By Mary Aviles & Sandra Bauman
In our role as trend analyzers, we read a lot of trend research and at the beginning of each year we pay particular attention to the pundits and prosthelytizers. This four-part series features mash ups of some of our favorite predictions for 2016.
Maker Movement meets customer/retail experience and patient experience
We’ve been very interested in the Maker Movement and its impact on several client industries. This holiday season, we witnessed firsthand the increasing popularity of handmade gifts and unique shopping experiences. Our Facebook feeds were full of invitations to holiday shopping pop-up events like the Lodge and the Detroit Merchantile Co.’s Merry Market. And, we attended! The merchandise was high quality. The events were festive! And, word of mouth was a no brainer. Maker organizations like the Detroit Urban Craft Fair and Renegade Craft Fair are hugely successful and are capitalizing on the public’s interest in both handmade goods and unique retail experiences.
In fact, handmade gifts were a new category added to Deloitte’s Holiday Survey, Embracing Retail Disruption, this past December:
Sixteen percent of consumers indicated they plan to give homemade or craft items. This niche category, handmade gifts, is worth keeping an eye on for retailers. In fact, one large online retailer that recently entered this market did so not only because of its desire to broaden its marketplace reach, but also because of existing site patrons’ searches for words such as “handmade” and “hand-crafted.”
30 percent of respondents plan to shop at events such as festivals, fairs, and pop-ups. This phenomenon represents a potential disruption to watch: Retailers should ensure that they are playing in these new low-infrastructure environments via satellite locations. They should also consider hosting events, either on their own or by collaborating with local groups.
The draw of these types of retail experiences are two fold: 1) The gifts are unique. The purchase is often directly from the artisan, affording the shopper the opportunity to both show local support and express admiration for the craft; 2) The items themselves seem to convey a deeper level of thoughfulness–an “I bought this with you in mind.” For those reasons, this type of purchase feels better than purchasing from a nameless, faceless Target or Amazon. No matter how brand loyal you are to those retailers, the experience just does not compare. The pop-up shopping experience is fun. I can shop in a cool setting, while sipping a craft cocktail, and I feel hip and in-the-know, secure in my knowledge that the gifts I purchase will reinforce my “Cool Aunt Mary” reputation!
We’ve also been avidly following how the Maker Movement plays out in healthcare. This past October, the second #MakeHealth Fest took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Susannah Fox, the Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was a keynote speaker. The event organizers believe that “to fix healthcare, we need to infuse it with the maker movement.” Several technological advances are influencing this trend.
The maker-movement underlying successful companies like Etsy will become a new business model and usher in a new type of innovator: Healthcare Creators. Thanks to advances in 3D printing, material science, virtual reality, Healthkit and Researchkit, personalized products such as casts, prosthetics, wearables, and a variety of patient-designed solutions will be made to order using software and printed at home. A category of DIY inventions will become available as thousands (and soon millions) of people start to make niche health and wellness products…
From Forbes, Rise of the Maker Movement will customize health, Unity Stokes, 12/20/15
The Maker Movement is itself a manifestation of the Collaborative Economy. And, it doesn’t have to be limited to the creation of products. New and improved services, too, can result from a Maker mentality. As clinical service is the foundation of healthcare delivery, it’s ripe for disruption. Consider what a collaborative approach to patient compliance might look like with inputs from providers, caregivers, and patients. What would happen if a hospital developed a hybrid Maker Faire + Health Fair? Or, what about a collaborative approach to employee engagement to solve a health system’s recruitment and retention issues?
What about your business? What aspects of the Maker Movement can inspire your organization? Or your customer or employee experiences?