The impact of aesthetics on the Celtic craft market

Article English OPEN
Fillis, IR

Drawing on data from the Celtic craft sector, this paper uses aesthetics as a critical lens in explaining how small firms develop particular styles of marketing in order to survive and grow. This approach has not previously been adopted in explaining small business marketing behaviour, although there is a growing history of its use in the wider management and organisational arena. Interpretation of qualitative data from the UK and the Republic of Ireland has enabled the construction of a typology of different styles of marketing by craft firm owner/managers which also confirms the heterogeneous nature of the small business sector. Aesthetic profiling helps explain why some craft firms follow market demand, while others pursue market creation activities. A key outcome is the need to acknowledge the impact of aesthetic processes on small business marketing decision making. Investigation of the Celtic aesthetic informs how these processes are shaped through the development of a particular type of marketing grounded in creativity, intuition and opportunity recognition. Wider consumption, markets and cultural implications are also evaluated in terms of decision and meaning making in the cultural production process; the connections between critical marketing and aesthetics as ways of challenging marketing concepts and practices; how aesthetics contributes to entrepreneurial marketing; and finally how craft and the Celtic lens uncover wider connections with cultural production.
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