Saturday, July 9

Brand Loyalty – Buy American

It is in the news often about what to do about keeping manufacturing jobs in the US and what the Government needs to do to stop the movement of jobs out of the US. Lots of the solutions being tossed around deal with a form of protectionism and official policy. However, one option has not been mentioned; buying American. The act of consumers taking the simple act of searching out and buying products made in the USA.

This is a simple idea and one that has been around for a long time, but “buy American” rings hollow these days. But why? There are many products that are made in the US. You can often find them right next to those cheap(er) products that come from China. Are they much more expensive? Not really. For smaller products the difference might be 25 or 50 cents to a dollar or two depending on how expensive the item is. The difference in price of more expensive items can be much greater, but so can the level of quality. Then again, sometimes the American product actually costs less.

For example, I just bought a can opener. The one I had was over ten years old and no longer functioning well. So in the Supermarket today, I had three to choose from. Two were $7.99 and both of those were made in China. The last one was $8.99 and made in the US. We bought the American-made can opener. It was a Swing-a-Way. When we got home, I threw the old one away. It also happened to be a Swing-a-Way. Provided this one also lasts ten years (it is guaranteed to) the difference in price comes out to ten cents a year. Well worth the additional cost to have it made here.

When I am out with people they would find it odd that I would be running through the clothes or flipping around boxes and items looking for the little mark stating where the product is made. Most people could care less. Yet at the same time they get upset over manufacturing jobs being moved to China. Sometimes looking for the Made in USA mark can be frustrating like when I was living in Finland and traveling around the EU when you ran across a statement like “Made somewhere in Europe.”

Many people are loyal to particular brands and I am partial to certain brands also and I will often look at them first. But if they are not made in the US I will look at the other available options. In the end I could care less what brand I purchase, especially if I have a choice between a product made here and a foreign-made name-brand item. Chances are that I will purchase the one made here.

So I am somewhat disappointed when an American company is in the news for moving manufacturing overseas, especially one that I like. Because it is one more item that I then have to search for its American-made competitor and become their new customer. Does this make a difference? Perhaps not, but half of the American economy centers on purchases made by you and me.

1 comment:

Bart Mcferrin said...

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