Bringing back the almighty “Made in America” label seems to be the latest way to show patriotism since sporting red, white and blue and supersizing your lunch. The government is working on initiatives to incentivize companies to bring their businesses back from overseas. As infrastructure is being put in place for companies to manufacture domestically, some are wondering exactly what pull it still has.
How Strong is the label?
In an effort to gauge the branding power of the good US of A, Reuters has a study 2,800 Americans in which they were polled on their shopping habits. They reported that 70 percent feel it is “somewhat important for the products they buy to be made in America.” Interestingly enough, more than being turned on by that label, consumers are turned off by seeing “Made in China.”
So, are Americans willing to shell out for a product that is from their preferred country of origin? Not necessarily. According to the poll, 38 percent are, “unwilling to pay one penny more,” for American-made goods. On the contrary, 26 percent are okay with paying 5 percent more, 21 are on board with 10 percent more and 3 percent would even plunk down an additional 50 percent.
The Profit is in Personalization
It seems that one way in which consumers are willing to pay more is for personalization. For instance, purchasing a custom gown, suit or any other brand of unique goods has added value because it is not available everywhere. Paul Munford of LeanLuxe, writes in a report on the American-made sector of New Balance, that when it comes to commodities consumers usually aren’t excited over a price increase. That is the case with the namesake shoe, and other brands with similar diffusion lines. They aren’t actually getting an upgraded product; it is simply just made in America. That all has value yes, but not one that is not always direct to the consumer.
It is idealistic to desire American-made. To increase business of domestic companies and create jobs on our own soil. Understandably, 94 percent of consumers say that price is a factor that they take into account when making purchases. From the aftermath of the recession to increasing inflation and stagnant wages, consumers have to take that into account. Although it does seem that “Made in America” if done right can lead to an increase in sales whether it be from patriotism or great PR.