Words by Brian Engblad
Proclamation: Products of poor quality with no soul seem to be an incorporated part of our lives. The stores around the globe seem to have lost their integrity, and are presenting the audience and their customers with poorly produced products with no story or soul. In fact, most stores are carrying, if not the same product range, then at least the same brands. It seems like a big a gap is emerging between consumers and retailers. Consumers demand high quality in a diverse range of products. However, stores here and there only present their customers to a “safe” selection of products, regretfully often made in questionable quality.
In my opinion, the solution to this problem seems indeed within reach. Storytelling. High quality products quite often have a great story attached to them. For instance, the products could be undergoing a unique way of manufacturing process, or the products could have been the results of funny and quirky ideas. Customers do want to hear that story.
In a recently published survey about tourism in Copenhagen, it was quite clear that the commercial expectations to Copenhagen were not met. Tourists want more than just the little mermaid. They want original products, made in Copenhagen or at least in Denmark – they don’t want products branded Danish, made in China.
Sadly, the survey also made it clear that products made in Copenhagen were quite hard to find, especially since we do have a wide range of fantastically skilled craftsmen and small enterprises. All these craftsmen and small enterprises are all enthusiasts that do offer storytelling, impressive quality and much needed diversity within their product range. These are what I would define as “local heroes”, who are protecting and retaining our traditions of local production. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to show the world what Copenhagen is made of? I personally believe that this will change the way we consume and experience the cities we’re visiting. Local production has in other words a direct influence on the diversity of a given city. This is why we want to protect our local heroes!