Ah, yes; the old story of man versus machine. Which one will ultimately win the consumer? Which product source contains the most value?
When it comes to efficiency and pure quality in quantity, machine-made products are worthwhile. They have a high profit margin and can complete a sales cycle much faster.
But handmade products can tell a story of craftsmanship that machine-made products cannot. Plus, something done by hand will take longer to make (in most cases) than those done by machines, meaning that there will be less of them, making the "scarce" item that much more valuable.
The halo effect that handmade products receive is understandable, and understanding that is very worthwhile for marketers and brands.
Indeed, a new study in the Journal of Marketing suggests that consumers are willing to pay up to 17% more for handmade products in general compared to machine-made. They must feel that the "personal touch" of a human is worth it. Though, the article points out, a product nowadays is rarely purely handmade or purely machine-made, marketers and brands have some leniency in shaping the narrative.
Think about it. Just adding a commercial where the consumer sees a person finalizing the production of a product or having product quality folks adding a personal note in a product could add up to 17% to your bottom line.
Talk about a personal touch.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
San Francisco, California
Director of Marketing
Peninsula Open Space Trust
Palo Alto, California
Executive Director of Alumni Affairs (Asso...
CUNY Hunter College
New York, New York
SEO/SEM/Google Analytics Analyst
Summit, New Jersey
Senior Interactive Project Manager
Summit, New Jersey
Director of Marketing - Consumer Products
New Media Jobs