2010, The Year “Made in America” Returned to Marketing Headlines

Thanks to the economy, it seems that the new way to think green and socially conscious is to buy local. In fact, that phrase is literally our proposed theme for the Long Island City Business Development Council’s fall trade show. It’s the theme we are encouraging all of our clients to think about as they look at their campaigns for 2010.

It’s certainly not a new concept, but with today’s unemployment rate, it’s an easy one for the public to grasp. Want to keep someone in your community employed? Buy from them! In many ways that small action and the ensuing positive results are far more attainable than battling our larger environmental issues such as global warming, where the challenges feel insurmountable and the current solutions are riddled with potential negative side effects.

What’s even better, buying local actually has a smaller carbon footprint and increases manufacturer responsibility. For example, citizens are more likely to notice and care if a factory in their town is polluting the local lake than if it’s polluting a lake halfway around the globe.


What can you do as a company to capitalize on this marketing opportunity?
1. Tell consumers about all that you do to use local resources and maintain fair trade and labor standards

2. Consider the positive benefits of these actions and look for more opportunities to buy locally.

3. Promote your “Made in the USA” status loud and proud on the front of all of your products.

 What can you do as consumers to help make this trend a new reality?

1. Read the labels on all of the packages and products you buy. You’d be surprised what you can find on a label. People who have started looking have reported that often the cheaper-priced product is actually “Made in the USA”! For example, Kroger Supermarket’s private label “Value” line  has been widely reported as a “Made in the USA” cost-saver and Wigwam socks are able to sell the same quality socks as Smart Wool for several dollars less, simply because Wigwam is made locally and can control their costs of manufacturing.

2.  When you go to the store or the bank, don’t use the automated check-out. Stand in line and see a live cashier. Not only will you get better customer service, but you’ll be saving someone a job. It may sound crazy, but this is a principal my step-father, a grocery store bagger back in the 60s,  has been enforcing in our family for years. Would you believe he doesn’t even have a cash card to use the ATM?

3. Stay informed. Here’s a few links to lists of brands and products that are “Made in the USA.”
The American List focuses on Accessories and Apparel
Buy American Made user group on Facebook asks you the join the movement
BuyAmerican.com features a whole host of products and services made locally