The U.S. has closed over 42,400 factories since 2001, and manufacturing is now a measly 11 percent of our domestic output. Translation: Not much stuff gets made here anymore.
You probably know this already, but here’s the point: Consumers know it, too, and most of them don’t like it. In fact, 83 percent of shoppers say that, given the choice, they’ll deliberately buy a brand that’s made in America over one imported from foreign shores. Smell a marketing opportunity? The Columbus, Ohio, branding firm of Conrad | Phillips | Vutech has. It recently debuted the first “Made in USA” certification mark that domestically manufactured brands can use on their packaging.
Back in 1998, the Federal Trade Commission developed regulations for brands that want to use made-in-America claims in their marketing. But the feds never created a badge that brands could use in ads and packaging. So now, a private firm has—though it employs the FTC’s regs as its own standards. “Companies can use it as a brand enhancer,” says principal Marcie Gabor.
Third-party seals of approval have become increasingly common, though the trend started a century ago when Good Housekeeping developed its own (still coveted) imprimatur. So what brands are now officially Made in USA? Here’s a sampling:
• Mumoocie (full-body pillows)
• Velvet Ice Creams
• Schulte (closet organizers)
• Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers
• Lori Liz (children’s clothing)
• Calico Home Stores
• Titebond glue
• Play Mart (playground sets)
• Vermont Teddy Bear