Made in America: ‘Buy local’ mentality leads to economic patriotism
Made in America. To suggest that this marketing message doesn’t resonate with today’s American consumer may come off as sacrilege, especially considering how job creation was a central issue in this month’s presidential election.
But there are two questions marketers of “Made in America” have to ask. First, does this marketing message have staying power? And second, where does it rank in a consumer’s purchasing decision tree?
The answers? Yes, “Made in America” will still be a differentiator after the economy fully recovers. But that differentiator does not yet outweigh other considerations like quality and cost.
“It’s a different person now shopping ‘Made in the USA,’” noted Dave Schiff, chief creative officer of the ad agency Made Movement. It’s not a guy driving an F250 with a gun rack in the rear window, he said. “It’s a person almost like an organic consumer — an enlightened consumer that realizes there is a lot of good things that happen on the tail-end of a purchase.”
“Made in America,” as a marketing message, may in fact be traveling along that path of products featuring “organic” on their packaging, noted Jay Forbes, president of The Forbes Connection. For 20 years consumers weren’t necessarily willing to pay more for organic, but as that message has penetrated the value-
oriented Walmart shopper, “organic” has become a premium position.
The same may be happening with “Made in America.”
Even though “Buy American” resonates extremely well with value-oriented shoppers, today the message is still just a tie-breaker when perceived value — quality and cost — are equal, Forbes said. “That is beginning to change with the severity of the economy,” he said. “People think local, and that mentality is starting to impact ‘Buy American.’”
According to research conducted by Perception Research Services over the summer, the majority of shoppers do take notice of such packaging claims as “Made in the USA” — 3-out-of-4 Americans said they were more likely to buy American because it “helps the economy.”
“There is definitely a sense of ‘economic patriotism’ around the idea of American-made,” suggested Dave Wendland, VP Hamacher Resource Group. But it goes beyond that, Wendland suggested. “Consumers will be willing to pay more for the safety and quality of American-made brands,” he said.
That may be the underlying message that will continue to resonate with consumers beyond a struggling economy. “When you go a little deeper and you see what are the kinds of products [American consumers] care about, … it’s about what people ingest — foods, beverages and particularly medications,” Jonathan Asher, EVP of Perception Research Services, told DSN. “Manufacturers aren’t necessarily thinking about it enough: If you make it here, make that clear.”
Click here to see the six companies profiled by DSN that sell on their American-made heritage.
Made in America: Products made in America
DSN profiled six companies that sell on their American-made heritage as part of its "Made in America" report.
MILL VALLEY, Calif. — Green Toys makes a line of classic children’s toys constructed from recycled, food-safe plastic and other environmentally friendly materials. The products not only help fuel the “Made in America” movement, the use of recycled materials helps distinguish the toy manufacturer by reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Green Toys’ customers don’t care as much about the green message as they do the “Made in America” message, noted Laurie Hyman, company co-founder and marketing executive, “because what is being made in the United States implies quality and a
Green Toys manufactures a line of more than 50 toys and tableware targeting primarily preschoolers out of their facility in San Francisco.
BOCA RATON, Fla. — Onesole Shoes is not only produced in America, the line of interchangeable shoes was developed by a successful pharmacist — Dominique McClain Barteet.
Onesole Shoes — selected as Best Product Made in America on ABC World News — feature a flat heel or sole that can be personalized with an interchangeable flap. The product also was featured on the second season of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” when fashion guru Daymond John invested $500,000 for a 35% stake in the company Quick Change Artist.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Mode Cosmetics was co-created by sisters Cristina Samuels and Jennifer Isaac, who grew up immersed in the family cosmetics manufacturing company Zela. The company has created a strong position not only for “Made in the USA,” but also for “Made in NY” with its line of natural cosmetics.
“‘Made in America’ is increasingly on the forefront of consumer purchasing behaviors,” said Samuels. “Consumers firmly believe that American made products are of superior quality and standards.”
Earlier this year, Mode launched its Natural Skin High Performance Hydrating foundation, which is infused with chardonnay and blueberry fruit extracts to help battle fine lines and wrinkles and diminish uneven skin tone.
ORANGEBURG, N.Y. — “Made in America” is a powerful marketing message beyond U.S. borders. Costco has been trading on that “Made in America” position against middle-class shoppers in Mexico with great success. According to reports, that “Made in America” label indicates better quality for shoppers south of the border.
And one of the best-selling products there is private-label baby wipes manufactured by Nice-Pak Products under Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand. Those wipes are even outselling Mexican-made wipes that cost less.
Nice-Pak produces more than 125 billion pre-moistened products in the baby, beauty wipes, personal care, hand wipes and household wipes categories.
BOCA RATON, Fla. — There isn’t much more American than a cold bottle of suds after a long, hard day at work. And as far as beers go, there isn’t much more American than Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser, which possesses a 47.7% share of all U.S. beer sales.
The company operates 12 breweries across the United States, and most recently put its American pride on display at Philadelphia’s “Budweiser Made in America” two-day music festival over Labor Day weekend in Philadelphia, which benefits
Anheuser-Busch tapped into the more than 10,000 concert goers present to help determine which three beers would be included in the company’s Budweiser Brewmasters’ Project 12. Sampler 12-packs went on sale Oct. 29.
LOS ANGELES — While many manufacturers of homeopathic remedies are sourced from such countries as France and Switzerland, Hyland’s is 100% all-American. And it says so on each product.
Hyland’s has a long American heritage, originating as Standard Homeopathic Pharmacy in 1910 with George Hyland serving as the first pharmacist in a downtown Los Angeles location.
In 1995, Standard acquired Luyties Pharmacal, a St. Louis homeopathic firm tracing its lineage to 1853 when its medicines were popular on wagon trains. That purchase made Standard the only remaining American-owned homeopathic company in the United States.
In 1999, with Jay Borneman as CEO and Mark Phillips as COO, the Hyland’s name and its line of branded medicines was placed at the company’s forefront.
American Cancer Society honors 19 corporate donors
ATLANTA – The American Cancer Society on Friday honored 19 companies, including three retail pharmacy operators and three consumer packaged goods companies, with its Excellence in Philanthropy award — recognizing the companies for their generous support of the society’s efforts to eliminate cancer as a public health burden.
The Excellence in Philanthropy recognition is part of the American Cancer Society’s Corporate Impact Awards, presented annually by the Society’s Corporate & Systems Initiative. The honor is given to corporations that have provided $1 million or more to the Society during the previous calendar year through a combination of corporate contributions, in-kind support, cause marketing and sponsorship, employee giving and/or event fundraising.
This year’s winning corporations collectively contributed $53.6 million toward the Society’s mission, the association stated.
The 2012 recipients of the Corporate Impact Excellence in Philanthropy award include:
- Procter & Gamble (Pantene Beautiful Lengths);
- Bank of America;
- Live Positively and Sprite Zero of The Coca-Cola Company;
- Curves International;
- The Pampered Chef;
- Foot Locker;
- United Airlines;
- General Motors and Chevrolet;
- Wells Fargo;
- the National Football League; and
- Maurices & Dressbarn.
“The generosity and ongoing support of these companies has a direct impact on the American Cancer Society’s ability to help people stay well and get well, to find cures for cancer and to fight back,” stated John Seffrin, CEO American Cancer Society. “It is with their help that we are able to save 350 lives per day from cancer and continue on the path toward our goal of saving 1,000 lives per day.”
"Each year, thousands of Kroger associates commit their energy, time and funds to fight cancer in their communities," stated Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s group VP corporate affairs. "We’re so proud to accept this award that recognizes the contribution of each and every Making Strides and Relay for Life team in the Kroger family."