Leather innovation : a study of fishskin.
This research established that fishskin leather is still in the
introductory stage of its product life cycle, in spite of the fact that
the leather has been in existence for more than 200 years. The reasons
why such an innovative product did not have more widespread prestige
were studied. It was found that a critical factor was a need for a
change in attitude about the leather by both manufacturers and
consumers. Further, there appeared to be little activity directed
towards overcoming the observed negative image of a product made from
the skin of fish, which could be improved by more effective marketing
and persuasive advertising.
The marketing environment was studied in order to establish how it
works and what effect it might have on the marketing of fishskin
leather products; consumer acceptance of fishskin leather was also
examined, the -research then included a series of steps for grounded
theory building according to Eisenhardt and Dibb and Simkin. This work
was designed to contribute to the innovation-development process, to
include consumer acceptance of fishskin leather products. As a result,
a model was constructed by modifying that of Albrecht, Horne, Kunz and
Stout to produce an international and national model of fishskin
leather marketing channels.
Survey and statistical research began with the isolation of a
representative sample from the target population consisting of tanners,
designers, manufacturers and retailers - a city centre survey of the
opinions of shoppers was also carried out, as were a series of case
studies. From the literature and interviews, significant variables
were selected so that a questionnaire could be constructed, and pilot
tested prior to circulation. Two forms of analysis were applied to the
collected data. The first was descriptive which allowed the data to be
cleaned up and for the researcher to become more familiar with the
data. Descriptive statistics were followed by submitting normally
distributed data to the multivariate techniques of factor and cluster
analysis. The statistical analysis identified that the most important
new product characteristics were quality, craftsmanship, price and
style, and that the most successful marketing strategies were those of
product and price of the retail marketing mix or the four p's
product, price, place and promotion.
This research has produced a better understanding of the factors
involved in the diffusion of fishskin leather. It has also identified
the strategic methods and marketing innovation activities needed for
the marketing of fishskin leather products.