Custom Craft, Niche Markets, and Manufacturing Revival
Where can you find hope for American manufacturing? In craftsmanship and custom manufacturing, according to Planet Money co-host and co-founder Adam Davidson. In his story, “A Revival in American Manufacturing, Led By Brooklyn Foodies,” he looks at two producers for niche markets, artisanal beef jerky and custom springs, notices how even major mass-production based companies “are focusing more of their business on custom-making products for customers willing to pay more,” and finds a possible model for the future of American manufacturing.
What are some features of this model?
- Makers should find their niche instead of trying to out-market your competitors.
- Makers should focus on producing high-quality custom goods for those willing to pay a premium for them.
- Custom manufacturing requires knowledge and artistry, and jobs that require this craftsmanship typically pay more than those that don’t.
Food for thought.
On the CustomMade blog, we’ve previously discussed the emergence of mass-customization and considered the differences between custom work and customization, particularly in terms of craftsmanship. Can the approach Davidson outlines become a model for the wider economy?
Is the model Davidson sketches actually applicable to custom artisanal production? At first glance, niche producers and custom makers seem engaged in similar businesses. Is that actually the case? Is making a product, even with the utmost craft, that is in high demand by a select group of consumers equivalent to designing and creating a unique custom work demanded by a single customer?
CustomMade artisans, please share your thoughts with us.