IN a rapidly urbanising India, how does one strengthen the link between the rural crafts community and the urban consumer? This chapter highlights a few points for discussion on marketing strategy using a case study approach.
PRINCIPLES OF MARKETING
Ideally the crafts community should be in control of the dynamics of production, market, supply and demand. The key areas are as follows:
- Checking availability of products and designs
- Reviewing customer needs and demands
- Checking availability of raw material
- Researching to find untapped skills
- Providing training and skill improvement facilities
- Identifying buyers
- Financial forecasting
The consumer or buyer will not buy a craft product out of compassion or charity. The product must be competitive in terms of its cost, utility and aesthetics.
Many people think that the handicrafts sector requires minimum expenditure, infrastructure and training to set up. However, if the handicrafts sector is to face competition from within the country and abroad, then training and development of expert skills would be necessary. The finer the workmanship and quality, the better the value of the craft item, which would rise above a market flooded with mediocre products.
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