Assessing Export Opportunities for Tribal Wooden Gift Boxes in Japan

Research Sponsored By: USDA
Principal Investigator: Ivan Eastin
Project Description
Opportunities exist to develop niche products for consumer markets that appreciate the unique values reflected by Native American forest and agricultural products. Export marketing can provide tribal forest managers with a new strategy to promote economic development and maintain cultural traditions within and between tribal communities while emphasizing the environmental sustainability of tribal wooden products. This project will assist Native American tribes develop strategies for marketing tribal wooden boxes produced from sustainably managed timber. The results of this project will be used to develop a marketing strategy for Native-crafted wooden boxes based on design elements derived from traditional tribal cultural and environmental heritage. Consumer surveys would be conducted in Japan to identify and evaluate important product attributes utilizing an innovative perceptual mapping technique developed by CINTRAFOR. The results of the analysis will be used to develop a strategic marketing plan for the Japanese market. This project combines the development of innovative new tribal gift box designs with the expansion of the marketing capacity of Native American tribes and thus is a good fit for the FSMIP program.