Meet Your Maker: The Rebirth of Craftsmanship and Quality

We are transitioning into a Renaissance period led by highly skilled craftsmen who are creating unique, quality products. This is coupled with a consumer who values quality and utility over cheap, temporary product. This marks a renewed appreciation for the interaction of aesthetics and functionality in design.

Evident in the success of platforms like Etsy and numerous artisanally crafted brands, consumers are rediscovering the value of hand-crafted products. Consumers are seeking the unique value that only a human touch can provide. This trend reflects a growing consumer desire for products that require a high level of craftsmanship that cannot be replicated by machine or computer. This also offers the opportunity for consumers to personalize products through relationship with the maker, which further enhances customer experience.

Industry Examples

The Icon 4x4, an automotive car manufacturer based out of Los Angeles, CA, is proving that quality, great design, and a unique voice can defy all odds and thrive in one of the most demanding industries. Icon recreates vehicles that pay homage to its vintage roots while incorporating top shelf items and meticulous design principles. With input directly from the customer on every vehicle, the customer is offered the opportunity to be part of the design and production process.

Icon represents a consumer that appreciates restoration over consumption.  It celebrates utility and a preservation of the past. This is a sharp contrast to the ethos of instant gratification in the consumption-based world we have been living in

Dodo Case has taken the values of craftsmanship and introduced them to a highly scalable product: iPhone and iPad cases. Their wooden cases are hand-assembled by a team of craftsman based out of San Francisco. Customers can pick from an assortment of fabric liners to represent their personal tastes, which are then applied by hand.The connection between the customer and the craftsman further enhances the customer experience and provides and unique product that they can love for years to come. 

Dodo Case is an excellent example of ways in which the craftsmanship trend is influencing every-day tech items, which aren’t generally associated with the hand-crafted design principles.

Conclusion

This emerging consumer is sharply contrasted by the instant gratification, everyday low price, hyper consumerism society that has dominated since the 1960’s.  Mass consumption is being substituted for more thoughtful, quality products.  The most innovative brands will find ways to incorporate craftsmanship into their aesthetic to meet this consumer demand. 

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