Featured Companies from the MC500 (Part 18): Kidlandia: Mass Customization Conquering Your Kid’s Room

MC500_Signet_2012In our series of postings introducing companies that performend very well in our Customization 500 study, we are introducing the next mass customizer. Remember:  The order of these feature postings is more or less randomly!


Today: Great Individualized Gifts for the Young Ones

It's the time of the year again: With christmas fastly approaching (hey, just 2 1/2 months left!) the usual question arises once again: What do I bring my little nephew/niece/grandchildren as a gift when I go visit them? Tough question if you are an adult and hence a bit out of the loop on what the kids do and dont like these days.

Kidlandia might have something in (online-)store for you if you refuse to buy the standard plastic hero or DVD: Nicely individualized stuff that will certainly stick out.

From mugs to puzzles, mousepads, posters and growth charts to even some comics featuring the famous Marvel heros: There is something in it for about every age and interest. I especially like the idea of their blanket configurator (which is also, technically, well done): After deciding for one of several pre-designed adventure-map themed blankets you are given the tools and freedom to customize it by adding, removing, repositioning, renaming (…) various (sea-)monsters and other typical elements from that adventure book your boy loves to read under his blanket.

Certainly an example of a nicely done configurator.

UPDATE: Kidlandia has just announced that today, October 22nd, 2012, is the last day to order any of their products. Sad truth appears to be that Kidlandia – like about 20% of startup companies that we analyzed as part of our study – could not establish itself well enough on the market to become a long-term success story.

This is perfect prove that a well-built configurator and a nice business idea alone are no guarantee for a successful mass customization venture. More factors play into it and, as we detailed in the MC500 study, solid knowledge about both these factors and their proper combination is key to make the difference between a good idea and a good business.

Note: Please see this post for detailed information on how to interpret the above data.

By | 2018-06-14T06:50:24+00:00 Oktober 15th, 2012|Cases-Consumer, MC500, Personalization|

About the Author:

Frank T. Piller is a Co-Director of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and a chair professor of management at the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (2004-2007) and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School, Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week, amongst others, Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customization, personalization, and innovation co-creation. His recent analysis of the crowdsourcing business model “Threadless” (co-authored with Susumu Ogawa), an innovative crowdsourcing business model in the fashion industry, has been elected as one of the Top-20 articles in MIT Sloan Management Review.