“Made in the USA” marketing makes smart business sense. U.S. manufacturers are discovering that home-grown production has increasing financial benefits, especially compared to China, whose competitiveness has dimmed significantly. However, the marketing value of “Made in the USA” could well be even greater.
“Made in the USA” Sells to Consumers
Through countless conversations with everyone from executives to family friends, I can tell you that a growing number of consumers are deliberately looking for locally-made products. Their reasons may be diverse, but they are all compelling. Some consumers shop according to their social conscience. They do not want to support foreign countries they view as anti-American or where workers are mistreated with disreputable working conditions and wages.
Trust and familiarity drive other consumers. For them, the words “Made in America” evoke our nation’s rugged individualism or imply an artisanal mystique. American’s have a strong sense of what is “right,” and that means quality. The quality of foreign-made products may be suspect.
If those within the manufacturing community don’t actively promote 'Made in the USA' and the value it represents, why should those who purchase our products care?"
Of course, it’s important to remember that it was the consumer who sent manufacturing overseas in search of low prices (some call it Walmartization.) And to consumers, price is still the foremost consideration in their minds. The challenge is whether consumers can see past sticker price and see the financial value in quality- in other words, that they get what they pay for.
Domestic products have the greatest appeal to international tourists visiting the United States, and the “Made in the USA” label drives sales in overseas markets.
Labeling and marketing speak to all these subtle psychological factors.
“Made in the USA” Reassures B2B Customers
For B2B customers, speed to market, attentive service and reliability are crucial factors that can override the somewhat higher pricing often associated with onshore manufacturing. Domestic manufacturers have a reputation for agility, flexibility and quality. And if you supply parts to other U.S. manufacturers who want to market their products as “Made in America,” then clearly labeling your products as manufactured in the U.S. underscores your value as a vendor.
“Made in the USA” Marketing Shows Local Pride
International events in recent years have created a resurgence of patriotism in Americans. And the Great Recession brought home to the entire country the devastating economic impact of lost jobs, regardless of the source.
But perhaps no one understands better than America’s manufacturers the importance of retaining and increasing U.S.-based jobs. “Made in the USA” marketing demonstrates your company’s commitment to a better quality of life for local workers and stronger economies for the communities in which your facilities are located.
An oft-quoted study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group in late 2012 revealed 80% of Americans will pay more if it means supporting U.S. jobs. The study also surveyed Chinese consumers, 47% of whom said they prefer “Made in America”. The truth is, U.S.-made products have superior cachet worldwide. They are seen as innovative, high-quality and reliable. It’s a marketer’s dream.
Don’t just do it, flaunt it. Use every marketing avenue to tell your “Made in the USA” story – your website, social media, advertising and trade show booth as well as product labeling, packaging and your delivery fleet. Humanize your company and strengthen emotional ties with customers by telling short photo-stories about individual workers and their role in the manufacturing process. Talk about your company’s “good neighbor” impact on your local community.
Don’t overlook the little things, like the “Made in the USA” button we have on our website. Beyond that, we like to share helpful content on our blog, both to market our expertise and to inform an economy of smarter buyers. American manufacturing is one of our favorite topics, and a favorite of our readers and customers.
Manufacturers cannot thrive and grow without employees. Weaving “Made in the USA” into your brand marketing strengthens the standing of manufacturing in America, and that can only help instill in younger generations a positive view of manufacturing as a career. You need customers, too. Promoting that your products are made in America draws buyers specifically looking for that attribute.
If those within the manufacturing community don’t actively promote “Made in the USA” and the value it represents, why should those who purchase our products care?
Rich Regole is the president and CEO of Accurate Forming, a leader in the art and science of deep-draw metal forming. Accurate Forming supplies complex deep drawn components and value-added operations such as in-house polishing, nickel & chrome plating, high performance powder coating, notching, slotting, thread rolling, and assembly.