The American-Made Trend
The “Made in America Movement,” now encompassing songs and movies, points to a trend involving consumers, manufacturers, and retailers increasing their focus on providing home-grown products. And while few Americans disagree with the positive nature of this trend, many admit to confusion regarding the American authenticity of the products they buy. In addition, questions over the financial feasibility of making products in America add to the debate over the credibility of the trend.
Yet, research lends significant integrity to the inclination of not just Americans wanting to buy American-made products but also to companies realizing the benefits of providing those products.
With those perspectives in mind, consider the following points regarding the buying and selling of American-made products.
- Americans want to buy American-made products. The statistics provided by Consumers Reports supporting this fact are startling. Of the Americans surveyed,
- 78% would buy an American-made product over an identical one made abroad when given the choice.
- 80% cited retaining manufacturing jobs and keeping American manufacturing strong as important reasons to buy American.
- More than 60% would pay extra to buy American.
Companies can help by making clear claims about their products. “Made in the USA” claims come in the form of “qualified” and “unqualified,” with “qualified” claims as the main source of confusion. When companies selling American-made products place a claim on their products, clarity and complete disclosure are key. Customers appreciate honesty and will gravitate toward companies with clear claims, especially when choosing between two American-made products sold by different companies.
Trends are turning in favor of American-made products. Consumers Reports says that “the U.S. makes about three-quarters of all the manufactured goods (including components) it consumes.” In addition, trends in appliances, electronics, and apparel also show strong indications of an increase in providing American-made products.
Corporate behavior beyond products sold matters. While American-made products certainly impact buying choices, the behavior of a company at the corporate level seems to have just as much of an influence. In fact, Consumers Reports says that 92% of individuals surveyed said they are more likely to buy from a company that gives back to the local community. Other factors significantly impacting consumer buying decisions include how well workers are treated (90%), the environmental practices of the company (79%), whether the corporate aspect of the company is foreign or American (78%), and whether or not a manufacturing facility exists in the individual’s state (75%).
Quality still matters. Those choosing to buy American often do so because of the quality of the product, and many believe American-made products are often better quality than foreign-made. Take clothing, for example. Consumers Reports says 61% of survey respondents believe American-made clothing is higher quality than foreign-made clothing. As American products increase in quality, so does the loyalty of consumers who want to buy not only American-made but also quality.
American-made products keep jobs in America. While U.S. manufacturing continues to struggle, Time reports that its growth currently outpaces that of other advanced nations. This means the number of American manufacturing jobs is increasing and will continue doing so, providing companies see the big picture benefits of putting down and/or keeping roots on American soil. On the other side of the coin, American workers must rise to the challenge and prepare a workforce able to handle the technical skills required in the future of manufacturing.
Promoting American-made products makes an impact. ABC News airs a regular special promoting company selling American-made products, and this promotion not only benefits the “Made in America Movement” in general but also gives companies a boost in their efforts to increasingly provide American-made products. Take Randolph USA, for example. After being featured on the show, Randolph USA’s website crashed as orders increased five times over normal sales. This shows the significance of not just the traction under the “Made in America Movement” but also the importance of letting Americans know the companies actively participating in the movement. In addition to the increasing publicity provided by large news organizations such as ABC, individual companies can help the cause also by intentionally promoting their Made in American brand.
For more information on the “Made in America Movement,” visit the following resources:
- Made in America? How to know which flag-waving products are true red, white, and blue by Consumer Reports
- The Made in America Movement: A conduit for change by uniting American voices and increasing American jobs
- ABC News – Made in America by David Muir