We have all been watching it: a trend to seek out and embrace “authentic” products. Craft beer, microdistilleries, the farm-to-table movement, self-publishing, and a boom in artisan crafts and fabrication.
It is no mystery that consumers value items that look and feel genuine, rather than items that are mass-produced. Authenticity has real value.
Research published earlier this year in the Journal of Marketing found that machine-made products are missing a vital ingredient: love.
“Handmade products are rightly perceived to possess and transmit the artisan’s “essence” in the form of his or her love for the product in a way that machine-made products cannot,” write the authors, Christoph Fuchs, Martin Schreier and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer. “The customer perceives the handmade product to be literally imbued with love.”
“People clearly yearn for something beyond mass-produced everyday basics bought at the lowest possible prices,” says Keith Recker, editor and founder of HAND/EYE magazine. “Fast fashion and even faster retailing have left us with a need for authenticity, a need to rediscover something personal and individual in what we touch, use, and wear every day. These people recognize real wealth: nature and human relationships are real things of true value.”