During economic hard times, it may seem that everyone is looking for bargains, wherever they may come from. But that’s not quite true.
In response to jobs disappearing overseas, American consumers are fighting back by searching for domestic made products, both manufactured and handmade. In fact, a recent article in The Centurion reports that a Boston Consulting Group study found 8 out of 10 Americans are willing to pay a premium to purchase Made in America luxury goods.
The article goes on to state, “BCG’s findings are nearly identical to a similar study conducted by Consumer Reports National Research Center. In that study, 78% of respondents said they’d prefer an American-made product to an identical one made abroad [in a low-wage country]. The most-often cited reasons were: 1) to retain manufacturing jobs in the United States and keep American manufacturing strong, 2) concerns about social issues like child labor or sweatshops; and 3) belief that American-made goods are higher quality.”
Movies on the topic are cropping up as well, reflecting a strong commitment on the part of many shoppers. The American Made Movie (featuring ABI grad Merrie Buschbaum) tells the personal stories of families affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs. The movie celebrates “the ability of average Americans to adapt, innovate and thrive” which “has created one of the greatest civilizations in human history.”
Additionally, since the beginning of the recession in 2008, Google has reported a 400% increase in searches for the term “Made in USA”.
What does this mean for artists? Small creative entrepreneurs who understand and embrace this important movement add another tool in their marketing kit. Made in America, and “made locally” are important selling points for handmade production art and craft work.
“Made in America” is a feature of your work, but closing the sale often depends on sharing the benefits:
- Knowing that you are supporting an American worker.
- Keeping the money you are spending in your local community.
- Supporting the arts and individual entrepreneurs.
- Getting a product that is made with American quality
Knowing where you offer value is essential to artists and craftspeople when marketing their goods and closing sales. Make sure you pick up on this huge trend when you are talking about your own work. “Made in America” really does matter.