At Christmas time I get to see what’s out there in terms of consumer products, from what people ask for as presents - from £20 tea cups, to designer socks. I find it super interesting because it makes you realise what makes a good consumer product.
From personal experience, the presents which seem to be successful at Christmas are good quality, at an accessible price point.
Some products which would be ludicrous under normal circumstances actually work very well in this context. A £20 tea cup? Nobody would have a cupboard full of these, but companies are able to produce these (relatively) super premium items, which are good presents because they are out of the ordinary, with superior quality. Even though £20 is a very expensive tea cup, it’s actually the perfect price for a present. It’s also why you get companies selling £20 pens, £20 packs of socks etc.
You get some companies which exist almost solely because of products like this.
A UK manufacturing success story, is Emma Bridgewater - a company that in fact makes £20 tea cups. They manufacture their items in the UK, and emphasise good design.
It’s an interesting opportunity for designers, and allows some premium product companies to not just survive, but thrive.