Co-creative Value for Cultural and Creative Economic Growth – Designing a Cultural Merchandise and Constructing a Marketing Model
With globalization and the advent of technology, consumers are exposed to various cultures through different means; consequently, their self-identity and recognition of their own culture become confused. Designers can develop merchandise by cultural creativity, converting their cultural creation into the core value of the merchandise which will serve as vehicles for conveying cultural messages and generating cultural identity and regional economic value. But, facing the issue of economic production, the development of contemporary cultural merchandise should, apart from creative design, also consider the demands of daily life, before it can further generate productive value as a business. Owing to the present problems in the process of production of cultural merchandise including the contexts of creativity, productivity of fashion trends, and additional functions, the specific basis for the evaluation of designs are often wanting; as a result, designers’ works are not echoed to and recognized by consumers, which leads to difficulties in sales. When designers have a commercial concept when they are designing a cultural merchandise, they involve both the design aspect and the commercial value; in this aspect a business model can be a tool offering choices for the core strategies of the business (Shafer, Smith, and Linder, 2005); it is for profit (Afuah, 2004) that designers set and execute business models. This study makes a reference to Osterwalder and Pigneur’s (2010) Business Model Canvas, which is comprised of nine elements. These include value proposition, customer segments, distribution channels, customer relationship, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partners and cost structure.
With reference made to the said Business Model Canvas, this study contemplated how to establish models for designing cultural merchandise and marketing them. We thus adopted the approach of using an expert focus discussion and gathered information in two stages. Stage one involves two focus group meetings, to which experts with experience in cultural merchandise-related design, business start-up, and marketing, ten of them in all, were invited. The meetings were conducted using semi-structured interviews, encouraging the participating experts to share their practical experiences. The interview transcripts were coded in the scope of commerce and marketing to construct a hub-and-spoke type model for designing and marketing cultural merchandise. Stage two, launched in Northern, Central and Southern Taiwan, respectively, invited experts in the industry, government and academia from these regions, 18 of them in all, to the meetings on the related issues including marketing cultural merchandise. In the phase of data analysis, the recommendations of the participating experts were integrated, and the Business Model Canvas was further referenced in an attempt to establish a model for designing cultural merchandise and to deduce business and marketing models that are consistent with the design of cultural merchandise.
The findings hereof will propose a thinking model for the business operations and marketing of cultural merchandise, in which the key elements interrelate. The mode is intended to encourage the industry or designers to make reference to it when developing their design and implementing subsequent marketing strategies, so as to integrate all aspects such as cultural creativity, creative design, and business economics, in order to jointly generate economic value for the cultural merchandise in the modern market.
KeywordsCo-Creative Value Cultural Merchandise Design Business Model Canvas Business Start-Up Cultural Industry Business
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