Rita Gunther McGrath, associate professor at Columbia Business School and co-author (with Ian C. MacMillan) of MarketBusters: 40 Strategic Moves That Drive Exceptional Business Growth (Harvard Business School Press, 2005), has identified a kind of consumer-concentricity as a long-term market driver. “One of the trends I think is most interesting is the deployment of technologies that allow customers to customize their own experiences or design their own products,” she says. “Today, you can get personalized M&Ms, Nikes manufactured just for you, and even personalized postage stamps with your own picture on it.”
And, as McGrath points out, some exotic markets are emerging with distinct supply chain challenges. She notes that core producers will find that not only do they have opportunities to accessorize, but that systems can be developed to further personalize their offerings. “Just look at the thousands of offers to further enhance the experience of owning an iPod?everything from battery enhancements to players to socks. Making sure that you have the right accessories and complements in stock will be essential.”
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