This article summarizes the findings of a long-term marketing research project whose objective was to determine existing consumption patterns in the needlecrafts industry in Turkey. The research was carried out by one of the authors while working at Coats Turkey (CT), the world’s
largest manufacturer and supplier of sewing and embroidery threads, as the Crafts Marketing Manager. A mini-case study of the company is therefore also included in the article. The main research questions addressed during the field study were ‘why and how do the thread consumers practice
the needlecrafts?’ On the basis of the findings obtained from the long-term analysis of consumer attitudes, a consumer segmentation pattern has been proposed. The pattern has been revealed through interviews and face-to-face surveys, with more than 1000 embroidery teachers working at
vocational high schools and public education centres and their students attending classes between 2000 and 2009 in Turkey. The pattern depicts the segmentation of motives for doing needlecrafts and suggests a distribution based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: as the socio-economical
level of the consumer increases, the main motivation for doing needlecrafts stems from psychological rather than physical needs. Focusing more on the psychological needs of consumers, the company redesigned some of the experiences it offered to needlecraft consumers. Therefore, this article
also elaborates on designing experiences for the needlecrafts industry and suggests that there may be opportunities for other crafts companies to implement such an approach, because as the competition gets intensive, product and service differentiation becomes more challenging and inadequate
in terms of maintaining a sustainable business. Addressing psychological needs by means of designing experiences and focusing on experiential marketing seems to be one solution. Further research is needed to explore how other industries may benefit from focusing more on psychological needs
by means of creating positive experiences.
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