It was not that long ago that the only customisation anyone saw on cricket whites was a small embroidery logo. Now it is not uncommon to see players running around at your local oval wearing every colour in the rainbow and a personalised name and number on the back.
This is not limited to the teamwear industry, we now see companies offering customisation in just about every industry in the world – from the home and garden, through to the food sector, software, beauty, entertainment and even pets. People are abandoning the mass market mentality and wanting personalisation. In a world where the general public are demanding more of themselves and constantly aspiring to look and feel more like the rich and famous (or the professional stars in the sporting world), customisation is a way for them to stand out and feel superior. But with rapid developments in manufacturing people are able to obtain such items often without the expected price tag triggering huge growth in custom and personalised products and the terming of the phrase “Mass Customisation”. We are open to a global economy of cheaper labor, computers are faster, there are even robots helping with some automation of processes all of which contribute to being able to create a wider range of products in a shorter time and at lower cost.
Let’s concentrate on the teamwear industry – The evolution in garment printing towards sublimation allows for cost effective personalisation of names and numbers. This opens the club up to a new opportunity to generate extra income. A deloitte study (although it is pretty common sense!) has proven that people are willing to pay more and wait longer for a personalised item. However, quite often these items don’t cost the club anymore (albeit some extra admin) - but they are able to charge more. If those wearing the garments are involved in the design process they are even more likely to take pride in the final product and pay an extra premium.
Expanding this idea out to a rollout of club merchandise - jumping on the bandwagon of mass customisation is a no-brainer to create uniquely branded items for their club including unique designs, pantone colours and logos. Sports clubs should look at customisation as a way to build a shared identity. When a club designs a customised garment, they separate themselves from the competition, they increase brand awareness and brand recall, but most importantly it builds an affinity between an individual and their club.
Customisation in clothing is all about making people feel special about what they are wearing. Importantly, if club members like what they are wearing the age-old adage will ring true - “Look good feel good” (and we are pretty sure you will also play good!)