Lately, you may have noticed “Made in America” has become a bigger part of the marketing and manufacturing of various products. According to The Wall Street Journal, stable wages, low American energy costs, and the desire to protect intellectual property from piracy and counterfeiting are driving some companies back to US factories.
The article lays out all of the issues facing American manufacturing, showing that not all of the work that has been exported is coming back. But it doesn’t talk about some of the other reasons why more companies might be looking to add “American-made” to the list branding qualities.
First is the fact that with so much made overseas, there are some consumers who are looking for US-made products. They want to support American industry. This site lists a number of companies that are producing goods in the US, and talks up the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be created if Americans spent more money on American goods.
Second, there are a lot of people who are looking to purchase things locally for environmental reasons. Most often, we hear this associated with food, such as in reference to the “farm-to-table” restaurants and labels. But we also see it with reference to other goods, especially when considering a product’s carbon footprint and energy consumption.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s a desire to source materials and production methods. Consumers like to identify the factory, the farm, the techniques and the people who are making goods as part of the brand’s story. Overseas factories make that sort of tracking difficult and isn’t nearly as interesting as hearing that a shepherd in the Midwest sheared the sheep that created the wool that made your sweater. This search for authenticity was laid out well in a story we referenced just a few weeks ago.
It goes without saying at this point that telling a good story about your client or brand is an important part of PR work. Included in that story, if it’s applicable, consumers want to hear that what they’re buying came from a place nearby.