How can craftmanship be adapted to our times?
IN A NUTSHELL:
Craftmanship brands are updating their ways of doing business and generating value, responding to and connecting with the needs of the contemporary consumer.
THE GREAT STRATEGIC TAKEOUT:
Craft brands are combining the classic notion of craftsmanship, linked to exclusiveness, good looks, tradition and technical mastery, with a more inclusive, ideological and open approach, which is key to connecting with today’s consumers.
Why should I read this?
Exclusiveness, good looks, tradition and technical mastery in craft brands are still very important to those who consume them. However, it is no longer enough to produce something that is externally attractive; one needs to create something that people feel and believe inwardly, now the value of a craft brand lies both in its physical and aesthetic properties and in its conceptual and ideological associations.
What are we talking about?
Craftsmanship has always been a clear reflection of culture and society throughout history. Observing it provides clues to a social context, its values and ideologies, its landscapes, resources and stories.
And what do contemporary craft brands teach us about today’s culture and society? That the consumption of craft goods and their way of generating value is undergoing a transformation.
In many cases, people associate the term “craftsmanship” with obsolete values, mainly because it conjures up archaic notions of tradition and technical mastery, values that are somewhat distant from today’s culture, which is much more inclusive, sustainable, communicative and ideological.
However, there are already craft proposals that are transforming the concept and value of craftsmanship around differential attributes related to our time:
- Inclusiveness: the personal and horizontal connections between craft brands and their consumers, competitors and partners cultivate intimate, inclusive relationships, generating the idea of a community in which conversation is a constant.
- Point of view: beyond aesthetics, exclusiveness and technology, new craft brands communicate their commitment to society and the environment or their own ideology to their audiences, focusing on their view of the world and industry.
- Openness: the new artisans retain their specialisation in the technique and mastery of their craft, to which they add openness, expansiveness and the dissemination of this know-how through education, so that it is no longer only craftsmen who have the skills and knowledge to create products; they educate consumers so that they can do it themselves, if they like.
The value of these proposals suggests that, in order to continue to succeed in contemporary times, we should not forget classic values, but give them a modern, authentic and empathetic twist, always guided by the consumer.
Links and what to pay attention to:
- Creation of timeless and durable items.
- Made-to-order or small batches, prioritising sustainable production.
- Human production volumes and timescales.
- Hybridisation of business models: workshop, showroom and shop in the same place.
- Education as a fundamental value for new brands
WHY YOU SHOULD BE INTERESTED:
Because craftsmanship and emerging craft brands are always big shapers of our times and culture.
What tension does it resolve?
The new craftsmanship connects with contemporary values and resolves a number of tensions: greater proximity, local sustainable consumption, and inspiration and encouragement for consumers in their personal development.
From a strategic perspective:
How to adapt your positioning to the new reality and activate touchpoints with consumers and the public.
Who might be interested?
All brands, especially fashion and decoration, which have built extensively on a legacy based on exclusiveness, tradition and métier.
Where do I implement it?
In the brand’s positioning and commitments, including the development of content, experiences and services, and the role of retail as a community generator or learning space for the brand.
How do I implement it?
- By proposing social and environmental commitments that bring a new way of doing things to the industry, with a focus on more sustainable and humanised production.
- Developing environments for direct communication with consumers, through shops for example, making them spaces that are not only dedicated to selling but where conversations are generated.
- Sharing values and teaching ways of doing things, not only via discourse or communication, but also through practice.
How innovative is it?
Emerging craftsmanship and designers, in general, are still disconnected from mass production, and therefore propose alternative and innovative views of the industry, without following rules or established practice.
craftsmanship, craft brands, sustainability
I WANT IT FOR MY COMPANY/BRAND. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Who is using it already?
Fashion and decoration brands are rethinking the ways in which they connect with contemporary consumers by building on new views of industry. They believe in producing only what is required, creating timeless pieces and devising learning experiences through which they can share their way of doing things with the world.
Things to keep in mind:
- Working together and creating a community, however small, is key to connecting with consumers today.
- Today’s consumers buy ideas as well as products, so having a clear, lasting ideology is key.
- Being constantly in contact with the public and putting them at the centre will help us to understand how consumers feel and respond to their interests.
How do I share it with my network?
“Emerging craft brands teach us keys to rethinking the future”