the technology space. This is a tried and true practice that has proven to be effective, and extremely lucrative. However, if one isn’t careful, this same model can also result in the cheapening and devaluing of the original product. This result is often seen in customization.
I have a Breitling Bentley that I designed, and that Breitling manufactured specifically for me. Every facet and aspect of my watch was manufactured according to my wishes. I even had the dials configured differently so it wouldn’t look like any other Breitling out there. It is, indeed, one of a kind. And because it is one of a kind, you would think that would make my watch in high demand, and in some circles, it does. But in the mass market it doesn’t. The unique configuration of the dials would cause one to question its authenticity. The additional diamonds (though limited to the bezel and numbers) would be too flashy for some. And, the fact that it’s a 48mm watch (it has a big face) may make it too big for some people’s wrists. To a retailer that doesn’t have a large customer base that desires “blinged out” watches, my watch may have no value to him, and he would probably not offer me much for it, if anything. But to another retailer that deals with the younger client base, there may be people lined up to buy it from him. So to him, it has great value.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing,” right? Sounds good? But when it comes to customization, you can actually go too far. Now, let me first be clear. There is nothing wrong with adding accents to your watch, bracelet, car or anything else. However, there is a point where you begin to add too much “bling”, or customization, to it. Understand the very core of customization; to get something made the way “YOU” want it made. Just because you like something a certain way, doesn’t mean I will. My pastor used to say “What you eat doesn’t fill me up.” In customization, this is very true. I actually think the old cars, with the lift kits, 28″ rims, and 1500wt sound systems in them, are the most hideous things on the street. However, there is a certain demographic to whom it appeals, and they find it attractive and desirable. Don’t confuse a product’s market value with its appraisal value. These can be diametrically opposed to each other in the world of customization. This is the primary dilemma in the resale of customized goods, and could easily affect your return on investment when it comes to customization.
Now, let me be clear once again, before I end this…. I am not condemning customizing your watches, cars, or anything else. It’s your money, do what you want. I’m just advising to exercise some restraint and understand that the more you customize something doesn’t always mean it will make it more valuable, and that an object isn’t always worth the value of the sum of its parts. Therefore, it is possible to use very expensive parts and yield a very cheap product in the end. Spend, but spend wisely.
Until next time…
God bless and dress well,
William Wilson, CEO
William Wilson Clothing