In trying to solve bottlenecks in his existing apparel business, Wayne McCann ended up creating a platform he says enables brands to offer self-guided customization to customers at scale.
Earlier this year, McCann quietly debuted Siege Tek, which is commercializing product for one brand customer and in talks with several others. Siege Tek’s vertically integrated offering is available through a licensing model and plugs into a company’s website so that the front-end experience is seamless for consumers and entirely in keeping with the brand’s aesthetic. With zero inventory liabilities, manufacturing customized product to order offers a more efficient, less wasteful production model.
McCann describes customization as the “antithesis” of everything he’d previously done. Most apparel businesses are built on the concept of efficiency via scale so the idea of producing one-offs while still creating a profit at first seemed alien.
The Siege Tek platform incorporates artificial intelligence and analytics to simplify designing a garment on the consumer-facing side while streamlining the creation of production-ready files on the backend. Customers design on a 3-D avatar, similar to what they might already know from video games, McCann says, and can tweak colors, patterns, graphics and more—depending on what the brand allows. Some labels might want to limit the options while more fashion-forward brands will be interested in “pushing the market,” he added. The options, however, are “infinite.”
Siege Tek leverages sublimation printing, with the option of incorporating trims and other embellishments depending on what the brand wants to achieve. McCann said brands are starting to realize that “customization is here to stay.”
The platform, he said, “allows people to tell their own story through a product, unlocking the creative potential of the human spirit within the framework of a brand.”
Offering consumers the opportunity to tailor product to their liking could help brands better retain customers, especially at a time when the idea of loyalty and the meaning of “brand” are in flux.
“If brands can provide their users with the ability to co-create and collaborate and really make them feel empowered, I think there’s inherent value in that, when you turn a person into not just a purchaser, but an advocate and ambassador for you long term—where they really feel like part of the team,” McCann said.