In January, 2011, ABC News and Diane Sawyer kicked off the Made in America Challenge. It was a series dedicated to exploring the positive economic effects of buying USA-made merchandise and challenging all Americans to open their minds to the opportunites we have to make a difference in our own homes. It’s this type of call to arms that has helped to create a real emotional connection to products that are made in America. Due to that connnection, many consumers will recognize, and reward, those corporate citizens that demonstrate an awareness of this growing movement, and incorporate American-made products into their marketing campaigns.
Admittedly, it is often difficult to find cost effective domestic merchandise in certain product categories (just try to find a compelling selection of USA-made clothing styles for your next uniform program!). However, like the growth in ladies clothing styles and eco-friendly products over the last ten years, the availability of American-made products in the promotional products industry continues to grow in response to the customer demand. Common items like pens, cups, caps, coolers, and writing journals can all be sourced from domestic suppliers. The quality is often superior and the pricing is surprisingly competitive for many of these items. Although domestic manufacturers are still dealing with the reality of higher labor costs, when the freight costs, duties, and timing for production and delivery are factored in with the rising labor costs in China, the price difference shrinks, or disappears.
It’s true that the breadth of USA-made promotional merchandise still pales in comparison to items made overseas, but the companies that turn the “challenge” into an opportunity, will be rewarded with a more loyal customer base that will view your company as an empathetic ally, rather than just another provider. Reach out to your preferred brand identity partner, and take a fresh look at the expanded selection of products that are ‘Made in America’!