A recent survey found that 61% of Americans would be more likely to purchase a product if it was marketed as having been “Made in America.” Somewhere, Dov Charney is screaming, “I told you so!” — but how much of an impact do results like this really have on retail?
The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive in conjunction with AdWeek Media, also shows that there is an increased likelihood of purchase of American products by older Americans as well as those living in the Midwest — but how many of these consumers are actually inspired by their patriotism?
The fashion industry has had a tough time of it over the last few years. The recession put a clamp on most people’s wallets which led to less shopping (See Also: The Genesis of FNO), as well as a much more conscious attitude to what they’re purchasing — and why. There’s a reason every brand from H&M (with their Fashion Against AIDS collection) to Louis Vuitton (with Bono’s ads for Edun) has been promoting the socially conscious aspects of their product. Not only do consumers want bang for their buck, they want to feel good about spending their money in the first place.
As more and more companies move their manufacturing centers overseas to places where labor laws are less and less enforced, consumers have the power (and, increasingly, the desire) to know how and where their product was made.
We know we’d pick an American-made product over an Indian-made one every day — but not because we’re patriotic, because we trust that the conditions under which said product were made upheld certain (American) values. What we’re most curious to know is whether people for whom “Made in America” is a selling point feel the same way about a product made in an equally regulated country such as England or Canada.