Measuring Economic Value of Native American Cultural Designs within the Tribal Gift Box Market and Tribal Forest Certification
Smith, Clarence Allen
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Many companies use Native American names, image and art designs in order to market their products, even though some of them have no affiliation with Native American tribes. This suggests Native American image and design provide a set of values for certain consumers. The purpose of this study is to help Native American tribal business leaders understand what potential customers take into consideration when selecting a Native American product. In order to contribute to tribal business, selling a tribal wooden gift box with a certification logo that assures the gift box is from a forest that incorporates Native American traditional forestry practices was proposed. This paper was based on the analysis of survey respondents in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the opinions, attitudes and preferences of potential consumers toward a tribal gift box with or without Native American design and certification logo, the survey was conducted at the various cultural events in the Pacific Northwest. Three attributes, 1) a hypothetical certification logo, 2) Native American salmon design and 3) price options on the boxes were shuffled and respondents were asked to evaluate assorted types of gift boxes on different attributes. All attributes significantly impact various perceptions. Certification logo especially influenced the respondents’ perception that the tribal gift box is environmentally sustainable, supports local craftsman and that the gift box supports responsible forest management. Both certification logo and salmon design had a synergetic effect in that they increased the likelihood of purchase. Based on respondents’ belief when they purchase a gift box, four different cluster groups were found. Two cluster groups, which account for 36.1% of the respondents, could be the potential markets because they show higher likelihood to purchase the tribal boxes. Potential customers in these clusters are relatively older with an average age of 40 and contain higher portion of females than people in other two clusters. People in one of the potential customer clusters often attend native cultural events such as pow-wows, so native entrepreneurs can utilize these events as a marketing channel. In addition, the survey results indicate that respondents believe that tribal forest are sustainably managed and that a tribal product does positively influence the tribal economy. The results of this study presents a great opportunity for tribal businesses to create a brand that will capture their specific cultural essence and use the certification as an authenticity tool, which will differentiate their product from similar non-native products.
- Forestry